A 20-year career on film sets around the world hasn’t resulted in a raft of Chicago memories for Kate Beckinsale.
“My only trips to Chicago were to do Oprah Winfrey’s show over the years, promoting my films,” the English actress said. “It’s always been frustrating for me, because people were always telling me how terrible the weather is in Chicago — of course in the winter, but winter, summer, spring or fall, I never experienced that! Each time I came to Chicago, the weather was lovely, and it made me want to get out and explore your city, which I’ve never been privileged to do!”
While Beckinsale knows little of Our Town, that’s not the case with Chicago-born Albert Berger, the Oscar-winning producer of her new film “The Only Living Boy in New York.” Berger, who along with longtime producing partner Ron Yerxa has brought us such acclaimed films as “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Nebraska,” is particularly pleased with this new film, also starring Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Nixon, Kiersey Clemons and Callum Turner.
“We have been very lucky in most of our films with great ensembles,” Berger said. “Yet, with this great group, we had the perfect mix all along.” Albert also stressed that he owed a debt to his younger sister, Elizabeth Berger, “since she was the one who first made us aware of the beautiful script written by Allan Loeb — another great Chicagoan!” he added.
As for “The Only Living Boy in New York,” Beckinsale admitted her role — as the woman who has an affair with Turner’s father in the film (played by Brosnan) “was a very tricky part. Those kinds of characters usually come off as unpleasant and unlikable. You know, the ‘other woman’ thing,” said the actress. “However, in conversations with [director] Marc [Webb] and Allan, we all agreed that it was important to show how vulnerable [Beckinsale’s character] Johanna really is — making the audience understand what she is all about and why she is the way she is, and why she becomes involved with the various men we see in the movie.”
Like Berger, Beckinsale agreed “it was a dream cast to be a part of. I love being in an ensemble where you totally respect — but also truly like and love — your fellow actors. You don’t always get that, but we had that here, in spades.”