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Patricia Clarkson on Whatever Works

Published June 22, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Sony Pictures Classics
Whatever WorksWhatever Works

Woody Allen hasn’t lost his sexual edge. Even in his ‘70s, he’s making movies about older women dating younger men and older women having threesomes. Patricia Clarkson plays the MILF of the daughter in question, and her exploits in Whatever Works are even more scandalous.

Patricia Clarkson Talks Whatever Works

“I’m thinking about trying it myself,” Clarkson joked. “I’ve never done it, but I never say never. The night is young. Yes, it was terrific. I thought it was exciting and sexy. I had two delicious actors and men, and I was fortunate that he let my character have that. Yeah, two very talented men I got to kiss on. It was a good time, but it is a set and it was acting, so yes, it wasn’t like I laid in bed all day with these me. Unfortunately, no, it was scenes we would shot, but I loved the preps.”

The sexual exploits sound tantalizing, but Clarkson reminds the audience that it serves her character. “Characters who undergo transformations are always yummy, because you get to make a journey and get to have two different looks. I was born and bred in the south and I think I infused my southern manner, my demeanor, my tone into her, I think it is there. Woody let me kind of put little things here and there in, and I know big hair, and I know tight clothes, and I know really bright colors. Woody is a very northern man, he’s a big old Yankee, but he got this character very right in so many ways. I’m very sensitive about southern characters but women like this do exist, and so you have to embrace it.”

Whatever WorksWhatever Works

This mom comes from the south intending to talk some sense into her daughter (Evan Rachel Wood), but New York wins over this southern belle. “I certainly have known women like Marietta, but she is just kind of a mix of many women I have known through my lifetime with southern women. I’ve met women from every spectrum in the south. In my family, there is a woman of every spectrum. I have four older sisters and a mother, and we are all very different southern women. Woody wrote such a stunning character, so I just showed up in some ways. But I brought things of my past for us to play with.”

Clarkson weighed in on the improv debate herself. Between Larry David and Woody Allen, it sounds like they stuck to the script. “We would improv a hello, and I threw in some southern stuff, but no, nothing, no. I think his genius, his craft, he has such trust in you as an actor, it’s a beautiful thing, and you walk in and he doesn’t feel the need to say much and I like that because he steps in at just the right moment. He lets you know it, but he lets you go. And I think also indirectly you have to know your character so well with Woody, because it’s like theatre. You have to be able to do very long takes, you have to be prepared, you cannot be lazy, you have to know how to improv, you have to know all of it. So it really prepares you in this very deep, subtle way for the journey.”

Whatever Works is out in theaters now.

For the trailers, poster, stills, review and more movie info, go to the Whatever Works Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Sony Pictures Classics

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