Reaching out and falling in love
Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore talk about their new film “Blind”
The last time Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin appeared on screen together was in the 1996 legal thriller “The Juror”. Today, you can see them on screen again in Michael Mailer’s romantic drama “Blind” and judging from their onscreen rapport, one would assume no time had passed at all.
In “Blind”, Moore stars as Suzanne, the conflicted and neglected trophy wife of a wealthy white-collar criminal Mark Dutchman (Dylan McDermott). While Mark is indicted and incarcerated, Suzanne receives community service for being an accomplice to his transgressions. She is assigned to read for 100 hours to a blind novelist and college professor played by Baldwin, and they embark on an unexpected affair.
Here Moore and Baldwin talk about working together on “Blind”, some of their upcoming projects, and why everyone should be in touch with their inner selves.
What can you tell us about your character in Blind, Suzanne Dutchman?
Moore: I think she’s a woman who was not living a truth or a reality, but a life that on the outside looked as if she had everything. Then her world collapses, and she loses everything – her footing, her identity and her sense of direction. She no longer has a compass, and she’s pointed in a direction that’s revolting. That ends up, in fact, saving her.
What can you tell us about your character, Bill Oakland?
Baldwin: When I saw some of the guys I met who were blind, especially the ones who were sighted and then had become blind, I was struck by how, knowing myself, it would probably take all the energy I have just to get through the day being blind. I think I’d probably just go home, make some soup, and go to bed. It just seems exhausting. Especially getting around a city like New York. These are some incredibly brave and tough people, to commute around the city and so forth. On top of that, to have a full life, to meet someone and risk a relationship the way that people do. No matter what your condition, there’s a kind of life everyone wants to have and there are things in life that everyone wants. I’m married now with little kids, and when I see that my kids are happy, squealing in that way that kids do when they’re really content, and they feel completely loved and safe – I think to myself, what else is there? I’m so happy. There was a path I had to get on to get that. I think about that with Bill. I’m not quite sure that Bill thought that he could get on that path, and then he met Suzanne. She’s that one person who makes him think he’ll take that chance, because if it works out, there’s a lot of joy in that.
Moore: And with Suzanne, I think she’s experiencing being really seen, but by someone who can’t physically see, in ways that are so deep and meaningful. I think that kind of awakens her to the girl that she lost.
Do you admire women like your character, women who are struggling with a loveless, possessive marriage because their husband’s wealth is so tantalising.
Moore: I’ve seen it a lot, with women who compromise a lot of their integrity to make things work. In this case, she’s given up her career and things that are important to her to be supportive and to be of service to her husband. But she’s just one of his objects in a large collection.
It seems like in his own twisted way, her husband does love her.
Moore: I think he does, but that’s making love an object–like, I love ice cream, and I love you too. Or, I love my Porsche, but I love you, too. It’s an objectified love. It’s not really being seen. That’s the interesting element. All of these characters are facing loss, and for Suzanne and Bill it’s the opportunity to wake up to something that perhaps seemed not possible any longer.
Baldwin: It’s interesting how very often – and I’ve had a handful of friends like this – people have found themselves over the arc of time living a very comfortable life. They get married, they have kids, the woman was a mother, she might have had a career, the guy made a lot of money and all of a sudden everything changed. That struggle that bonded and united them, that seeking and reaching that they were doing, is gone. They really miss when things were simpler. I think for Suzanne, she’s with a guy who, if he were smart he would just take a year off and fix his marriage. They can go anywhere, do anything – get a yacht and go to every hotel in Europe.
Moore: But that’s never the case, because for those who are seeking on that level, it’s never enough. I mean, look at ‘El Chapo’!
Baldwin: There’s nothing glamorous about Bill Oakland’s life. Yet, there’s a simplicity there, an emotional maturity there that Suzanne needs. Her husband is a guy who forgot who she was. You’ve got to keep your wife as your girlfriend, not just cochairman of the corporation.
“Blind” portrays a workaholic. Workaholism is a very serious disease that isn’t discussed or examined nearly enough.
Moore: Because it’s applauded as being productive. There’s a fine line of what’s too much, and when people do it too much and they’re using it to avoid life and engaging and connecting.
Baldwin: I know people, who shall remain nameless, who are addicted to the novelty of what they do. They’re addicted to the power, but it’s not just about wealth and power – it’s so unique.
Moore: It’s the deal. It’s like the addiction to the deal.
Baldwin: That too, but on the set of a film it’s a very unique environment. It’s very unique, the kind of work we do. I know people who’d rather be on the set of a film than anywhere. They’d never want to stop working.