Mother of a mir­a­cle

No pre­vi­ous role pre­pared Frances Fisher to play a mother whose dead child “re­turns”, the ac­tor tells COLIN VICK­ERY

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

HOW do you play a mother whose child seem­ingly re­turns from the dead? That was the chal­lenge fac­ing Frances Fisher when she signed on for Res­ur­rec­tion.

Fisher plays Lu­cille Langston on the fan­tasy drama. She and hus­band Henry (Kurt­wood Smith) are gob­s­macked when Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms agent J. Martin Bel­lamy (Omar Epps) turns up at their front door with their eight-year-old son Ja­cob (Lan­don Gimenez), who sup­pos­edly drowned 32 years ear­lier.

Henry deals with the trauma by re­main­ing aloof. But Lu­cille’s heart melts. She is con­vinced the mys­te­ri­ous Ja­cob is in­deed her child.

Fisher has ap­peared in movie hits in­clud­ing Ti­tanic, The Lin­coln Lawyer, Un­for­given and Pink Cadil­lac. She has also guest-starred on TV shows in­clud­ing The Shield, Sons of An­ar­chy, Torch­wood and CSI:Crime Scene In­ves­ti­ga­tion.

None of those projects pre­pared Fisher for play­ing Lu­cille.

“I read the pi­lot (script) and I was so moved by it,” Fisher says. “I un­der­stood her (Lu­cille) so well that I felt as if I could be part of this. I didn’t need to know what was go­ing to hap­pen in the fu­ture be­cause who re­ally does in life?

“The script trig­gered, for me, my ex­pe­ri­ences of loss. I’m sure ev­ery­one has ex­pe­ri­enced that. We all want one more hour with a loved one to say the things that we never said. So from that place, be­ing able to project into Lu­cille’s ex­pe­ri­ence of los­ing her son was easy in that way.”

Fisher is the for­mer wife of Clint East­wood. The pair has a 20-year-old daugh­ter, Francesca.

“I have a daugh­ter,” says Fisher. So some­times I would just think what if she was that eight-year-old won­der­ful lit­tle girl again, in­stead of this.

“So that worked. And, of course, Lan­don Gimenez is just a fan­tas­tic young ac­tor to work with. It was very easy to feel feel­ings for him.”

Part of Fisher’s ap­proach was to just go with the flow. None of the ac­tors had a com­plete idea of where the show – in its fi­nal weeks of sea­son one on Aus­tralian screens – was head­ing.

“A woman who has lost her son and he’s back again is an un­fath­omable ex­pe­ri­ence,” Fisher ex­plains. “Omar and I talked about this … that (as an ac­tor) you can’t re­ally plan any­thing. You just play what’s on the page.

“You go into your own life and pull on feel­ings and mem­o­ries of your own and just trans­late that into the text and into the ac­tion. Ev­ery cast mem­ber read The

Re­turned (the Ja­son Mott book the show is based on) be­fore film­ing, even though the show is not bound by the book’s plot and has added char­ac­ters and sto­ry­lines.

“Ja­son re­ally un­der­stands the small mo­ments in a hu­man be­ing’s life,” Fisher says. “I thought he de­scribed them quite well. He told us that the im­pe­tus for writ­ing the story was that he had a dream. His mother had passed away and he had a dream that he was sit­ting in his kitchen with her and that they had a long con­ver­sa­tion, talk­ing about things they’d never talked about be­fore.

“When he woke up the next morn­ing, it was so real to him that he thought, ‘Oh, my God, mum is back’.

“It prompted him to ask the ques­tion, ‘ What if ?’

“Res­urr-ec­tion starts us all on that jour­ney in the same way: What if ?”


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