HomeEntertainmentHollywood legends Bergen, Fonda, Keaton, Steenburgen type friendship whereas making ‘Book Club’...

Hollywood legends Bergen, Fonda, Keaton, Steenburgen type friendship whereas making ‘Book Club’ films

Candice Bergen hatched the thought for a sequel to “Book Club” earlier than the primary had even come out.

It was 2017 and so they have been flying to a conference of movie show house owners to drum up pleasure for his or her film the place she, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Keaton play buddies who determine to learn “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Like all films, it wasn’t the simplest to get made – someplace alongside the road somebody even prompt a youthful forged. But they have been fairly certain they’d one thing that audiences have been going to love and {that a} sequel would occur. Bergen stated, “It has to be Italy.”

Why Italy? Well, about the identical causes anybody would select Italy: the meals, the wine, the historical past, the artwork, the folks.

And their dream got here true: “Book Club: The Next Chapter” finds the ladies touring to Rome, Venice and Tuscany. It’s half bachelorette social gathering for Fonda’s character, who’s getting married for the primary time (to Don Johnson) and half bucket record achievement – years in the past, life acquired in the way in which of a visit and post-pandemic they’re all feeling a bit extra adventurous.

“On the first film, we were only together when we got together for a book club meeting. It was about our individual storylines,” Fonda stated. “This time we were together all the time.”

That meant full filming days, dinners out with everybody and weekend excursions to Florence and gelato in between takes. One morning, a make-up artist noticed Fonda at 5:30 am outdoors the Pantheon with a map in hand and hat on her head. A couple of hours later, whereas filming, she’d exclaim she’d already hit 10,000 steps.

“We had a schedule,” Bergen stated. “It wasn’t like anarchy. When the day wrapped we went to dinner.”

“But the dinners out were very important,” Steenburgen added. “There were a lot of discussions about where we were eating, who was eating and dreaming about Aperol Spritzes. At least for me.”

Though there was assist for a sequel after the primary remodeled $100 million on the field workplace, on the studio there was a fixation on the e book alternative being the hook. But director Bill Holderman and his co-writer Erin Simms have been fairly certain that wasn’t it.

“We felt like the driver of the success was the women, their friendship and the bond,” Holderman stated. “We had to go through a bit of a journey to convince everyone that we didn’t need another 50 Shades style book.”

Ultimately, they selected Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” impressed by one thing Steenburgen had stated about getting written off after a sure age.

Their 4 stars, although of considerably related generations with ages starting from 70 (Steenburgen) to 85 (Fonda) hadn’t recognized one another very properly and had by no means labored collectively earlier than the primary movie. But they quickly turned actual buddies and have stayed in shut contact – often ready for “Candy,” as they name Bergen, who lives on the East Coast, to inform them she’s coming to Los Angeles. Then they scramble to determine whose home they’ll go to for dinner. All have hosted no less than one.

“The biggest gift by far of these two movies for me is just the friendships with these beloveds in my life,” Steenburgen stated.

Italy was a dream for everybody. Some had filmed there earlier than. Fonda had as soon as stayed in Rome for a yr doing “Barbarella” with Roger Vadim, and Bergen had shot Lina Wertmüller’s “A Night Full of Rain” there. When it got here time to make “The Next Chapter,” she prompt they name on her co-star from the 1978 movie, Giancarlo Giannini, to play a component.

“He definitely has a little crush on you,” Steenburgen teased. “He couldn’t keep his eyes off of you.”

Bergen politely disagreed. Besides, they have been all centered on being collectively.

By the time the remainder of their male counterparts arrived for the ultimate scenes, together with Johnson, Craig T. Nelson and Andy Garcia, Fonda laughed it was like, “Who are you? We felt very complete unto ourselves.”

None took the movie as a right, both.

“They really understood how lucky they were to be together and to be doing this,” Simms said. “Not everybody sends older women to Italy to go make a movie. I think they really felt that and it bonded them more deeply.”

Steenburgen thought again to when she was beginning out, within the late Nineteen Seventies, taking a look at girls within the enterprise who have been only a technology forward of her and questioning why there weren’t extra alternatives for them.

“They were brilliant and amazing and still just had so much to offer and there was nothing happening for them,” Steenburgen stated. “I’ve been within the enterprise lengthy sufficient to know that it wasn’t a provided that one thing like this might occur.”

But instances have modified for the higher. “Book Club 2″ is Fonda’s third release this year, after “80 for Brady” and “Moving On.”

“Studios are noticing that older women are the fastest growing demographic,” Fonda stated. “It’s just good business.”

Bergen added: “They’re not fairly so dismissive of us anymore.”

Fonda and her co-stars have additionally seen that it’s usually youthful individuals who discuss to them about “Book Club.” She thinks a part of it’s that it is merely comforting to see extra mature girls having enjoyable, which, she hopes takes a number of the stigma and worry out of getting older. And, sure, they’re already scheming up a potential third film with Bergen driving the brainstorm.

“Our next one will be in Hong Kong,” Bergen stated.

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