A Minute With: Blythe Danner on getting older, finding better roles

Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:39pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - From Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" to Viola in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," Blythe Danner has had numerous starring roles on the Broadway stage, but in her first leading film role she tapped into something closer to home.

"I am a widow and I am getting up there (in age), and it was incredibly fulfilling to be in the place where I really understand that dilemma," Danner said of her role in the independent film "I'll See You in My Dreams."

Danner, 71, plays Carol, a widow who forges new friendships and relationships after losing her dog.

Ahead of the film's Sundance Film Festival premiere this week, Danner spoke with Reuters about the role and working with her famous children, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and filmmaker Jake Paltrow.

Q: How did you connect to Carol?

A: There was nothing sentimental about her. She was a very strong woman and it's always great to play women who are three-dimensional. Often times, we don't get to play those women.

Q: What does Carol learn from her relationships?

A: For someone rather stoic, she finds an intimacy and softness, something that's full of heart and makes her feel more valuable.   Continued...

Actress Blythe Danner poses at the Women In Film pre-Oscar cocktail party at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, California February 24, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok