“Hope Springs”: Spouses need to have their own lives, Tommy Lee says

New article, interview with Tommy Lee Jones talking for the new movie “Hope Springs” where he stared with Meryl Streep.

US actor Tommy Lee Jones, 66, is best known for his role as a secret agent chasing aliens in “Men in Black”. He now stars with Meryl Streep in the romantic comedy “Hope Springs”.

In an interview with dpa, Jones talked about Streep, relationships, and about his life as a rancher.

dpa: How difficult was it to act in an oral sex scene with Meryl Streep?

Jones: We are actors, and we did the best we can to make the scene look real. It has nothing to do with us personally. It’s a job.

dpa: Did you learn something from Meryl Streep?

Jones: I try to learn something from everybody I work with. It’s easy to learn things from her, she laughs a lot and she is good company.

dpa: In “Hope Springs”, the marriage of Arnold and Kay has fallen into routine, passion is gone. How do you keep your own relationship fresh?

Jones: My wife and I both have our own lives. I think one needs to have a mature personality before entering a relationship. It is important not to define one’s personality through a relationship with someone else.

dpa: Does passion die in marriages more easily than it did before?

Jones: I don’t know. I have heard that the divorce rate in the United States is well over 50 per cent. Just before World War II, it probably wasn’t that high. So we are having fewer and fewer lengthy marriages in the US.

dpa: Did you learn something about love and marriage while making this movie?

Jones: No, not really. I learned how much fun it could be to make a comedy, a satire with Meryl Streep.

dpa: A large part of the film consists of therapy sessions. What was it like to shoot them?

Jones: These therapy scenes went on for a long time. Director David Frankel thought that it would be best if we performed each session from beginning to end. Some of these scenes were nine or 10 pages long, and he had the idea that we could shoot each therapy session in a single day. On average, most American production companies are happy with shooting two and a half pages a day; we were shooting seven, eight, nine pages in a day. That was fun, risky and a little bit scary. It gave some spontaneity and cohesion to those scenes, which we probably could not have approached so easily had we chopped them up.

dpa: Is it true that you live on a ranch in Texas, far away from Hollywood?

Jones: We have been living in hotels, trailer houses, on movie sets. But we have a ranch where we raise horses and cattle in Texas, a house in San Antonio, a property in New Mexico and in Florida. My wife is a photography student in a school where she goes in California. She spends a certain amount of time each year in California. I’m there with her for some of that time. It’s not far from Los Angeles. I go to Los Angeles two or three times a year. I have a lot of business associates and friends in southern California, but I don’t maintain a residence there.

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