Michelle Pfeiffer Interview: People Like Us Review - A Drama of Life, Death, Secrets and Lies

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

PEOPLE LIKE US, a true story from DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment, brings to the screen an inspiring drama of life, death, family lies, secrets, choices and hope.

PEOPLE LIKE US stars, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde and Michael Hall D’Addario and, in his debut, is directed by Alex Kurtzman 

Written by Kurtzman along with long time writing partner Roberto Orci, who also served as producer, PEOPLE LIKE US captivates with realism. The two brought on board Jody Lambert to add fresh perspective to the once ailing screenplay and aided by a collaborative effort and input of experiences, the trio after eight years of diligent effort pitched the screenplay to DreamWorks Pictures who within three days agreed to make the film. 

DreamWorks Pictures recently hosted select members of the media for the PEOPLE LIKE US Press Day held at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Having the opportunity to participate the following is an excerpt from the Roundtable interview with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Janet Walker: How intimidating was this project for you?

Michelle Pfeiffer: Um. A little bit. I mean it’s easier doing fantasy because you kind of can’t go wrong, right? I guess you can go wrong doing anything. I mean you certainly have more leeway and you can always fall back on fall back on it’s a fantasy. And I think because I knew it was something that it was a true story there is always an onus on you when it is a true story.

 

You don’t want to truthful and not offend the real people. Also it was Alex’s story obviously something very personal to him, and his mother. I have this bad habit of not thinking of these things when I go into a project. I just sort of react emotionally, “Oh I like it I want to do it.” Then after I go Oh - After it started shooting, I just sort of forgot it was Alex’s story and we were just making a movie I think he probably intentionally didn’t bring that up again. It was just a great collaboration, with great actors working on a great piece of material, great director.

                                                                                                                                

Janet Walker:  In the film, and there’s a couple things I noticed about the film, first of all and I’m going to preface my question with saying, “You’re very stunning.”

Michelle Pfeiffer: Thank you.

Janet Walker: And in the film . . . the film presents a worn, heavy partying . . .

Michelle Pfeiffer: Not so stunning . . .

Janet Walker: worn with life . . . I suppose . . .

Michelle Pfeiffer: weary, broken down, you can say it! (Room erupts with laughter)

Janet Walker: Good.  I’ve noticed also some of the scenes seemed to swallow you up by the oversized black glasses, the Clark Kent glasses . .

Michelle Pfeiffer: By the way those are my glasses

Janet Walker: (gasp) You were them well.

Michelle Pfeiffer: I happen to like those glasses.

Janet Walker: They look well on you. They look good. But with all of that did you watch yourself on screen and how did you feel about seeing the wornness. I mean I thought you embodied the character of that time.

 

Michelle Pfeiffer:  Not easy seeing yourself at your worst. None of us want anyone to see us when you just roll out of bed, and your hair is dirty and you have no make-up on and you’re puffy from whatever you’ve been doing. And that’s who she is. And I wanted to do that. I wanted to go there.  I felt like it would be liberating.

 

Asked by a media colleague: Was it?

Michelle Pfeiffer:  It was. Not easy but it was now that it’s done and over with. (Room erupts in laughter.)

Michelle Pfeiffer portrays Lillian Harper, the wife of legendary LA music producer Jerry Harper and mother of their only child, Sam played by Chris Pine. Pfeiffer personified the rock and roll lifestyle of a hard partying, pot smoking and heavy drinking ex-groupie. Her worn look adds authenticity as she captures the feelings related to the loss of a partner whom she loved, post funeral estate concerns, grief, boiling over emotions and the shifting of family authority lines, in addition to a life of secrets.  In the first full scene showing Ms. Pfeiffer, she remains almost hidden, swallowed by the circumstances,  in her funeral clothing and oversized Clark Kent glasses. 

Pfeiffer's role showcases her depth as she loses the glamour most associate with her and gives a stirring realistic performance sans make-up and admittedly, "not so stunning."

As it is post funeral, all the sentiment connected with death and finalities come into play and surface through the double zings, the whammy’s, the pushing of emotional buttons like only family can, the inability to understand the bequeaths or lack of them, the harsh words spoken to those loved in times of deep anguish and being held to them as well as the stress of regular life that was interrupted by the untimely death.

Having the double zing secret, Sam, (Chris Pine) is able to give as good as he gets when Lillian, unloads all the emotional hurt and anger on her son for his missed opportunities, emotional inabilities and what she perceives as lack.

Elizabeth Banks shines as the love child and lost daughter, Frankie, who questions why she wasn’t enough to keep her dad around. Her son, Josh, played by Michael Hall D’Addario, hits the mark as typical pre-teen not understanding why he’s floating, alone only with his mom, and in reality until Sam comes into their lives is being raised identically as she was.

Olivia Wilde portrays Sam’s new life love interest, Hannah, and makes the journey from New York to LA, playing the role of the dutiful and loving girlfriend, only to find Sam has posted an off limits sign on areas of his life and a person she thought she knew becomes someone she didn’t.

Bring the Kleenex! PEOPLE LIKE US is truly a tear jerker for all and especially for those with unresolved family issues, for sensitive souls and those who genuinely care.

PEOPLE LIKE US opens in theaters everywhere June 29, 2012.

“Most Doors are closed and if you want to get in you better have an interesting knock.” Jerry Harper, The Six Rules for Going Number One with a Bullet, People Like us

 

 

Haute Tease

  • Screenwriter Nancy Meyers Joins Final Draft Hall Of Fame

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (Los Angeles, CA; December 11, 2013) --- Final Draft, Inc., the industry standard for screenwriting software, announced today that legendary screenwriter/director/producer Nancy Meyers is this year’s recipient of the company’s Hall of Fame Award. Meyers will be honored at the Final Draft 9th Annual Awards Event, to be held on January 7, 2014, at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios lot.

     
  • Guilty Verdict Long Overdue in Etan Patz Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A Manhattan jury deliberated nine days before it rendered a guilty verdict in the 40-year-old kidnapping and murder of eight-year-old Etan Patz who disappeared in 1979 as he walked to school in New York City.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Ziad Nakad Spring/Summer 2017 Couture Collection – Butterfly of Paradise

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ziad Nakad, for his second Couture collection presented at the Westin hotel in Paris, offers his own vision of a universal garden where butterflies, flowers, and the beauty of a perfect garden are the main symbols of his inspiration.

     
  • Zuzu Still Thinks IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A Conversation with Karolyn Grimes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nothing completes the holiday experience more than an extra serving—to go with the booze and candied yams—of Frank Capra’s yule-tide yarn, of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. It’s a picture that can melt even the iciest of hearts and for those of us grown-ups with no self-worth (or money) in December, there’s just something downright conciliatory about it.

     
  • Sixth Sense Hair Styling Review - High End Hair Care for a Smooth, Silky Finish

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Creating that sleek straight hair look, if you aren’t born with it, can be a nightmare, even for the most experienced. Styling tools can be misleading, temperature settings don’t reflect actual heat elements, causing burning, split ends or brittle breakage.

Crime

  • Breaking News: 13 Dead On Campus; 20 injured in Oregon Mass Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman opened fire on the Umpqua Community College Campus in Roseburg, Oregon this morning killing 13 students and injuring 20 in an all too common scenario that left the shooter “neutralized” and reportedly deceased at the scene.  

  • Robert Durst Charged With Susan Berman Murder; Extradited to Los Angeles

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robert Alan Durst, the son of the New York millionaire real estate mogul Seymour Durst, was arrested in New Orleans and extradited to Los Angeles in the execution style murder of Susan Berman, a Beverly Hills writer and friend.

     
  • Four Day Old Baby, Two Toddlers Found Alive Among Ohio Execution Slaughter

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Eight members of a rural Ohio family were found dead, early Friday morning, shot execution style as they lie sleeping, in multiple locations across a small area of Pike County. None of the victims appear to be the shooter.

     
  • Theater Shooter Arraigned; Gag Order Issued

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Accused theater Shooter, James Holmes, was arraigned this week in Aurora, Colorado for the killing rampage that began during the opening screening of the Warner Bros film, "The Dark Knight Rises."

     
  • Three Women Missing a Decade Found Alive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three Cleveland, Ohio, women, who had been missing for over a decade, were found alive held captive together, after a stunning escape.

Auto, Yachts, Jets, Real Estate

  • Celebrity Real Estate News: Walt Disney's Palm Springs Vacation Home on The Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When Walt and Roy Disney co-founded the Walt Disney Co. in 1920, they had dreams of large success, but likely could not have fathomed becoming the world leader in fantasy, cartoon characters and family film. 

     
  • Toronto Mansion of former Newspaper Magnet Conrad Black Set For Auction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A grand and coveted historic Canadian mansion, privately located in Toronto's premier Bridle Path enclave, just 15 minutes outside of downtown Toronto, will be offered for sale at auction after 65 years of family lineage.

     
  • Donald Trump Lists Beverly Hills Mansion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Even the most politically disinterested person has not escaped being gobsmacked by what might be the strangest presidential campaign in American history. Candidates are scrutinized and bicker on everything from their marital history and health to even their choice of homes.

     
  • Celebrity Real State News: Enrique’s Former Miami Mansion, with Prime Bay and Skyline Views, On Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Iglesias men cover a wide range of music genres.  Father Julio, now 73, with his chiseled features, deeply romantic songs, and smooth bedroom voice, with a law degree on the side, has sold over 120 million records.  

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Adventures on the Queen Mary Review - Stunning, Beautiful, A Must Have

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Adventures on the Queen Mary, by Dave Wooders with James Radford, a book for those who have dreamed of traveling the high seas, in all the style of a bygone era and the opulence of the Queens luxury.

     
  • Plug Research Releases the Highly Anticipated Coultrains Jungle Mumbo Jumbo Project

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    On April 23rd, appreciators of soul, jazz & beat music alike rejoice as Coultrain releases his long-awaited new project, Jungle Mumbo Jumbo. Perhaps best known for his work as one half of Hawthorne Headhunters (alongside Black Spade), or as the once lead singer of Waajeed's Platinum Pied Pipers - this release marks Train's first proper solo album on a label

     
  • Celebrities Pay Tribute to Jerry and Elaine Orbach During Launch of Remember How I Love You

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celebrities, family and friends of the late Jerry and Elaine Orbach gathered recently, at The Snapple Theater Center in Manhattan’s Theater District, to honor them with readings from their newly released book, “Remember How I Love You - Love Letters From An Extraordinary Marriage.”

     
  • After Snowden - Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age Review – Opens The Floor to Debate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of documents he stole from the National Security Agency (NSA), from several laptop computers, exposing flaws and violations of the Fourth Amendment routinely practiced in the Domestic Surveillance program.

     
  • Honeymoon In Vegas Review – Go For The Music, Stay For The Elvis Impersonators

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Writing reviews to send out is actually quite difficult for me.  The truth is, I’m a theatre snob, and I’m pretty hard to please.  Without creative geniuses such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, or even Stephen Sondheim, it’s hard for me to give my endorsement.  Not this time.  You will love ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.