Welcome to the House of Crouse. In this episode actor Geoff Stults talks about the fib he told to land the role of a Green Beret in “12 Strong” while “Forever My Girl” star Jessica Rothe gushes about her favourite movie… and no, it’s not the one we were supposed to be talking about! It’s fun stuff so c’mon in and sit a spell.
Richard and CP24 anchorGeorge Lagogianes have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the new Chris Hemsworth war flick “12 Horses,” Christian Bale’s period piece “Hostiles,” Gerard Butler’s cop drama “Den of Thieves” and Jessica Rothe in “Forever My Girl.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new Chris Hemsworth war flick “12 Horses,” Christian Bale’s period piece “Hostiles,” Gerard Butler’s cop drama “Den of Thieves” and Jessica Rothe in “Forever My Girl.”
Check out Richard’s conversation with “Forever My Girl” star Jessica Rothe in today’s Toronto Star!
“Jessica Rothe is what used to be called a ‘starlet.’ The thirty-year-old actor appeared with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the Oscar-winning La La Land, and last year was the best thing about the time-loop murder mystery Happy Death Day.
“She’s landing lead roles but still building her career, trying out various film genres and characters.
“One thing that feels very important to me as an artist is to continually challenge myself and push myself to do all kinds of different things,” she says. “If it is good storytelling, it is good storytelling. I just want to do it all…” READ THE WHOLE THING HERE!
Jessica Rothe is what used to be called a ‘starlet.’ The thirty-year-old actor appeared with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the Oscar-winning La La Land, and last year was the best thing about the time loop murder mystery Happy Death Day.
She’s landing lead roles but still building her career, trying out various film genres and characters.
“One thing that feels very important to me as an artist is to continually challenge myself and push myself to do all kinds of different things,” she says. “If it is good storytelling, it is good storytelling. I just want to do it all.”
Her latest is Forever My Girl, a romance in the mould of Nicholas Sparks. She plays Josie, a young woman left at the altar by boyfriend Liam, a musician who ran off to find fame as a country music star. When he returns to their small Southern town years later his presence reignites old feelings but there is a difference in the form of Billy, played by Abby Ryder Fortson, the daughter Liam never knew about.
Rothe says working with her precocious eight-year-old co-star helped her make Josie a fully rounded character.
“I met with Abby and her mom at a juice bar so she would feel comfortable with me,” Rothe says, “but we didn’t get a lot of prep time because she was still in school.
“In some way the fact that I was her mother in the film really benefitted our relationship because every time I didn’t know what I should be doing in the scene, or what Josie would be thinking about, it was always, ‘Where is Abby? Is Abby safe? Is she hungry?’ Having that be the backbone of Josie and her thought process was incredibly helpful. As somebody who is not a parent I can only imagine that is how you would function. It helped that our relationship on set and off set was very similar. I came to feel protective of her. Film sets can be crazy but I think it worked to our benefit.”
The actress, who will next be seen in an all-singing-all-dancing version of the 1983 romantic comedy Valley Girl, relates to her young co-star’s acting ambitions as well.
“If I, as an eight year old, could have been that worldly and on top of my game I would have been amazed with me,” she laughs. “I always knew I wanted to do this but I didn’t think it could be my real job. I’m lucky my parents are incredibly supportive and generous people who have put so much faith in me as I jump into this crazy business. It really is so far outside their comfort zone in terms of what a profession can be.”
Speaking of straying outside of comfort zones, Rothe already knows who she wants to work with next: horror master Guillermo del Toro.
“I just watched The Shape of Water the other night and thought that was absolutely stunning. It is almost the perfect movie. I could talk about it a lot but I won’t because I’ll get in trouble. Everyone reads the Forever My Girl interview and it is just me raving about The Shape of Water and trying to get a job on his next film. That would not go over really well!”
There are movies that surprise and surpass our expectations and there are those that don’t. The former feed the brain, the latter are like comfort food. With that in mind, “Forever My Girl,” the new romance starring Jessica Rothe, is meatloaf with a side of potatoes. Not good for you perhaps, and not really good at all, but somehow satisfying.
In a story that casts shade on Thomas Wolfe’s “you can never go home again” theory, “Forever My Girl” begins with Liam Page (Alex Roe), a small town boy made good. He’s a country music superstar, playing to packed houses and bedding groupies nightly. He’s also unhappy and suffering from writer’s block. As the country song on the soundtrack warbles, he’s “followed the script closely with whiskey, wimmen and pills.” When he learns his best friend from high school was killed by a drunk driver he goes AWOL, leaving behind a sold out tour to reconnect with his roots in St. Augustine, Louisiana.
No one is particularly happy to see him, not even his father (John Benjamin Hickey), the local minister. Even less thrilled is local florist Josie (Jessica Rothe), the woman he left on the altar when he skipped town to pursue his career. “No one has spoken about what you did here,” she says, “because we are family. We are loyal. Please just leave.”
Turns out there is more to the story in the form of Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson), a precocious eight year old and the daughter he never knew about. “I said I wanted to meet him,” Billy says, “but I didn’t say I would be easy on him.” As Liam reconnects with Josie, meets Billy and spends time with his dad the puzzle pieces of his life fall into place and he realizes what’s been missing. “I have no right to ask for anything,” he says, “but I’m here now.” You know the rest. (SPOILER ALERT) This is a romance not a tragedy.
“Forever My Girl” is written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, based upon the novel by Heidi McLaughlin but is the kind of story Nicholas Sparks could conjure up in his sleep. The flowery Sparksian language is missing and there are no tearstained romantic letters—there is, however, a poignant voicemail saved on a duct-taped flip phone—but the spirit of everlasting love he exalts in parcels of passion like “The Notebook” loom.
London-born Roe has the dark good looks of a tortured country star and doers earnest quite well but it is the female stars that shine. As Billy, Fortson is a sparkplug with most of the film’s best lines. Rothe displays the natural charm that made her last performance in “Happy Death Day”—imagine “Groundhog Day” with a terrifying twist—so winning.
“Forever My Girl” isn’t great art. It’s a Hallmark movie by way of Harlequin that features nice looking people falling back in love but it’s the best non-Nicholas Sparks/Nicholas Sparks movie to come along in a while.