In director Dito Montiel’s latest, Boulevard, married Nolan (Robin Williams in his final film role) is forced to come to terms with the truth about himself after an encounter with a younger man during a road trip. And while revealing his secret changes Nolan forever, it also throws the world of his wife Joy, played by Kathy Baker, into a tailspin.
Here, Emmy winner Baker talks to DuJour about working with Williams, preparing for her role and her plans for the future.
How did you prepare to play Joy?
First of all, it’s a beautiful script. I just felt like when I first read it I completely identified with her and understood her. Not that I have ever been exactly in that situation, but it’s a very well drawn-out marriage. I went to Nashville, I met Robin and the next day we started shooting it. These are the type of movies you don’t really have rehearsal time or anything, but it was easy with him because he was so professional, wonderful, and dedicated.
Was there a scene that you think best displayed her character?
In the last scene, when she confronts him with the whole situation and we learn more about them. I love that scene. I think it’s beautifully written, but I knew it would be an acting challenge and I was sure even though I never met Robin that he would be wonderful. That was pretty much the scene that grabbed me.
What was it like working alongside Robin Williams? The film shows him shifting from comedy to drama.
He was just such a brilliant actor that he could do both sides. We didn’t see too much of the manic, crazy, funny Robin. I thought he was just within the character, who is a quiet, moody kind of character. Obviously he was funny all the time, but in a quiet way. He was just quiet and tender and dedicated and professional.
With the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, it’s an interesting time for the film to be released.
Yes, it’s very timely, isn’t it? It happens to be this huge problem and it really points out how hard it was for people to come out 40 years ago. They’ve been married now for what, 35 or 40 years? It’s really interesting on many levels.
What’s next for you?
I’m about to do a new show called Colony that Carlton Cuse created—he’s the creator of Lost. It’s very cool, it’s about what would happen if Los Angeles were occupied by this mysterious alien force we never see. My character is a counter-terrorism expert; she’s one of the collaborators.