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 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
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
"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."