Belfast Telegraph

Danner surprised to land lead at 71

Blythe Danner has admitted she was surprised to land her first starring role in a movie at the age of 71.

The actress plays a widow in her 70s who confronts her fear of dating in Brett Haley's new movie I'll See You In My Dreams, which has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Meet The Parents star Blythe believes her casting proves there are roles out there for older women in Hollywood.

She said: "I think it's changing. I got the script and I thought 'Does he really mean me for this role?'

"I'd never had a leading role in a film, and that could never happen for a studio film - I wouldn't be offered it. So I'm very grateful to Brett.

Blythe - whose daughter is Gwyneth Paltrow - was widowed in 2002 when her producer husband Bruce Paltrow died from cancer, and admitted she felt very close to her role in the film.

She said: "I am a widow and I'm cast as this widow. I tend to be not terribly, terribly social. I tend to enjoy my own company. Which is a good thing, sometimes it can be bad thing, because I'd often rather stay home than go out.

"And I think it just touched me how she became more open."

But Blythe did not go speed dating to research the scene in which her character does the same thing in the film.

She confessed: "I didn't, I didn't have the courage, I don't think I could possibly stomach it!"

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