Adoration on Wright track
WITH one deft movement, Robin Wright declaws the cougar myth.
“It’s a cliché label,” says the woman who first came to the world’s attention in The Princess Bride, an oddball 1987 fairytale soon to be turned into a Disney stage musical.
Wright, who has two grown- up children with former husband Sean Penn, is discussing older women/ younger men relationships in the context of her latest film, Adoration, in which she and Naomi Watts star as two friends who fall in love with each other’s sons ( played by Twilight’s Xavier Samuel and Animal Kingdom’s James Frecheville).
But she could just as well be responding to the suggestive commentary in the British press last month, when she appeared on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival with current partner Kill Your Darlings actor Ben Foster who is 15 years her junior.
“Undeterred by photographers” the Dallasborn beauty “flashed her bra in a sheer printed grey shirt” and “canoodled” with her “toyboy”, according to Britain’s Daily Mail.
Recently nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance as a shrewdly ambitious politicians’ wife in Netflix thriller House of Cards, Wright has carved an idiosyncratic path for herself through the cinematic landscape, interspersing quality mainstream entertainment such as Moneyball and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo with more challenging art house projects such as Penn’s The Crossing Guard and Rebecca Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
Adoration, a romantic drama set in the sleepy coastal town of Seal Rocks, on the mid- north coast of NSW, definitely sits in the latter camp
The 47- year- old beauty signed on for the adaptation of a Doris Lessing’s short story by director Anne Fontaine ( Coco Before Chanel) three years ago.
“It’s probably one of the most original pieces I have ever read,” Wright says of the screenplay, written by Dangerous Liaisons’ Christopher Hampton. “And perversely beautiful.” Despite the potentially scandalous nature of the material, Wright says she was supremely confident in the ability of Hampton and Fontaine to convey the layers and complexities of Lessing’s characters, who were based on real Australians.
She and Watts both agree it probably took a Frenchwoman to get such an unconventional project greenlit.
“With the French, it would just be c’est la vie, c’est normale,” Watts says.
“In tone, it’s like that way Europeans accept what would seem an ultra, uber- liberal lifestyle. But it’s not titled as that. It’s just you feel something, you do it. There’s no judgment,” Wright said during a break from filming on location at an old pub in the Sydney suburb of Balmain.
“It’s not seen as Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, oh my God it’s so unethical, it will never last.”
The constant references to Moore’s age during her eight- year relationship with Kutcher might well explain Wright’s slightly- defiant stance while talking about her own project in Sydney and again while walking the red carpet in Toronto to promote Foster’s film.
The actor, who plays William Burrows to Daniel Radcliffe’s Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, visited Wright while she was filming in Australia in February last year.
When the actress initially signed up for Adoration, then titled The Grandmothers, Julianne Moore had been cast in the role of Roz, the more earthy of the two women. Wright was to play Watt’s character Lil.
Wright admits that she did have some doubts about her on- screen chemistry with Watts.
“Because we are so similar physically, in a way, two blonde, petite women. The way Roz is described in the novella, she is more brash. I had always imagined her to be a bigger person and more aggressive,” she said.
“But it’s working. It’s actually surprisingly perfect.” ADORATION Now showing at the State Cinema.