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Waitress - Cheryl Hines interview

Cheryl Hines in Waitress

Compiled by Jack Foley

CHERYL Hines talks about appearing in Waitress and the joy she got from working with such a talented ensemble cast. She also discusses the impact the murder of the film’s writer, director and co-star Adrienne Shelly had upon her.

Q: What drew you to Waitress?
A: I was drawn to the film because Adrienne [Shelly] wrote such a funny and moving script. It was true to life but also delightful and I was really passionate about the project from the start. I thought she did such a good job not only creating these characters, but capturing the complexity of life and the choices that we make, the idea that life isn’t black and white. Everybody on the film was so talented and it was a real privilege to work with all the other actors – we became great friends and loved living in the world we created in Joe’s Diner.

Q: What was the camaraderie like between the three waitresses – you, Adrienne and Keri [Russell]?
A: We got along very well. We had a lot of fun together and Adrienne really wanted the audience to feel that friendship. So we spent some time getting to know each other, before we started shooting and it sort of carried on into the film.

Q: Keri’s character creates wonderful pies with amazing names such as Kick in the Pants Pie. What would your signature pie be do you think?
A: Life’s a Joke! There would be chocolate and maybe some hot sauce just to throw people off. It would be very spicy.

Q: What in your view is the film all about?
A: It’s interesting what people take from this film. I loved that it captures the comedy of life and the tragedy of life at the same time. Life’s not one thing or the other, it’s not always funny and it’s not always sad. If I had to say what the theme of this film is, I think it’s about finding your inner strength and knowing that you can do whatever you want to do, you can make changes in your life and that no one is truly, truly stuck. Even though you feel like you’re stuck at times, there are times in your life when you feel like there’s no way out, that life will never change and that you are on this path and can’t stop it, there’s always a different way. I think this movie lets you know that you can do it. You have choices. You can walk down a different path.

Q: How did you deal with the terrible tragedy of Adrienne’s death when she was killed last year? She never got to know how much audiences are loving her film…
A: I felt very confused and it did seem unbelievable to me. Adrienne and I connected on a lot of levels, but we both have daughters the same age and we spent a lot of time talking about our love affairs with our daughters. So as a mother, it really didn’t make sense and it still doesn’t. It’s difficult to say how I deal with it. It’s like losing anybody in your life, it’s not predictable and you can’t predict when you’re going to think about it or think about that person. You can’t predict how you’re going to feel tomorrow. You hold onto all the memories you have and you are angry with yourself for not remembering more.

We never know when we will be seeing someone for the last time and we should go through life realizing that everyday, and appreciating everyone, but we don’t. So I haven’t come up with a good process yet or found a way of dealing with her death.

Q When you think of Adrienne making this movie, was there one moment that particularly reminds you of her?
A: Adrienne plays the role of Dawn in the film, she gets married and she’s got on her wedding dress and one day when we were shooting in a little café, Andy Griffith was there, Keri was there and we were having a great time. But it was also stressful because we were on a budget, shooting the movie in 20 days, we were concerned about losing the light, the location, everything. And I just remember Adrienne shooting her scene, then running back to the monitor in her wedding gown, and then she’d come out, give people notes while still in her wedding dress, and then go and do her scene again. She was amazing and funny and so engaging. That’s my memory of that particular scene: crazy and fun all at the same time.

b>Read our review of Waitress

b>Producer Michael Roiff discusses Adrienne Shelly’s legacy