Shirley MacLaine’s been famous as long as I’ve been aware of movies and movie stars, and she has been part of more classics than I can list here today.
She’s one of those people who works infrequently enough that when you get a call asking if you want to interview them, you say yes no matter what the film is. You say yes because you have no idea how many more opportunities there will be to speak to them and tell them how much their work has meant to you.
Thankfully, “Bernie” is more than just an opportunity for me to sit down with a great movie star. My review will be up later, but it’s safe to say I’m wildly enthusiastic about it, and I think both MacLaine and her co-star, Jack Black, give great performances in the movie. Much of what they do is bouncing off of one another, so it makes perfect sense that they put the two of them together for the interview.
If you’ve been reading this site or following my Twitter feed for the last few years, then you know that I’ve been mercilessly pimping a film called “Gambit,” trying to get people to see it so that maybe it can finally take its rightful place as a pop classic. So when I walked into the room to interview these two, I had to take a moment to first comment on how much I love “Gambit.”
Based on her reaction, I may think more of the film than she does.
Still, it was a lovely way to spend a few minutes on a Wednesday morning, and just from the short chat we had, I got a sense of just how odd a pairing Black and MacLaine really are. She was exactly who she seems to be, happy to discuss the metaphysical, deeply unconcerned with the opinions of others at this point, and very centered. Black’s work in this film is different than what we’re used to seeing from him, and I am glad I got to talk to him about it.
“Bernie” opens Friday in limited release.