68-year-old John Lithgow and 61-year-old Alfred Molina aren’t the first actors you’d typically cast as newlyweds, but they look well suited for the roles in the upcoming romantic drama Love Is Strange.
Lithgow plays Ben, a painter, who is finally able to marry George (Molina), his partner of nearly 40 years. But when word of their nuptials reaches the Catholic school where George teaches music, he is fired. The pair are forced to live apart until they can find a way to make their married life work.
It’s the first time the two venerated actors of stage and screen have worked together, though they have been friends off-screen for years. The pair told the press they each drew on their own three-decade-long marriages for their performances. Lithgow said, “Any couple — gay, straight or whatever — they have their bond; there’s just a kind of understanding. In a good marriage, your partner allows you to be more yourself than anybody else, for better or for worse.”
Director Ira Sachs said the story was inspired by his own wedding to painter Boris Torres after New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011, as well as from his great-uncle’s relationship with the renowned sculptor Ted Rust – a union that spanned 45 years. Sachs said, “The catalysts of the film are politically charged, but the results are human.”
Love Is Strange opens in New York and Los Angeles on Aug. 22.
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Classics