Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland play a couple who take a RV road trip from Boston to Key West as their decades-long marriage fades from his memory in the feature film “The Leisure Seeker,” which opens in limited release Friday, March 9.
Mirren, an Oscar winner, and Sutherland, a multiple Golden Globe winner, haven't acted together since “Bethune: The Making of a Hero” in 1990. Mirren said the most important aspect of playing Ella Spencer was making the “profound” on-screen relationship believable even though the acclaimed actors did not know each other very well.
“You turn up on set the week before you start rehearsal and in one week you have to try and make a relationship between you that looks as if it's lasted for 50 years,” Mirren said. “You have to somehow create the intimacy, the natural ease.”
Mirren said that was easier done because of the “extreme” sensitivity of Sutherland.
“He's wonderfully exposed,” she said.
At 82 years old, Sutherland shows little signs of slowing down his acting career with a 10-part TV series, “Trust,” where he plays J. Paul Getty, and another film, coming out in 2018.
With “The Leisure Seeker” and his other work over a 56-year career, Sutherland said the “constant exploration of the human condition” is a driving force behind his work.
“For me this business of acting, of working, is a passionate endeavor,” Sutherland said.