‘American Gigolo’ — Why Gretchen Mol signed on to Showtime series

Actress stars in update of 1980 feature

Gretchen Mol of ‘American Gigolo’ Sunday on Showtime

Q: What attracted you to the role of Michelle in “American Gigolo”?

A: I knew the film and I had worked with Paul Schrader years ago, and I found the story just really intriguing to sort of take it and put it into a modern time and work within the time periods of kind of going back and forth in flashbacks. So what was intriguing for me was having a character who spans this time and what changed, what happened to her because she fell in love with this man who happens to be a gigolo and then he’s in prison for 15 years and you know, who she is, who he is on the other side of that and what becomes of that kind of love when you have it when you’re young and how that changes a person.

Q: When you got the part, did you go back and look at Lauren Hutton’s performance as Michelle in the original 1980 feature?

A: I mean, I had seen the movie years ago and had an impression of it as being a very stylish movie of its time. And in a way, I kind of went back and looked at a few scenes. But to be honest, I wanted to sort of stay in the here-and-now, the sort of modern version of what we were doing. I knew it was going to have its own take, really, and so it was important for me to be kind of open to that and not go back into that other story and say, “But this happened and this happened this way.” And also similarly, like she played it this way.

Well you know, that wouldn’t have been helpful for me, I don’t think, as iconic as her performance and Richard Gere’s performance were.

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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