‘Beatriz At Dinner’ wasn’t meant to be timely, but it sure is now. John Lithgow spoke exclusively with HollywoodLife.com about the story that he hopes will help the state of today’s America.
Beatriz At Dinner is the story of a poor immigrant from Mexico (Salma Hayek) who is working to build her career in Los Angeles. However, her world collides with a cutthroat billionaire (Lithgow) and everything changes. Sound familiar? John Lithgow told HollywoodLife.com exclusively during a junket for Beatriz at Dinner that the minute he read the script, he knew the political message in the script would relate — and even more so when Donald Trump won.
“I like the idea of addressing, in a very oblique way, what was happening politically. I think I read it in the month of June when there were those hideous republican primaries going on,” John said. “Things were in the air — who dreamed of the political sea change that was about to happen? But it’s also a movie about economic inequality and demonizing the other, and all of these things that are at the front of your mind politically, but you never get to have any access to them politically. It’s also very entertaining. The scenes were just delightful before they turned complex and complicated. It’s so funny, and then it’s so moving.”
“I think the election is the best thing that’s ever happened to this. It’s a very urgent film right now,” he admitted. “Everybody wants to do something. Everybody wants to stick their heads out the window and scream, and this gives voice to a lot of their feelings. I’m not sure how everybody will receive it, but you watch that film and you can’t help thinking about what you’ve been thinking about all day or all week or all month.” He also said he does have “large ideas” for what he hopes people take from the dark comedy.
“It’s just a great intense experience. We want people to think its really funny and really moving,” he revealed. “I want to shake people up, to nudge them toward the idea that we’ve got work to do. We’ve got to connect to each other. We’re all in this together, we’ve gotta save the planet, and develop empathy.”
Beatriz At Dinner is in theaters now.