Darlene Cates Q&A ~ #3

Actress who played Mama in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE

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Darlene Cates Q&A ~ #3

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed May 09, 2007 8:33 am

Have you read PH's book and if so what was your opinion of how Momma was portrayed in it? Did you have any input on how Bonnie should be, or did you play her as she was written in the script?

I did read Peter's book before I agreed to take the part. I talked to Peter prior to taking the role since I wasn't exactly crazy about the Momma in the book. Too bombastic for my taste and so dirty. I felt it was sterotypical and wasn't a true reflection of all big people. Of course, Peter had loosely based her on a woman he knew in his neighborhood as a child. His artistic vision and my pride had to find compromise. lol He was wonderful about listening to me and "hearing" me. I feel the Momma in the movie is very different than the one in the book. I like the movie Momma much better :-) She had dignity and a great heart.

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Unread postby heidi1 » Wed May 09, 2007 9:53 am

:cool: I like your line, Darlene, where you said that "Peter's artistic vision and your pride had to find a compromise. lol" I have a feeling there is a story or two behind that development, which involved you standing your ground. Momma's great heart is one of her main characteristics that came through in the movie, and endeared her to many viewers I think. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in detail!

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed May 09, 2007 10:26 am

Darlene Cates and Peter Hedges....great combination!! :cloud9:
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Unread postby marijke » Wed May 09, 2007 10:47 am

Deep respect for Darlene! This answer tells how she fights for respect for big people, and that she has her pride and dignity!
She is an example for all people who are big and are considered "bad" (like: greedy, stupid, ugly) by "normal" people!
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Unread postby nebraska » Wed May 09, 2007 5:32 pm

I think we all agreed that we liked movie Mama much better than book Mama!

I find it interesting that Peter based Mama on someone he had known. I don't recall reading that information anywhere else.....I would love to know more about that!

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Wed May 09, 2007 5:46 pm

nebraska wrote:I think we all agreed that we liked movie Mama much better than book Mama!

I find it interesting that Peter based Mama on someone he had known. I don't recall reading that information anywhere else.....I would love to know more about that!

Darlene, thanks for standing your ground.
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Unread postby gemini » Wed May 09, 2007 7:15 pm

Good for you, I am glad that you straighten out Peters stereotypical view of heavy people. Everyone needs to learn and a film teaches many at once so glad you convinced him.
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Unread postby suec » Sat May 12, 2007 7:13 pm

Like othrs here, I liked movie Momma much more. And while I really enjoyed the book, I think Momma did need to be "tweaked" a bit so I am so glad you fought her corner. You added a lot more warmth to the film, which really enhanced it, as well as portraying a a character that we were all willing to cheer on.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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