Kevin Kline was on double duty Tuesday night in New York City. Before jetting off to an Academy screening of his latest film, “My Old Lady,” the star swung by the MoMA for pic’s premiere. After a Q&A with Oscar voters, Kline was back on 53rd Street to celebrate with pic’s director-screenwriter, Israel Horovitz and an eclectic group of friends including Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and the director’s son Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.
Adapted by Horovitz from his own 2002 play, pic stars Kline as New Yorker Mathias Gold, a depressed recovering alcoholic with no money and three ex-wives. Upon the death of his father, Mathias learns he’s been cut out of the will save for a few old books and a multimillion-euro apartment in Paris, which he hopes to sell to finance a new lease on life.
“This part is what actors call juicy,” Kline said at the film’s afterparty at MoMA’s Lauder Hall. “I was very attracted to the comedy and drama and the kind of razor edge in which the two skate, if you will. I thought it would be wonderfully impossible to bring it to the screen.”
For Horovitz, a veteran playwright, Kline was always his first choice for the role.
“I figured he would never read (the script) — his nickname after all was Kevin DeKline — but he actually did,” the helmer laughed.
As for making his first feature at age 75, Horovitz said it was simultaneously a “scary” and “wonderful” process.
“I’m not a kid so I didn’t want to do a film that would come and go in a couple of days,” helmer said. “It was a hard process because it’s difficult for a playwright to adapt his own play because you start to protect things like speeches, etc. I ended up keeping the parts of the play that were necessary but I also got to write 25 characters that don’t exist in the play. So it really took me a while because I don’t like film adaptations of plays, but I really wanted this one to be a movie.”
Cohen Media Group releases “My Old Lady” Sept. 10.