mick jagger charlie rose show 2002video

ROLLING STONES ON VIDEO: Mick Jagger on The Charlie Rose Show, 2002

Mick Jagger interview on The Charlie Rose Show about ‘The Man from Elysian Fields’ movie, where he starred in as as Luther Fox, along Andy García (US TV, Nov. 14 2002)


From The Washington Post:
Mick Jagger delivers a sly, courtly, utterly captivating performance in “The Man From Elysian Fields.” In fact, the Rolling Stones frontman may be a bit dismayed that the movie is being released in tandem with the band’s latest tour; his silky portrayal of an older gent wistfully considering all he’s missed is at total odds with his iconic role as rock’s oldest bad boy (or, if you prefer, baddest old boy).

Jagger’s is only one of many superb performances in this deeply atmospheric film, which stars Andy Garcia as a failed novelist who, to make ends meet, begins to work as a male escort. In fact, much about “The Man From Elysian Fields” is terrific, if you overlook such details as the premise, plot and much of the dialogue. Alarm bells should go off when a movie about a writer isn’t very well written.

Garcia plays Byron Tiller, whose first novel, “Hitler’s Child” (strike one), now sits unhappily in the remainder bin. Tiller can’t bring himself to tell his gorgeous, supportive wife (Julianna Margulies) that his second novel has been rejected by his publisher. And his former boss at an advertising agency responds to his request for re-employment with the same epithet Byron shouted when he quit. While having a drink at a Chinese restaurant, Byron meets Luther Fox (Jagger), whose name has a Mephistophelian ring for a reason: Fox runs a business called Elysian Fields, a male escort service.

He talks Byron into becoming a freelance walker-of-rich-and-lonely-women, and who should the writer’s first client be but Andrea Allcott (Olivia Williams), the wife of famous novelist Tobias Allcott (James Coburn). Soon Byron’s mortification and shame at selling himself turn to willingness, as he perceives the opportunities — but not the dangers — that lie in joining the Allcotts’ odd alliance.
(Ref. the charlie rose show)

Director George Hickenlooper (“Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse,” “The Low Life”) works easily with a stellar cast, which by the way includes Anjelica Huston as Luther Fox’s sole personal client and 1970s rocker Michael Des Barres as another Elysian field representative). In a story about stock characters, Hickenlooper makes each one specific, recognizable and quirky enough to be not just appealing but memorable. And, as in his previous films, he has a fine sense of place, in this case the rather tattered grandeur of Pasadena. From the Tillers’ modest arts-and-crafts bungalow to the anonymous hotels and office buildings of Fox’s world, the city has a not-quite-of-this-world feel. That sense is heightened by the Allcotts’ mansion, whose sumptuousness is at odds with its echoing, empty spaces.

Hickenlooper has made the most of a thin script by Philip Jayson Lasker, who like so many writers has cast his protagonist in the most flattering light (in an early scene Tiller makes love to his beautiful wife while she quotes his rave reviews). The ardent focus on Tiller and his ego-driven crisis is not nearly as rewarding as Lasker thinks it is, and it comes at the expense of genuine surprise: Nothing happens in “The Man From Elysian Fields” that viewers can’t see coming as clearly as the Rose Bowl parade.

Still, there are some amusing bits, especially at the hands of Jagger, who handles the film’s best lines with cool aplomb. “This business you’re in, doesn’t it make you ashamed?” Tiller asks Fox. “No, poverty does that,” Fox replies offhandedly. Such quiet jokes appear like so many tall poppies throughout “The Man From Elysian Fields,” a movie that may not be perfect but must be given credit for all that it does right, including casting superannuated rock stars as a couple of old gigolos. Perfect.

The men from Elysian Fields include Mick Jagger, left, with Anjelica Huston, and Andy Garcia, with Julianna Margulies.
(Ref. the charlie rose show)

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