Gena Rowlands She is one of my favorite actresses. As I never saw her in the theater, I decide to see her again Opening Night (Opening night) where he played Myrtle Gordon, a theatrical actress. The real theme of this dark and disturbing film was the fear of old age, but the ending is pure joy: Myrtley and Maurice, his partner (John Cassavetes), they turn the show into a crazy comedy. That night I find out what he did in theater Love Streams, from Ted Allan, with Jon Voight, and then Cassavetes took her to the movies. I would have loved to see it: I love that story, my third favorite role of Rowlands, after A woman under the influence Y Opening Night. Francesca Pinón, who also worships her, gives me Mable, Myrtle, Gloria … et les autres (2001), a book of conversations with Stig Björkman, published by Cahiers du Cinema and that I have not found translated here.
Gena Rowlands tells that the gods of his childhood were Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. "I loved them, but much later, on my first trip to Europe with John," he says, "I met real apparitions, a type of actress that barely existed in the United States: Margaret Leighton, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau. From my country I was also dazzled by Bette Davis. He did not look like anyone. I adored his independence, his frankness, his personality. "
Gena Rowlands is a feminist who never needed to self-baptize like that, but she said things like this: "Women are crushed by the weight of the convention, which distributes our roles as women and as actresses. The convention asks that most of these characters require little physical power, which is rare since we are forced to physical efforts as extreme as having children. "
In the book, published 18 years ago, it says many things that I did not know. Like, for example, that he read a script about 200 times. Everything he observed linked him to his character, until he even dreamed of him. "It was a good sign. Acting has a lot to do with the irrational, the uncontrollable. It is linked to instinct. " Cassavetes, he says, did not want to know how she focused her characters. "I do not want to know anything," he said. "I want you to surprise me. I wrote this paper for you. It's yours. It's in your hands. No one knows him more than you. " And she adds: "It was a very interesting method, very exciting. When we acted, the actors never knew how the other would react. I also prefer directors who do not give too many explanations. "
The interviewer asks if she ever saw her husband's movies in her house again. Rowlands says: "I have no need. When I want, I close my eyes and recreate each and every one of his films, from the first to the last frame. " A couple of other things that she did not know either: that made her crazy to see herself in Almodóvar's dedication to Everything about my mother (along with Bette Davis and Romy Schneider). And that he likes martial arts movies, especially those of Jackie Chan. Last June, this portentous woman turned 88.