My more suspicious friends might think I only did this interview to look into Hugh Laurie’s blue eyes – but who’s to say you can’t have many motives for one thing? Like talking to Laurie and Catherine Keener about The Oranges, a gutsy little film that turns a thoroughly inappropriate romance into a genial comedy grounded in reality.
Laurie and Keener play an unhappily married suburban New Jersey couple – so unhappy that he has an affair with Leighton Meester, as the rebel daughter of their best friends and neighbors, played by Oliver Platt and Allison Janney.
Keener plays an uptight control-freak, the better to sympathize with the husband. But in person she has the wit and exuberance of her more likable roles, as she talks about how the cast and director Julian Farino (Entourage) turned a potentially creepy relationship — the Laurie and Meester characters were really like uncle and niece — into a warm comedy about families. It doesn’t ruin the story to say that her character thaws at the end, and even visits Africa — a scene that provided some the comic ending to our conversation.
My favorite Laurie moment is the enigmatic, Cheshire Cat grin he gives when I ask if he’s relieved to be through with House. Notice how quickly he redirects the question back to The Oranges, totally on message.
Here’s my talk with two of the funny, thoughtful stars of the richly cast Oranges.
Video edited by TAYLOR LEVY.