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Minnie Driver Answers Every Question We Have About Return to Me - and David Duchovny

Sunday, May 10

Minnie Driver gave a new interview about the movie she starred with David Duchovny "Return to Me" - Read some anecdotes below:

Return to Me, written and directed by Bonnie Hunt in 2000, treads what has now — 20 years later — become vaguely familiar territory: Two people fall in love after one of them receives a heart transplant, only later realizing that the donated organ was once connected (often literally) to a key person in the story’s plot. In this case, the heart in question first belongs to Elizabeth (Joely Richardson), a beatific zoologist who gets into a car accident with her husband Bob (David Duchovny) and perishes offscreen within the first five minutes of the movie. The recipient of her heart is Grace (Minnie Driver), a plucky waitress at an Irish-Italian restaurant in Chicago with a lifelong cardiac problem who’s on the brink of death before Elizabeth unknowingly rescues her. Grace meets Bob when he’s dragged into her quirky establishment on a shitty double date, and the two embark on a refreshing little midwestern courtship involving watering flowers and riding bikes until — via a series of lightly absurd events — Grace realizes she has his dead wife’s heart, but can’t quite bring herself to tell him.

Minnie Driver: It’s so funny. I have such intense memories from that movie because it was such an incredibly happy time. It was so unusual to have a female filmmaker, who wrote and directed it, in 2000. We’re a long ways away from that being kind of the norm. David Duchovny is one of the smartest — he’s exactly as you would imagine. He’s as funny and smart as he is handsome and charming. And he’d just had his little baby, West, and Tea [Leoni] brought the baby to the set, and they hung out. He’s just the great best friend you’d want to hang out with on a set, to shoot the breeze with.

Interviewer: I was going to ask about Bonnie — how many female directors had you had the chance to work with at that point? What was different about the shoot for you?
MD: Sandra Goldbacher on The Governess, and literally maybe one in TV before I made Circle of Friends. I’d barely worked with any women in that capacity. It was completely different, and it was amazing. Bonnie is the triple threat: a great actress, a great writer, a great director. Plus, she’s an epic improviser; anything that wasn’t working, if you didn’t have an idea that worked, she’d have one. And she’s from Chicago. There was so much ease about what I imagine was a very pressured situation for her. It was literally her baby. A big movie, ish, at the time — MGM — and it was a big deal. I loved watching her enjoy it. Even though I know she got very stressed at times like all directors do, she knew what the film was that she wanted to make.

What stressed her out making this film?
MD: I’ll tell you what. There was a moment in Italy, when we went to shoot the ending Grace’s grandpa buys her a ticket to Italy, as she’s never traveled before, and, at the end of the film, she spends a few days there alone before Bob runs after her. at the Hassler, this very famous hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Absolutely epic to be shooting in Rome in the summer. And everything’s been sorted out, and we get there, and the manager just decides that he doesn’t want a film crew traipsing through this hotel. He’s refusing to open the freight elevator to let us onto the rooftop. I remember everyone in the foyer of this hotel, and I heard Bonnie behind me, virtually in tears if not in tears. This is nightmarish. And Dave comes over to me, and he’s like [adopts gruff American accent], “Oh man, what are we gonna do?” And he goes, “Hey. We’re in Italy. Take your hair out of your ponytail, and go tell the story of the movie to the manager.” I was like, “What do you mean?! I don’t speak good Italian.” And he was like, “Just speak the language of like, a pretty girl.” So I went up to the guy and I started in the little tiny bit of Italian I know, and just gesticulating to David, and to my heart. I managed to tell the guy the whole story. I tell the whole story like I was at The Moth. And I’m not joking, by the end of the story, he’s in tears, and he’s like, “Amore!” And he literally takes a big key chain out and goes and unlocks the elevator, and we go and shoot the movie.

I love that he knew that your hair would be a draw, because it is quite mythical.
It was so funny. Everyone was stumped, and David was like, “Just go be a signorina.” He was like, “Use your superpower!”


source: vulture

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