LOS ANGELES - Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening takes on the role of faded movie star Gloria Grahame in the new drama "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool."
Grahame won an Oscar for 1952's "The Bad and the Beautiful." The film picks up near the end of her fading career.
"You know, her career wasn't going so great at that point. She wasn't really famous, and even when she was famous, she considered herself sort of the replacement," said Bening. "That's what she would call herself. So -- and she was often on the second tier -- even though she won an Academy Award. She was very respected. So, yeah, this is the other sort of side of her life."
Actor Jamie Bell plays Peter Turner, a young actor who begins a romantic relationship there with the much older, much married actress. The movie is actually based on Turner's book.
"You know, there's certain similarities between me and Peter," said Bell. "We're from these very working class families, these regional towns. And we both had these ambitions of acting and dancing, creative arts and things like that and felt we were kind of black sheep of the family and stuff. So there was a lot that I identified with him personally. I found portraying an unemployed actor very easy, I have to say."
"I mean, Gloria did have scandal in her life, and she had a very complicated personal life," added Bening. "She was married four times, she had four kids, but a lot of the people that knew her really talk about her sense of fun. She was very much in the moment, and she was a little bit wild but in a good way."
The film has those lighter moments when the two first meet; and many deeper moments with Peter and his family, when Gloria's life takes a turn.
"What she really needed was just people to take her in and care for her and see through her, you know, misgivings and shortcomings and accept her for who she really was," said Bell.
"Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool" is in theaters now in limited release.