Cape Town – Blake Lively, who plays Adaline and Michiel Huisman who plays Ellis talk about the new fantasy drama The Age of Adaline.
Blake, what drew you to role of Adaline? You took some time off after Gossip Girl - what was it about this film that brought you back to screen?
Blake: After I wrapped Gossip Girl, I took about a year off. I wanted a break and to re-charge. I read a bunch of scripts and there were a few movies that I liked and thought, “I could do this movie”. But, Adaline was the first script I read and thought, “I can’t not do this movie”.
What did you love about it?
Blake: I feel like magic isn’t featured as much in films these days unless it’s a super-hero movie or it has wands. That magic in humanity, the magic in a quiet film is very rare and when it comes along, people call it “the little movie that could”. ‘Adaline’ fits somewhere between the two – it’s a movie that can reach a broader audience, yet it has magic and humanity. It deals with life and death, it deals with an infinite amount of time, which is so appealing, but if you experience that alone, it’s not as appealing. You realise that time is nothing without love and that you would rather have less time filled with love and people that you care about, than have an infinite amount of time spent alone.
You worked with film icon Harrison Ford in Adaline – what was that like?
Michiel: I was blown away by Harrison. I was able to see the reason behind why he is who he is - his passion for storytelling goes beyond; it was very inspiring. We had been shooting for 2 - 3 weeks by the time we began filming at the Jones’ family home and Harrison really helped us ground the story.
Blake: It was like a different movie while we were filming those scenes, when Harrison was on set, he had such a presence.
Michiel, did the two of you do anything to establish the father son relationship? Did you spend additional time together?
Michiel: We actually met for the first time on the day we started shooting, but for some reason it all fell into place very quickly. We share a passion for good coffee and he had a great coffee machine in his trailer, so he invited me into his trailer to get coffee. So that was perfect for father - son bonding, I think!
Blake, you play the present-day Adaline with such an old soul. Can you talk about discovering that aspect of your character?
Blake: I looked at grandmothers for inspiration – grandmothers I’ve known since my childhood and researched the time in history in which they ‘came of age’. If they came of age in the 60’s, then they were more free-spirited and open, whereas my grandmother came of age in the 20’s and she was more formal, proper and ladylike. I thought, Adaline comes of age in the 1920’s, so she would possess that formality, she would be a little closed off and a little more reserved. The 20’s was the beginning of change for women and each decade in the last century has been vastly different for women – socially and politically. I wanted to capture that, but also have Adaline transition relatively seamlessly from decade to decade.
What is your view of ageing? Is it something to fear or is it something to celebrate?
Blake: I feel like people are more concerned with mortality than they are with ageing. Ageing is something that society imposes and it’s more of an aesthetic issue. Ageing is innately and instinctively related to mortality and if you remove any of the superficial elements, you come to realize that it’s sad not to age. Adaline loses the people she loves – her daughter is 80 years old and she’s about to pass on. She’s stuck in this reality forever. I think the film explores ageing and mortality in a unique way.
Through the different ages we see different outfits; do you have a personal preference towards one of the outfits?
Michiel: I like the dress that Adaline wears when she and Ellis first meet, at the New Year’s Eve ball and one of the things I love the most about that dress is that it’s the same dress she is wearing at the New Year’s Eve party in the 1940’s. What I love about Adaline’s outfits is that she holds on to those iconic pieces she loved throughout the different periods and once we arrive at the ‘present’, the time when Ellis and Adaline meet, she is wearing a combination of amazing vintage pieces.
Blake, did making this movie impact your thoughts on becoming a mother in any way?
Blake: I’ve always been very close with my family, with my nieces and nephews, so it was a very natural thing for me to understand the love story between Adaline and Flemming. For me, that’s the most prevalent relationship in the film, even more so than the relationship between Adaline and Ellis.
Watch the trailer here:
The Age of Adelaine will be in cinemas this Friday!
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