Bill Moyers
August 1, 2014
Clip: John Lithgow on Love Is Strange

BILL MOYERS: You've got this new movie coming out in just a couple of weeks. Tell me about it.

JOHN LITHGOW: It's a movie called "Love is Strange," co-written and directed by a remarkable young filmmaker named Ira Sachs. And Alfred Molina and I play a gay couple that's been inseparably together for 40 years.

And they finally get married, the law finally allows them to get married in New York. It's a very New Yorky story. And it's a happy moment in the very opening moments of the film.

Marissa Tomei in Love is Strange trailer: Your love, your dedication, your commitment to each other are an example to be followed.

JOHN LITHGOW: But because of Catholic doctrine, Alfred's character teaches music in a Catholic school and he has to be let go. The school itself doesn't even want to fire him, but they sort of have to by rules. And these two old men have lived a simple life, not remotely wealthy. And this is a catastrophe for them.

They have to sell their apartment. And until they get their lives together again and Fred gets a new job, they have to live apart. So these people who have been inseparable get married and ironically have to live apart. And for them it's agony. It's actually a very gentle and humorous film.

BILL MOYERS: We have a clip. Let's watch.

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange excerpt: We invited you all here today because, well, you’re family.

Character in Love is Strange excerpt: Are you telling us you’re getting divorced already?

Character in Love is Strange excerpt: That’s what I thought too!

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange excerpt:: No. We have to sell the apartment. And we found a buyer already. So pretty soon we’re gonna have to move out. Now, it won’t be long before I get another job and shouldn’t be long before we find another apartment but in the meantime—

John Lithgow in Love is Strange excerpt: It’s just a transition phase. Probably just a week or two.

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange excerpt: We need a place to stay.

Character in Love is Strange excerpt: Wait a minute, did I miss something here?

John Lithgow in Love is Strange excerpt: These last weeks have been tough on us, Elliot. Losing the job, looking for health insurance. We need a breather.

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange excerpt: Believe me, moving out of here is the last thing we want to do.

John Lithgow in Love is Strange excerpt: It’s only temporary. We’ll find a new place. Very soon.

JOHN LITHGOW: The interesting thing about it is goodness knows same sex marriage has been a front page, hot button, much debated issue in the last couple of years. But this film sort of puts a very human face on it. You see few enough movies about an old straight couple, but an old gay couple, I can't even think of one. And, this does wonderful justice to their story.

BILL MOYERS: Just as with the civil rights movement, for a long time we never knew about the people in the south, the young men, the preachers, the young, the students who were bravely taking stands and challenging brutality, unnoticed by the national press. They were the ones who made the civil rights movement. You know, I've seen several men of great power. And there's something of Lear in every one of them. Now, you make me think there's something of Lear in every one of us.

JOHN LITHGOW: Well, we all grow old. I mean, those of us who are lucky enough to grow old, lucky enough and unlucky enough. You grow old and you face these issues. But Lear is, he's vulnerable to things that all of us can fall prey to. We all want to be loved and we all want to be told that we are loved. And we can be deeply injured if we don't get that love or if it's told to us wrong. So there's a little bit of Lear in all of us.

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