The Couple That Works Together...

Jessica Lange talks gays, marriage, Big Edie, and parading around with Drew Barrymore like a happy lesbian couple while promoting Grey Gardens.  

BY Corey Scholibo

August 09 2009 11:00 PM ET

 JESSICA LANGE DREW BARRYMORE X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

You recently went to Italy with the film's director Michael Suscy. What was that for?They were honoring me at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily and I was so fascinated in going to Sicily. They invited Michael because they screened Grey Gardens. And it was nice because I hadn't really spent any time with Michael outside of the film since we finished.

Did you think at all about gay viewers when you were approaching Grey Gardens. Gay fans have to some extent kept this film alive all these years. Was it something that occurred to you at all?I think we felt a certain obligation to get it right. We didn't want to disappoint their [Little and Big Edie's] most ardent fans. Which you could tell in the screening premieres in New York and Los Angeles because the audience cheered when they felt we had done it right. Obviously there are a lot of people who know every line,and every gesture, and every costume. On the other hand we were trying to tell this story to people who aren't familiar with it.

It is tricky. I think when it was announced there was like a collective feeling of, You can't remake this film.I know. I know. And believe me, I think everyone on this film at one moment or another felt exactly the same way. But it worked. And it is a credit to everyone who worked on it.

You have had a gay following your entire career. I am curious if you were aware of that?I think I have always known. It's great. I am honored actually and I find it a great compliment.

I think it is because you play these extremely passionate women -- I wouldn't say “divas,” but very, very strong female characters. I can't think of any of your characters who weren't.I think you are attracted to what is going to challenge you and what's going to keep you interested. There are certain characters that are so normal or so thin or so regular that they don't interest me. It would be a waste of my time as an actor.

Were you ever close to playing a gay role.No, there is nothing that has ever come up that was offered me. Normal was the closest thing, and that was about being transgender. But, hmm. Well I know I've never turned [a gay role] down, so I assume I have never been offered anything.

Well we've got to find one.Yes, find one for me. 

Tags: film

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