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it’s al­ways help­ful for an ac­tress to meet the per­son who in­spired her char­ac­ter. For Su­san Saran­don, who plays a dom­i­neer­ing mother in the new com­edy The Med­dler, that mo­ment came when writer/ direc­tor Lorena Sca­faria in­tro­duced Saran­don to her mother.

“On our way to din­ner, I told my mother, ‘ You can’t em­bar­rass me in front of Su­san Saran­don’,” Sca­faria joked. “And I only had to kick her un­der the ta­ble once, or maybe twice!”

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Saran­don laughed at the mem­ory of that din­ner. “The best part is, they came dressed alike,” the 69- year- old ac­tress re­called dur­ing a re­cent tele­phone in­ter­view. “I brought Rose Byrne, who plays my daugh­ter in the movie. We came dressed alike. I just sat at that din­ner know­ing that this movie would touch a lot of peo­ple,” she said. “A mother- daugh­ter bond is magic. I knew this was a very real and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship.”

In The Med­dler, pre­mier­ing in the US on April 29, Saran­don plays Marnie Min­ervini, a lonely widow from New Jer­sey whose hus­band has re­cently died. She fol­lows her daugh­ter, a tele­vi­sion writer named Lori ( Byrne), to Los An­ge­les in the hope of start­ing over again. Soon, how­ever, old pat­terns re­assert them­selves and Lori finds her mother in­trud­ing into ev­ery cor­ner of her life.

Sca­faria, who based the movie partly on her re­la­tion­ship with her own mother, said that Saran­don was her first choice to play the med­dling Marnie. “I met Su­san, and it was a mat­ter of build­ing the world in this movie around her,” the writer/ direc­tor said. “My ac­tual bi­o­log­i­cal mother was my in­spi­ra­tion... There was cer­tainly a lot made up along the way. But my mother did move to L. A. and… Well, we’re hav­ing fun!” BLURRED LINES: Su­san Saran­don plays a mother who can’t leave her daugh­ter alone in new com­edy

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