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Even after nearly three decades in Hollywood, Diane Lane is the first to admit she’s not a sure bet. “I’ve been in movies three people have seen and movies a lot of people have seen,” says the 43-year-old of her CV, which includes blockbusters such as 2000’s “The Perfect Storm” and duds like 1984’s “Streets of Fire.”
Of course, the Oscar nominee hopes her latest flick, “Nights in Rodanthe,” opening Friday, falls into the former category.
Based on the romantic novel by “The Notebook” author Nicholas Sparks, the drama features Lane as Adrienne Willis, a woman who offers to look after a friend’s bed and breakfast in Rodanthe, N.C., and ends up getting swept off her feet by a dashing hotel guest, played by Richard Gere.
“This film was much more in tune with the message of hope and inspiration that [Richard and I] vibrate towards,” says Lane, who first teamed up with the actor in 1984’s “The Cotton Club” and then again in 2002’s steamy “Unfaithful.”
Here, the actress discusses what else she vibrates toward — namely her husband of three years, Josh Brolin, the couple’s two daughters and Jimi Hendrix.
WWD: How did you get involved in this project?
Diane Lane: In January 2007, I got a phone call from Denise Di Novi [the film’s producer], asking me, “Would you please consider doing this movie immediately?” But after a while you feel like you cannot put a price on the cost of missing in action from your life. So I said to Denise, “The only way this is going to work out is if you help me out in a family way, and I rent a really nice house so everybody can come and visit me.” And that’s what we did.
WWD: What about the script appealed to you?
D.L.: I liked the fact that there were a lot of parallels to my life, in terms of the relationships, whether it’s with your kids or with your spouse. Luckily, I have a much better relationship with my daughters than my character does.
WWD: So it didn’t come off as too sappy?
D.L.: There’s a quote I heard recently that says, “Expectation is a premeditated resentment.” I feel that to expect this film to have a high sappiness quotient might just disappoint someone because, if anything, it actually deals with a lot of male relationships; you’ve got three sets of father and sons working out their male ego issues. There’s certainly enough eye candy for both genders.
WWD: Your husband Josh is also busy promoting several projects.
D.L.: We have three films opening in six weeks [“Nights in Rodanthe” and Brolin’s “W” and “Milk”]. In our kitchen, it’s like, “Hi, honey, what are you doing today?” “Well, I’m flying to Germany to promote whatever.”
WWD: Have you seen “W”?
D.L.: I have been selfishly — and it takes great effort to be this selfish — not seeing the movie so that I can enjoy the premiere and experience it. Even though I was there for running lines so I know pretty much all of the dialogue of the movie and [have seen] snippets of the dailies.
WWD: What was it like to see Josh get into character as George W. Bush?
D.L.: It’s like the Jimi Hendrix lyric “Let me stand next to your fire.” That’s how I felt being near him while he was going through that. I still don’t have words for what Josh is capable of. If [that role] came my way, I’d probably duck.
WWD: You said your oldest daughter, Eleanor, is also interested in show business?
D.L.: She has her sights set on modeling. I support her wholeheartedly, nervous-making as that industry can be. The entertainment industry is rife with conditions that are just totally out of your control. She just got her braces off, so that’s a step in the right direction.
WWD: And next up you have “Killshot” with Mickey Rourke.
D.L.: I didn’t think it was ever coming out. I like that movie. I look a lot younger in it. [laughs]