November 16, 2007 -- FRANK Langella. Tony winner. Emmy winner. Obie winner. Drama Desk winner. Drama League winner. Outer Critics Circle winner. Whatever winner. He's got another winner in Roadside Attractions' "Starting Out in the Evening." About a novelist in the winter of his life, this small independent movie is really small. The whole shoot was 18 days.
"To do that I spent time with the writer in deep and profound discussion," said Frank over a cup of tea. "The whole thing only cost $500,000. I earned scale. They'd fetch me mornings in some old jalopy. We shot all over New York, mostly in a West Side apartment on 111th Street, and I'd change clothes in a men's room. It's all they could afford.
"I play an old Jewish guy living alone. Being an old dog myself, I loved the subject's universality of experience. People of a certain age are prone to looking back, and this has no sex, no violence, no profanity, just beautifully written scenes of people struggling through their lives.
"At a certain point in time you get jealous of time because there's just so much of it left. I've got a bunch of movies I'd rather not have made. This one I loved."
Frank Langella recently won another Tony for "Frost/Nixon" ("I don't even know where my Tonys are. They're somewhere. One's really old.") and just completed the "Frost/Nixon" film and was off, almost before the tea was cold, to start another. But, despite a career stretching into the future, his thinking was in the past.
"Centering yourself, returning to the exact spot your mother gave birth to you, is an American-Indian custom. If that spot disappeared, then visit the area. Go back to the beginning. Center yourself. Find some sort of peace. I don't drink, carouse, do drugs so, during a bad period a few years ago, I did this. It's a healthy thing to do. A nurse found my birth certificate. I entered the exact maternity room. I laid on the hospital's roof. The point is, to feel peculiar. Doing something out of the norm breaks your pattern. And you know what? Afterwards, I didn't feel as nuts as I had."