Franco Nero The Time of Their Lives Interview
Cast: Joan Collins, Pauline Collins, Franco Nero
Director: Roger Goldby
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Synopsis: Determined to gate-crash her ex-lover's funeral on the glamorous French hideaway of Îe-de-Ré, former Hollywood siren Helen (Joan Collins) escapes her London retirement home with the help of Priscilla (Pauline Collins), a repressed English housewife stuck in a dwindling marriage.
Pooling their limited resources, they hit the road in a race to get to Îe-de-Ré, becoming entangled in a love triangle with a reclusive Italian millionaire (Franco Nero) along the way. On this unforgettable journey, they find true friendship in one another and have the time of their lives.
The Time of Their Lives
Release Date: August 10th, 2017
Interview with Franco Nero
Italian star Franco Nero stars as Alberto in Time of their Lives from writer-director Roger Goldby. When Helen (Joan Collins) and Priscilla (Pauline Collins) take a road trip through the French countryside, they meet a widower, Alberto, and enjoy an interlude at his beautiful home…
Question: What sort of man is Alberto in Time of Their Lives?
Franco Nero: He is an artist, an Italian. I think he came to France for love. He met this beautiful girl, fell in love and followed her to France. She loved art and he loved art so they went off together and had a great time until she died; that's the reason he is in France. He is an artist and paintings are his life. He has been with important people from all around the world. Actually, the filmmakers asked me if I have any real-life photos they could use in the film. I have many photos and I think they are going to put these photos around the house.
Question: How do you get entangled with these two journeying women?
Franco Nero: They drive. They steal this car. Joan's character, she thinks that she is still this great actress but she's not. She goes to the south of France for the funeral of a great director. He directed her in a movie many, many years ago. On the way, they get stuck at night when their car runs out of gas. I am driving by and they stop my car and I take them with me to my house. That is how it starts. I call them -My lovely young girls.'
Question: Do you think men as they get older appreciate women for different things?
Franco Nero: It depends, you know. Generally, when you get older you like calmer women, not the ones who are a pain in the arse (laughs)! Life is too short anyway so you arrive at the point when you want a quieter life with everything in a gentle way. I know some of my friends, they have women that yell and they talk all the time so they put in earplugs. A friend of mine, she talks, he puts in earplugs and pretends nothing is wrong. It's worked so far.
Question: Is that how it is for Alberto in the film?
Franco Nero: Yes, of course. I think so. At the beginning, there are two women. I am bound to go for the quieter woman.
Question: Is it like that at home in real life? Because your wife, Vanessa Redgrave, is a lively woman…
Franco Nero: No. She's much calmer. She's fantastic. She is a great woman. We have such a great family, a large family and now we have many grandchildren " because I consider the sons of Natasha as my grandchildren and the daughter of Joely as my grandchild, and Carlo is our son. So we have five grandchildren. To be a grandfather or a grandmother is very good. Yesterday, I had the day off so I spent the day with my grandson, Raphael, and Vanessa was calling on the telephone. We are in communication all the time. We have an incredible relationship. Almost every day we talk, even if I am in Rome or somewhere else working. We always talk on the phone about things to do with the family. Now, for instance, she is doing theatre and she is going to go to Croatia for two days to do Richard III. Then she'll join us at my place in Italy. Our son is already there with his wife and Lily, the youngest granddaughter.
Question: Do you and Vanessa have an intellectual relationship? Do you discuss current topics?
Franco Nero: I am an intellectual farmer! I love the lives of farmers and fishermen. That's my life. I go fishing in my place in the country. The other day I had three days off from this film and I went to Rome. I was waiting for my son and family to arrive from London. I picked them up and drove them to my place in the country and my son and I worked in the fields.
Question: What do you grow?
Franco Nero: We grow everything. We have many fruit trees " pears and lemons and plums and pomegranates. Then, of course, we make our own oil, so once in a while I have to cut the trees " prune them " so we can have more olives on the trees. We do everything there. We have a swimming pool and a tennis court and we play boules. We have card tournaments and I taught Vanessa how to play briscola with Italian cards. She is good. She is my partner in this game.
Question: How do you much do you enjoy having your family in the same film, because Vanessa's daughter, Joely Richardson, is in Time of Their Lives?
Franco Nero: Fantastic. We shot for a few days in Île de Ré above Bordeaux and it was so good to spend a few days with Joely, just Joely and myself. It was fantastic. I enjoyed it very much. We always went for lunch and to dinner together and she went to buy two great shirts for me. She bought two blue ones. Fantastic shirts, I tell you, and I wear them all the time.
Question: What are Joan Collins and Pauline Collins like as co-stars?
Franco Nero: They are both fantastic. I remember I used to go to Joan's house in Hollywood when I was making Camelot and that was 50 years ago, and she was so nice. At that time I think she was married to Anthony Newley. I have known her since then. I have seen her many times in different locations, on different occasions. For instance, a few years ago I saw her in Paris. In a way, we are always in contact because there is a lady producer who wants to do this movie with us. It is called Unforgettable.
Question: It is always listed on the imdb…
Franco Nero: It hasn't been done yet, sadly. So Joan is really, really, nice and Pauline, there are no words to describe how nice she is. I tell her all the time: -You are my dialogue coach. You have to be sure that I say my lines properly in English.' I am also a director so she looks at me and says, -Is that okay? You tell me if it is okay.' It is a lovely cooperation and a fantastic atmosphere. She is so gentle. She is really the great character of this movie in a way.
Question: Why did you want to make Time of Their Lives?
Franco Nero: I loved it. I enjoyed it. It is not really a comedy but it has amusing moments. In a way it is a road movie. At the end it is also a little bit sad and bitter. It will make you laugh but for some people it will make them cry. When I directed a few years ago I did a movie called Forever Blues about jazz. I am crazy about jazz. And this movie is about a relationship between a lonely trumpet player and a semi-autistic boy. When I showed the movie in America at the end people came to me and said, -Your movie stayed with us. It made us laugh and it made us cry.' This movie could be the same. When you shoot you try to do your best but it is like when a woman is pregnant with a baby. What is the baby going to be? You don't know. When you do a movie you can just hope it will be good.
Question: A film like this is targeted at a slightly older audience. Do they have films like this in Italy?
Franco Nero: No. Italy is very bad for cinema. They will not accept old people. They like young, comedies, cheap comedies. We were the first country in the world for cinema but now we are the last. I am very sad about this. At one time, we had a hundred directors, hundreds. In America they were copying our movies. All the great American directors learned from Italian cinema. But now we have nothing.
Question: Who would you still like to work with?
Franco Nero: Mainly directors. Alejandro González Iñárritu. I know him well. I like him. And there are some directors in America I would like to work with, like Oliver Stone. I know him very well. He said that one day we would work together. I would like to do another movie with Tarantino. I like him. I did Django Unchained because it was a sort of remake of my original Django. He did it in his own way, though, because in the original Django the oppressed people were the Mexican peones but the way he did it was that the oppressed people were the black people. He is a genius, really very good. He said that he would like to do another film with me so you never know. My role in that film was just a cameo, an homage.
Question: Do you have a favourite genre?
Franco Nero: I hate movies with special effects. I am fed up. I cannot stand them, honestly. I like stories, human beings in stories, relationships. That is cinema for me. Now it is all about computers and special effects. I don't like that. I am preparing myself to do another movie as a director too. I hope to do it but the movie is against television so they will never finance me. But I am trying to do it. It is a great story. It is a story of a blind man, a true story.
Question: What is the story?
Franco Nero: We discovered this character in Turin in the north of Italy, a blind man that by just listening can make models of people's faces with plasticine. In the movie we cannot do that because it will take up too much time so he will draw a sketch of the face. And this man in our story will become a slave of TV, a hostage. He will go on a programme, a talent circus show. I want to show that television takes advantage of the misfortune of people to please audiences. That is my idea. Actually, at the end, this character will make a speech. He will talk to the world on TV. The script has been done. I want to play the character and to direct.
The Time of Their Lives
Release Date: August 10th, 2017