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For her, it's all in a day's work

September 12, 2004|Mark Olsen

Delivering an emotional showstopper that resonates long after the closing credits, Lynn Redgrave nevertheless appears in "Kinsey" for only a few minutes, fewer even than in her film debut in "Tom Jones." Having worked with writer and director Bill Condon on "Gods and Monsters," in a role for which she received an Oscar nomination for supporting actress, Redgrave was excited when he sent her a new script, even though he cautioned her that the role was small.

"I would swing from a chandelier naked if that was what he required. He did say in a little note that it's right at the end, and I did something I vow I'll never do again. I was naughty. I took a very quick look at the end and saw that it's a very short scene and I felt disappointed.

"Then I thought to start at the beginning; it's Bill's script and one must read it properly. So I did. By the time I got to that little short scene I realized it wasn't a little short scene and I was actually very flattered that he'd asked me to do it. I could see how terribly important it was, and I felt thrilled he thought I could do it."

Her scene took only hours to shoot. Redgrave recalls it as a "happy, happy day," so pleasant that she hung around to watch a scene between Laura Linney and Liam Neeson. She was at that time enjoying a break in her award-winning off-Broadway run in Alan Bennett's play "Talking Heads" as well as celebrating the completion of treatment for breast cancer.

Despite the precedent of Judi Dench's seven-minute role in "Shakespeare in Love" that earned her an Oscar for best supporting actress, Redgrave laughs off the notion that she may get any such recognition, noting that in the "Kinsey" script "you begin halfway down one page and end sort of two-thirds of the way down the next, depending on the type."


-- Mark Olsen

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