"A MILF Like Us"
Michelle Pfeiffer’s long list of films include Scarface, Batman Returns, The Age of Innocence, Dangerous Minds, What Lies Beneath, Hairspray and most recently, Dark Shadows. Now the 54 year-old’s latest role is as Lillian in the drama People Like Us.
In the film, Sam, played by Chris Pine, is a man who must deliver money in the wake of his father’s funeral to his fairly troubled sister, played by Elizabeth Banks, and nephew, whom he never knew even existed. Pfeiffer was asked if she felt families will identify with the film’s characters, which were loosely based on a real-life situation by its director Alex Kurtzman.
“I think a lot of families have much deeper and darker secrets than we realize,” Michelle replies, “I think it affects more families than we realize do when you really get down to it.”
It points out that at first not a lot is known, but Sam begins to understand as the film goes on.
“But the thing is that I sort of see is that it’s more unusual not to have those kinds of secrets in your family,” Pfeiffer responds, “I mean, the norm a lot of dysfunction, and, um, you know, people are… It’s very interesting that I’ve been thinking about, you know, connection because of this film, connecting, and how everybody at some level has a desire to connect with someone else. And sometimes it comes out in ways that are, you know, highly dysfunctional. But at the root of it is, we all want to connect, and at the same time, we’re all terrified of making that connection because it means being vulnerable, and it means risking annihilation.”
“And so we walk around feeling alone a lot of the time,’ she continues, “Even though you’re in a room full of people, you’re in a room full of family members, and people that you love, there’s this sort of feeling of being alone. And I think when you talk to a
"A MILF Like Us"
Pfeiffer talked about how the rehearsal period benefited her acting scenes with Pine.
“I actually didn’t,” Michelle answers, “I don’t know that I had a long rehearsal period. I came to the cast read-through, I think I kind of hit the ground running, maybe because I had a smaller part, and I think that Alex and I were so clear about the direction of the character. I think because also the nature of my relationship with Chris Pine was so estranged that it, it worked for the film for us not to really get to know each other very well.”
Michelle talks about what finally compelled her to do People Like Us.
“Meeting Alex,” she replies, “I read the script, which I loved, and the character on the page read, to me, even though, as it turned out, it wasn’t at all Alex’s vision, but the way it read was, she was very, very arch, and very kind of cold and icy, and, um, but I loved Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks and Olivia [Wilde], really big fans of theirs, and I’m always really excited to work with talented actors. Um, and Olivia.”
“I met with Alex, and I just fell in love with him,” Pfeiffer adds, “And then discovered that this was his story, which I didn’t know. Maybe it’s my ego, too, because I was very flattered that, knowing how personal this was to him, and how important this was to him, clearly, that he wanted me to play his mother, and, I sort of was challenged by that.”
Pfeiffer was then asked if she herself has ever known people like the ones in the film.
“Well, I don’t,” she says, “It’s not that unusual for people to find out, oh! I actually have a half sister! I think we
"A MILF Like Us"
“And my whole dad’s whole side of the family, I just don’t know that much about,” Michelle continues, “And I wish I did, and now my dad’s passed on, and I sort of regret that I didn’t really get the full story from him, even though he more than likely doesn’t really know the half of it, and then the other half is probably reluctant to tell me. So there’s just a lot of that, I think, in people’s backgrounds.”
Michelle talks about what it was like to work with Chris Pine.
“He’s really talented obviously and really professional, really together,” Pfeiffer answers, “He’s not one of these actors who kind of just shows up and mumbles and thinks that’s a performance. It’s a craft to him. He takes it seriously. He’s also a lot of fun. I just really enjoyed being around him. I enjoyed working with him. He’s really smart.”
Pfeiffer was asked how she deals with doing emotional scenes.
“One of the hardest things about this particular one was that I was and I’ll never do this again, never do this, yeah, never say never,” she says, “Because I had committed to New Year’s Eve, and I love Gary Marshall, and then I read this, and I wanted to do this, and then there became a scheduling conflict, and it looked like I wasn’t going be able to do this film.”
“And so the two productions got together and worked it out so that I could do it,” Michelle continues, “But in order to do it, I started it in maybe November. Then I did New Year’s Eve. Then I had to go back and finish this one. I hated that.
"A MILF Like Us"
Michelle spoke about why she decided ultimately to do People Like Us.
“Because I really loved the piece,” Pfeiffer says, “I loved the writing. I love the themes. They’re very important to me. That, first of all, family matters, and that families come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and colors and are defined in many, many different ways.”
“And I believe in forgiveness,” she adds, “I think the movie is about forgiveness, and second chances, and it’s just the people involved. There were lots of reasons.”
Pfeiffer was then asked if she ever has been tempted to get behind the camera.
“I think about that,” Michelle replies, “I think that I’m such a control freak, everyone is always telling me that I should direct., especially directors that, like, ‘You know what? You should direct. You’re so bossy.’ So I would like to one day. But I also have witnessed first-hand how all consuming it is, and I’m not ready to do that.”
Michelle talks about her hopes to be in a film that is currently in the works to be made with her alongside Robert De Niro.
“I’m hoping that’s going to work out,” Pfeiffer says of the still currently untitled film, “We’re in talks, as they say. Yeah, I’m hoping. It’s a great script, and finally, I can be in a movie with Robert De Niro and have a scene with him. I’ve done two movies now where we haven’t been on the set