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‘The Last Word’ Director on the Importance of ‘Women Lifting Each Other Up’ in Film

Variety logo Variety 3/2/2017 Daniel Grzywacz
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In a time where current events have led many to develop a pessimistic outlook, the cast of new drama “The Last Word,” starring Shirley MacLaine, shared a message of positivity at the film’s Wednesday night premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood.

The cast, which also includes Amanda Seyfried, Thomas Sadoski, Philip Baker Hall and newcomer Ann’Jewel Lee, praised both the jovial chemistry on set and film’s overall message of self-improvement and female empowerment.

The film follows MacLaine’s character, Harriet, as she decides late in life to rework her legacy so she can be remembered in a more positive light after years of rough treatment to her family and coworkers. To pursue this goal, she enlists the reluctant help of a young obituary writer, played by Seyfried.

MacLaine and the many-months-pregnant Seyfried, who walked the red carpet together arm-in-arm, were effusive in their praise for one another. “She’s spontaneous, she’s brilliant, she cries on cue and she’s really one of the best actresses around,” MacLaine said. “She understood that I was playing an impossible character and then at the end she helped to mellow me and I helped to mellow her.” Seyfried echoed MacLaine’s sentiments, “It was amazing coming to work every day,” she said. “The whole experience was magic. It was great, you can see it on the screen.”

Sadoski, who plays a radio DJ who helps Harriet in her goals and served as a love interest for Seyfried’s Anne, spoke about the importance of the film’s message.

“Shirley talks a lot about personal democracy and the relationship of these two women lifting each other up was something that was very important for her in the making of this movie,” Sadoski said. “And I think it’s an important thing, particularly these days, for those voices to be heard, for those stories to be told. I want people to look at these two incredible artists and say, ‘You know what? Not only can these stories carry an audience, but they’re important to be heard right now.’”

The after-party took place at the nearby Le Jardin lounge, with most of the cast present.

“The Last Word” bows March 3.

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