Tommy Lee Jones is known for playing some iconic roles with real bravado—the marshal in The Fugitive, Agent K in the Men in Black series—so his newest part in the marriage drama Hope Springs is a bit of a departure.
Jones told The Olathe News, “It seemed to be about real people: very common, widespread, with real difficulties: namely complacency, dedication to a day-in, day-out routine, deadened emotions. Just the ordinary, miserable qualities of a normal person. The originality was to discover how preposterous and funny that is. I thought it might be a chance to make a real movie that would give people the opportunity to laugh at something that made them cry yesterday.”
Jones did a great deal of preparation for his character of the unhappily wed Arnold, opposite Meryl Streep. “There is no change in me,” he said. “It’s a creation of a character….You just have to look at the character and know the character and look at me and know me. But you’re not going to know me.”
The Oscar-winner had a good collaborative relationship with the director of the film, David Frankel. “I don’t say anything to him that’s not well thought out,” he said. “He takes my comments into due consideration and responds accordingly. I don’t direct him. No director wants to be directed, but no good director…would shy away from the good ideas of others.”
Jones is also gearing up for the release of his next project, Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln, in which he plays the club-footed congressman Thaddeus Stevens. He noted, “A delight for any actor. You have no hair and you get to limp all the time.”
Hope Springs opens in theaters August 8, and Lincoln is set to be released November 16.