Gretchen Mol cooks up about her ‘American Gigolo’ character

American Gigolo actress Gretchen Mol said co-starring in the new Showtime series was a throwback to an earlier phase in her career.

“One of the first films I ever did was a [1999] Paul Schrader movie called ‘Forever Mine’ which not many people have seen,” Mol, 49, told The Post. “But it was Joseph Fiennes and the late Ray Liotta, and it felt like it shared similar themes — this idea of ​​denying love. And then it had that crime thriller aspect. There were times when I worked on it [show] that I felt we were reviving these Schrader issues.

“It’s been so long since I made this film, but I felt comfortable in that world, like I understood it.”

American Gigolo premieres September 9 (streaming) and Sunday, September 11 (9pm on Showtime) and is based on the 1980 Schrader film of the same name, starring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton. The series follows Julian Kaye (Jon Bernthal), a former gigolo who has served 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. After being exonerated, he struggles to rebuild his life – which includes putting together the puzzle of who framed him for the crime and also reuniting with his former flame, Michelle Stratton (Mol).

Gretchen Mol smiles.
Gretchen Mol as Michelle Stratton in American Gigolo.
Justin Lubin/SHOWTIME
Jon Bernthal driving a car
Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye in American Gigolo.
Justin Lubin/SHOWTIME

“[Jon Bernthal] is fantastic. He’s a great actor and really a warm, friendly person,” said Mol. “He’s very collaborative [and] We had a really good time. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to play this woman in two different time periods, and [to] See how the 15 years that the love of her life was in prison changed her. The opportunity to play that time in one person, and just a real love affair between these two people, was fascinating to me. This woman falls in love with a gigolo and everything that goes with it emotionally.”

Mol is no stranger to noir stories or thrillers, having starred in the 1999 film The Thirteenth Floor, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Perry Mason and Yellowstone.

Gretchen Mol is sitting next to a bicycle
Gretchen Mol in “American Gigolo”
Justin Lubin/SHOWTIME
Gretchen Mol walks down a hallway.
Gretchen Mol as Michelle Stratton in American Gigolo.
Justin Lubin/SHOWTIME

“[The genre] always interests me because when it’s done well, like Hitchcock, it’s so much fun to watch. It’s so captivating and exciting and you keep coming back for more,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to explore characters, but there’s still a driving force behind it, which is how did these characters end up where they are and why? And stylistically it’s also fun to be in LA and have things a little muddy.”

“American Gigolo” jumps back and forth between 2006, before Julian’s incarceration, and 15 years later, after his release. His job isn’t the only thing complicating his relationship with Michelle: She’s also married to tech billionaire Richard Stratton (Leland Orser) and has a teenage son.

Gretchen Mol smiles with a dog on the beach.
Gretchen Mol as Michelle Stratton in American Gigolo.
Hopper Stone/SHOWTIME
Jon Bernthal sits on the hood of a car behind a chain link fence.
Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye in American Gigolo.
Justin Lubin/SHOWTIME

“She’s attracted to Julian because she can relate. She can understand him as someone who deals with these transactional relationships. I think in her own life she does it with her husband. She has chosen to feel cared for. They have two very different women,” Mol said, referring to the 2006 and present-day versions of her character in the timeline. “One who was damaged by the fact that she was at the beginning of the rest of her life with this love affair and this man and it was all cut short and she’s still married. If you deny what love can be, it’s a kind of self-betrayal in modern times.”

Richard Gere hugs Lauren Hutton.
Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton in the 1980 film American Gigolo.
©Paramount/Courtesy of Everett Col
Richard Gere looks sideways at Lauren Hutton, who is looking at the camera.
Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton in the 1980 film American Gigolo.
©Paramount/Courtesy of Everett Col

Mol saw the film years ago but didn’t watch it again before starring in the show.

“I had a memory of it. It made an impression when I saw it, I had never seen anything like it. But I knew that too [the show] was a modern reinterpretation of that story,” she said. “It’s going to be very different now what it means to be a gigolo. I remember it being such a stylish piece [and] I remember Lauren Hutton and Richard Gere having such an iconic presence.”

https://nypost.com/2022/09/07/gretchen-mol-dishes-on-her-american-gigolo-character/ Gretchen Mol cooks up about her ‘American Gigolo’ character

Emma Bowman

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