Concluding our series of RED 2 interviews, Mark Pilkington meets Mary Louise Parker, John Malkovich along with a brief appearance from Bruce Willis…
Mary Louise Parker
How has the shoot been then?
Parker: It’s been really good though it’s been really long. It feels like it’s been about six months – Mr Bruce Willis, ladies and gentlemen!
(At this point Bruce Willis appears and starts walking around in a circle behind the chairs. During the course of the interview he leaves, briefly comes back and then leaves again, skilfully avoiding any questions.)
Parker: He really does make me laugh. He just makes it fun.
It seems like you can do some fun improvisation, throwing out some lines…
There was more in the last one actually but there’s been more improvisation in the last week, oddly enough. Which for some movies, that doesn’t work and doesn’t serve you. But for this one it does, for the mix of characters, for the story. It works to open it up a little bit.
Do you find comedy hard to do, because sometimes if difficult to judge how the audience is going to react?
I approach it all the same way. I try not to think in terms of ‘comedy’. I’ve just done a TV show for eight years that was such a bizarre mix of drama and comedy, so that was a place I was more comfortable with because it was like: extreme drama – and then perverse comedy. But this doesn’t have a whole lot of extreme drama.
How much has your character evolved in this one?
There’s been a devolution in this one, in the beginning, because their relationship’s gotten a bit static, she’s bored and she wants the adventure back. And she wants to go on an adventure. Then Marvin shows up and she sees that as an opportunity to get out there.
There’s almost a triangle going on between you, Bruce and Catherine’s character?
Yes. She’s everything that I’m not, and my character aspires in her fantasy life. She doesn’t really aspire in her real life. She has a rich, fertile fantasy life, reading romance novels, and Catherine’s character is someone who’s walked right out of one. So she embodies that sense of royalty, or a movie star.
Do you and Bruce wind each other up with running jokes?
We do. He makes me laugh. He’s meant to be super-macho, but he’s actually really sweet, especially when he talks about his kids. You can tell he’s a really thoughtful parent by the things he says about them, talking about the advice he’s given them.
Did he ever sing on set because he’s a great singer?
He’d sing between takes sometimes, some Christmas carols but I don’t know if you could record it. But he just loves his new baby. He’s happy.
How did you find doing a TV show for 8 years? Was it hard?
I loved it. I just made a movie for everyone in the cast of the last year, and put some music to it, and half of it is just people hugging and crying. We were really close – there wasn’t a lemon in the bunch. Hunter, who played my son, is one of the closest people to me on the planet. We just had Thanksgiving together. I went on a road trip with his parents across the country. We’re really all very close.