If you ever watch old movies, maybe you’ve seen Joan Crawford in shoulder-padded dresses and coats, all black and white cinema-glam giving Mildred Pierce an Oscar-winning turn. Maybe what you didn’t know was that this was a book by James M. Cain and there’s a lot more to it than the old movie version.
This time the book gets the full treatment with Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood in the lead roles for the HBO miniseries. Pearce is sexy Monty, Mildred’s never-do-well boyfriend. Fade in.
What is your take on Monty and how do your compare the role to the original?
GP: I felt he was so far removed from what I was looking at doing. I was sort of happy to go along and see that this was something very, very different. I can’t actually relate what we’ve done to that of the original film because the film was such a stylized, noir. The whole film centers around a murder, which never existed in the book, so it’s like a whole other story.
What do you guys do between takes to sort of break the tension of such a dramatic movie?
GP: Poor Kate was pretty much in every shot in the show, so she was running around like a mad woman trying to learn lines so I really think it was just about honoring her and to make sure was comfortable at every moment because she had a lot to do, really.
It seems sexy
GP: Oh, it’s very sexy, yes, very sexy, absolutely.
Some random questions
Who was your childhood crush and what did you love about her?
GP: (Singer) Kate Bush, still is, in fact.
GP: Her voice. How she looks, just the strange, unique creature that she is.
What do you fear the most and why?
GP: Public speaking.
As an actor?
GP: People always say, `as an actor?’ As an actor you have a script and time to learn. As a public speaker, you don’t. They say get up there and say something hilarious and interesting and you go, `omiGod.’
What is the thing that you would say to your younger self?
GP: Calm down. Slow down, calm down and it will be all right.
Part One and Part Two of Mildred Pierce debuts on HBO, Sunday March 27, Part Three; Sunday April 13 and Parts Four and Five on Sunday April 10