One Special Night (1999) – Julie Andrews, James Garner

They aren’t kids anymore, and they’ve taken their share of knocks: the usual career ups and downs as well as physical ailments that can temporarily derail even the hardest-working actor. But Julie Andrews, 64, and James Garner, 71, are a long way from hanging it up, even if they haven’t performed together since the 1982 hit film comedy ”Victor/Victoria.” ”It only seems like a year ago when we made that,” Ms. Andrews said in a telephone interview from her home on Long Island. ”But when you like working with someone — and Jim and I had made a film when we were young that started this friendship we’ve had for years — well, it’s easy to want to work together again.” So it is that Ms. Andrews and Mr. Garner reunite tonight at 9 in CBS’s ”One Special Night,” a romance about a couple who unexpectedly find love late in life. The film is the actors’ third collaboration, beginning with the 1964 film ”The Americanization of Emily,” an antiwar satire. ”It’s been 36 years since we shot it, but who’s counting?” said Mr. Garner from his home in Los Angeles. ”And, hey, any time I can work with Julie, I jump at it. She’s the great lady.” […] For Ms. Andrews, ”One Special Night” is her first assignment since she underwent throat surgery two years ago after her stage comeback in the 1995 Broadway musical version of ”Victor/Victoria.” ”It doesn’t seem like I’ve been away, but ‘Victor/Victoria’ came along, and that took a lot of time,” said Ms. Andrews, who after recovering from surgery had to face public speculation about whether she would ever sing again. […] ”One is always looking for those things that have an echo in one’s own life, and this film, with it’s theme of second chances, appealed to me,” she said. ”I recognized that sense of loss in Catherine,” her character, ”that she’s shutting out the world rather than letting any new light in.” Ms. Andrews was worried about working again, she said, ”especially since we were shooting in such cold, bone dry weather” during five weeks in Montreal last winter. ”But making a movie isn’t like the theater, with eight performances a week. It’s not as physically taxing, So, happily, I got through it.” The film’s director, Roger Young, agrees. ”Julie was a little nervous, and there was one day when she was quite hoarse,” said Mr. Young, who was asked to handle the film after Ms. Andrews’s husband, the veteran director Blake Edwards, withdrew, citing a scheduling conflict. ”And Jim’s got a little git-along in his step that disappears when the clapper board comes down. But these two have have the greatest respect for each other, and they are both such pros.” […] ”I met Julie on ‘Emily,’ and that’s where I fell in love with her,” recalled Mr. Garner, who played a slick American naval officer trying to win over the proper English motor pool driver played by Ms. Andrews. The film, with a script by the Oscar-winning screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, remains Mr. Garner’s favorite among his 40-plus movies. […] As for the couple’s vaunted chemistry, he simply laughs. ”If I knew what chemistry was, I’d do it every time,” he said. ”There’s a rhythm with certain people, and ours just clicks.” Even now, ”she’s the same old Julie,” he said. Ms. Andrews takes a more understated approach to recalling the past. ”I haven’t made that many movies, and each one is really a favorite for its own special reasons,” she said. But ”Emily” was extraordinary, she said. ”The screenplay was terrific. And Jim and I discovered that we’re not too bad at doing slightly dry repartee: he sort of steamrolling over me as the gruff American and me being the ever uptight English lady.” It was their next collaboration, almost 20 years later, in ”Victor/Victoria” — in which Ms. Andrews played a tuxedo-wearing woman impersonating a female impersonator, and Mr. Garner played her suspicious admirer — that helped her put that proper English image to rest. ”I think when you have a huge success like ‘Mary Poppins’ early in your career, that it becomes hard for people to see you as anything else,” said Ms. Andrews, who describes ”Victor/Victoria,” which was directed by her husband and led to an Oscar nomination as best actress, as a pivotal film in her career. […] Although she has not sung in public since, Ms. Andrews, who will star next in the British film comedy ”Relative Values” and is working on her autobiography, is hopeful. ”I still have problems, but my speaking voice is so much better now, and there are good days,” she said. ”I think singing has so much to do with acting, and I love to focus on lyrics and make them hit home,” she said. ”So I’m just praying and staying optimistic that I will get it back in good shape again.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

You might be interested in