Ris­ing to the chal­lenge

First-time bad­die, first-time di­rec­tor join forces for Un­for­get­table

The Chatham Daily News - - ENTERTAINMENT - BOB THOMP­SON

LOS AN­GE­LES — For­mer

Char­lie’s An­gels star Ch­eryl Ladd and pro­ducer Denise Di Novi have one Un­for­get­table thing in com­mon — a first for both.

Ladd plays a mom­mie mean­est and Di Novi makes her di­rec­to­rial de­but in the thriller Un­for­get­table.

The movie fea­tures Kather­ine Heigl’s Tess who set­tles for re­venge against her ex-hus­band (Geoff Stults) and his new wife (Rosario Daw­son). Ladd por­trays Tess’s mother.

Ladd and Di Novi of­fer their thoughts:

On Di Novi mak­ing her di­rec­to­rial de­but af­ter three decades of pro­duc­ing movies:

“It just felt like the right thing to do at the right time and an in­cred­i­ble op­por- tu­nity,” says the for­mer

Canada AM re­porter. On hir­ing Ladd to play the con­trol­ling mother of Tess:

“I’m so grate­ful to have Ch­eryl in the film,” Di Novi says. “I was re­ally ner­vous about find­ing some­one who was be­liev­able as Tess’ mother that had equal beauty, per­fec­tion, in­tel­li­gence, ob­ses­sive­ness and per­fec­tion­ism.”

On how Ladd ap­proached her por­trayal:

“We talked about women who think they have to look great, have to be smart and present that Grace Kelly im­age,” she says. “It’s that kind of cul­ture of per­fec­tion which is so un­re­al­is­tic.”

On what Ladd de­cided mo­ti­vates her mother char­ac­ter:

“She thinks she is a fab­u­lous mother but so closed off to her own feel­ings she can’t find them,” Ladd says. “Moth­ers like that don’t re­al­ize they can be so hurt­ful with a word or a glance.”

On us­ing that theme through­out the film:

“I call it the tyranny of per­fec­tion that we learn from our moth­ers, who learn it from their grand­moth­ers,” Di Novi says.

On Ladd not be­ing able to use per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence to in­form her por­trayal:

“My mother was the an­tithe­sis of my mother in

Un­for­get­table,” Ladd says. “My mother was fun, kind and sweet. She was such a happy camper.”

On how Ladd’s mother in Un­for­get­table could be a metaphor for Hol­ly­wood:

“Yeah, def­i­nitely,” she says. “Be­ing un­der a mi­cro­scope is dif­fi­cult, and that’s what Hol­ly­wood does to you. Ev­ery­thing about you gets talked about and crit­i­cized.”

On Di Novi’s as­sess­ment of her first di­rect­ing ex­pe­ri­ence:

“I’ve had made so many movies (as a pro­ducer) I didn’t think it was go­ing to be a sur­prise,” she says. “As soon as I was on set that first day, I was blown away by how dif­fer­ent di­rect­ing is.”

On Ladd’s as­sess­ment of Di Novi as a di­rec­tor:

“Denise did a spec­tac­u­lar job,” Ladd says. “My hus­band said Un­for­get­table’s like the new gen­er­a­tion’s

Fatal At­trac­tion, and I think he’s right.”

On whether Di Novi will di­rect again:

“I’m go­ing to start shoot­ing in Septem­ber,” says Di Novi. “It’s a fe­male ac­tion movie called High­way One.” On what’s next for Ladd: “I say, ‘No,’ as much as I say, ‘Yes,’” she says. “I do a few things ev­ery year, but I can’t say what’s next yet.”

Ch­eryl Ladd

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