Rodanthe Has Us Seeing Stars
Flawless cinematic chemistry is exceptionally rare. Richard Gere and Diane Lane have it burning up the screen or simply walking in a room. Their third pairing, Nights in Rodanthe, debuts September 26. Days before the dramatic love story hits theaters the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall of today visited with SheKnows.
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Life lessonsSheKnows: On screen, impeccable chemistry exists obviously between you, but each time is different with varying directors, scripts and settings. So sitting down for Nights in Rodanthe, what struck you about each other?
Richard Gere: I discovered she's still 18 and I grew older (laughs). That's what I discovered.
Diane Lane: It's true that Richard and I have this thing. It's wonderful to have the comfort level of all our past conversations and experiences to not have to wear kid gloves. To get right in there and trust each other's boundaries and to not be walking on eggshells with somebody you just met…
Richard Gere: We know it for sure. I think if you have a built in level of respect and trust and an openness to essentially be yourself, especially in film acting, you're way ahead. It allows for a deeper uncensored communication.
SheKnows: Nicholas Sparks' characters are so grounded in true human emotion...
The voice of loveSheKnows: Of course everyone is talking about your great chemistry and the films you do together. To me, the most effective part of this film where the audience truly felt you guys falling for each other was when you were writing love letters to one another. How was that different? I'm assuming you weren't in the same studio recording those lines.
Richard Gere: We weren't. That's very interesting because that wasn't part of the original script. That was an addendum in trying to figure out where the movie was in the editing process. The movie, it's strange, in a way it ended earlier than that. Not in terms of the time, but in terms of our story, it ended much earlier.
Cosmic chemistry commencesSheKnows: Back to the beginning and when you first met. First impressions of each were?
Diane Lane: I was very insecure and I think it manifested itself as…age appropriate, let's say for 18. A little defensive and little bitchy…maybe…
Richard Gere: Yeah…
They both laugh.
Diane Lane: I got the part. It's interesting because I had just finished shooting Streets of Fire and we had a chemistry meeting. Can you imagine flying out with that in mind. What pressure, you walk in the room and you're already pissed off.
Richard Gere: I just went down the wormhole. It's Francis Ford Coppola, me and she's already worked with Francis two times.
Diane Lane: Yeah, Outsiders and Rumble Fish.
Richard Gere: So you already had a comfort level with him for sure.
Diane Lane: Yeah, from the year before. Now, you want me to audition. I thought it wasn't fair. I was such a bitch.
Richard Gere: She really remembers everything I have no memory of that whatsoever. I remembered she was an absolute doll, no question about it. I had seen her, she was adorable. There was something mysterious going on, but very self possessed at the same time. She came in with all those qualities in terms of being able to deal with the situation. At 18, I couldn't have dealt, I couldn't even speak. She brought this 'I don't care' attitude. But you know underneath it all she desperately did.
Diane Lane: There were a couple of close calls where we almost did something.
Richard Gere: We're both very picky.
Diane Lane: And when you have kids you factor in where and when and how long.
The Franco factorSheKnows: You both share pivotal scenes in this film with James Franco.
Diane Lane: Ah, yes.
SheKnows: You each spent time with him. He's such an immense talent for such a small role. What was that experience like working with James? It's such pivotal story material.
Richard Gere: It is a small part. In movies you care about, small parts are incredibly meaningful. We've seen that in movies where they hire just any actor and it destroys the movie. You get nothing out of the scene. Really terrific actors in small parts may be the most important thing in a film and the fact that he was willing to do it and also brought so much of himself - I wasn't there when he filmed those scenes with Diane - to see how much he brought to those is incredible. During the storm sequence in Ecuador, we were actually creating the storm. There was a faulty rain line and this whole set started to collapse. We were underneath it. I ran one direction, he ran another and the powers that be said we're stopping production here. Someone's going to get hurt. This was the last day we had with him. He had to go out and shoot something else. I said, 'Let's take a deep breath here. We're not going to do that. But, let's shoot, we need a couple of close ups and we can cut in what we have and we'll finish the rest.' We went in and did tight close-ups, something we can control without a lot of craziness around. In the end we didn't need the big stuff. We had enough to make it work. But it was enormous pressure to get everything done with him in the time that we had. And, like you said, everything he was in is in the movie. Everything he did was in the film and adds a lot to it.
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