Playing a character with Alzheimer’s Disease can be a scary thing for an actor in his 70s. After all, being old enough to look the part means being in the demographic struck by the ailment. But Frank Langella said playing such a character in Robot and Frank doesn’t plague him too much. “I’m just wonder, where am I now? What town is this?,” he joked.
Langella is touring the festival circuit both for screenings of the acclaimed film and to sign his new Hollywood tell-all Dropping Names. Spoke with SRQ during a book signing at Bookstore1Sarasota and offered this insight into his work.
How do you feel the Sarasota audience responded to your film last night?
It was very thrilling. I’m very grateful for it. I think you guys were the exact right audience, a combination of people in my generation, their 70s and 50s, and then lots of kids and students. I don’t think anybody isn’t touched by a family member who is beginning to lose consciousness. It’s a very powerful subject.
What do hope this movie does for those with someone in their lives affected by Alzheimer’s?
I think it will make them feel like they are not alone in this trial. I remember what it was liking hearing Nancy Reagan describe what it was like watching the president fade away and how much her life had changed taking care of him, and she said ‘He would do it for me.’ I think that is kind of what you have to deal with when someone you love is getting ready to emotionally leave the planet.