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We take a look behind the scenes of Living Out Loud, starring Holly Hunter and Danny DeVito.

Known for creating intensely realistic characters who evolve over the course of the story, Richard LaGravenese was intent on finding a strong actress to portray Judith, a woman in her 40s who sacrificed her hopes and dreams to become the wife of a rich, handsome doctor. Ultimately, she loses her personal direction in the marriage, and with it, her sense of herself.

"When a relationship leads to divorce and someone leaves somebody else, my interest is in the person who is abandoned," says LaGravenese. "I always think that at some point they abandoned themselves first. Judith was a wild, free spirit who sacrificed that to marry a doctor. She is reawakened because of the divorce and I wanted to explore that dynamic.

Holly Hunter, who has starred in such richly drawn, character-based films as The Piano and the Firm, was immediately attracted to Judith's character and convinced LaGravenese that she was meant to play the role.

"This character was a real adventure for me." Holly Hunter

"Holly was Richard's first choice," claims produced Michael Shamberg. "She came in with a strong sense of who Judith is and both the comedy and the tragedy of her situation. She truly knew this character inside-out."

"This is a terrific role for an actress," says Hunter, thoroughly relishing the opportunity to play a character who experiences such an amazing and life-changing personal transformation. "When we first meet Judith, she is an observer, a voyeur. She would love to be a part of the world, but she feels separate from it. Her journey is a subtle one to find the truth about herself. This character was a real adventure for me."

Like Judith, Pat is also on a journey of self-recovery, and, like Judith, he is also written from a personal place. "Pat is based on my father," recalls Lgravenese, which he wrote specifically for Danny DeVito. "This is the first time I've had an actor in mind during the writing process. At first, it was a bit harder, but I could always hear his voice clearly in my head, and soon, he just came to life for me."

"Danny has an easy charm, which is why people love him" Holly Hunter

In the film, Pat is under a great deal of pressure. His daughter is ill, his wife has thrown him out and he is forced to live with his successful brother. A gambler in everything from life to money, Pat has many debts and dreams of making a better life for himself. Until he meets Judith, dreams are all he has.

"Danny embraced his role in this film, and I think that people are going to see him like they never have before," LaGravenese states. "He shows a part of himself as an actor that he hasn't had the opportunity to show in the past.

Holly Hunter agrees; "Danny has an easy charm, which is why people love him and want to see movies that he's in. He has often played characters in movies that have a larger-than-life style. But I think the character of Pat, stylistically is in some ways closer to who Danny DeVito really is."

"I like being presented with opportunities to reveal new personas on screen," Danny DeVito

"I like being presented with opportunities to reveal new personas on screen," says DeVito. "We were all excited about Richard's screenplay. He writes with convincing authority and these characters are people we have all known in our lives."

Perhaps the most important responsibility for the filmmakers in bringing Living Out Loud to the screen was finding actors who could convincingly balance the unlikely chemistry between Pat and Judith. "Holly loved their relationship, and what was really extraordinary was that she wanted to come in and read with Danny right off the bat," remarked Sher. "From the beginning, their connection was enchanting. It was magical."

"He's both sexy and charming" Producer Michael Shamberg on Danny DeVito

Shamberg also noticed the extraordinary connection between Hunter and DeVito. "Danny has enormous charisma on-screen. Having seen him play a variety of comic roles, it was great seeing him do this romantic part. He's both sexy and charming, and I think audiences won't be able to deny the energy between him and Holly."

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