Wild at heart

After a surprise marriage to a fellow star, just like her character in True Romance, Patricia Arquette is very much in the public eye. She tells Nigel Floyd about her latest role in John Boorman’s Beyond Rangoon.

On a sunny. windswept beach at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. 'I'rue Romanee star Patricia Arquette was enjoying an unorthodox honeymoon being interviewed about her latest role in John Boorman‘s political adventure. Beyond Rangoon. Thirty yards away. her husband of six weeks. actor Nicolas Cage. was conducting his own interviews for his latest film. K iss 0fDear/r. There was nothing orthodox about the wedding either. as Cage had revealed to me earlier: ‘When she showed up dressed in this wonderful black vinyl outfit with a purple wedding cake. l knew I was gonna be with the right woman. So we got into this wonderful. pewter-coloured Ferrari. put the top down. and drove to Carmel. making phone calls to various members of our family on the way. letting them know that we were going to elope.‘

The American media had a field day with Cage and Arquettc‘s ‘whirlwind romance', but Arquette is quick to point out that the couple had. in fact, known

‘Alabama was a very sexual creature who had learned early in life that sexuality is a way of getting attention; my character in Beyond Rangoon buried her sexuality with her dead husband.’

each other for eight years. Furthermore. Cage had declared his intentions right from the outset: ‘The second thing he ever said to me was. “I‘m gonna marry you".’ First time around. though. the couple only went out for three weeks before breaking up. Nevertheless. they remained friends and. despite other relationships. finally found their way back to each other. ‘You have a lot of growing up to do. especially in the age period that we were in, and a lot ofdamage is done to significant partners in the meantime. while those lessons are being learned. And I never wanted to punish what we had in that sort of way. I didn't want that sort of scar tissue. Finally I grew into my own. and felt like I really could honour something forever. I believe I'm ready to be virtuous.‘

After her striking role as Alabama in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted True Romanee put her on the map, Arquette was offered every ‘troubled. heart-of—gold hooker part in town'. an easy option she resisted in favour of the complete opposite. In Beyond Rangoon. she plays American doctor Laura Bowman, whose travels through Asia with her sister are meant to


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Patricia Arquette comes lace to lace with the Burmese dictatorship in Beyond Rangoon

alleviate the emotional numbness she feels following the brutal murder of her husband and son. Instead. a reckless joumey into the Burmese countryside. in the company of disgraced professor Aung Ko (U Aung Ko). embroils Laura in the nation’s volatile politics. casting her in the role of reluctant heroine.

‘This was the most different thing i could do,‘ explains Arquette. ‘I do shut down emotionally sometimes. but I don't dwell in grief the way Laura does. I'm constantly scraping for life. and most of the characters that I play are life-force creatures like myself. So the first reason I did this movie was because of John [Boorman]: the second reason was because of the political situation it depicted: and the third reason was because of how different Laura was from the way I am as a woman. or from the characters I have played before. Alabama was a very sexual creature who had learned early in life that sexuality is a way of getting attention; my character in Beyond Rangoon buried her sexualin with her dead husband.‘

Two of Arquette‘s siblings. her older sister. Patricia and her younger brother. Alexis. are also actors. a talent they inherited from their extremely liberal and supportive parents. Surprisingly. this has caused little friction between the siblings. even between Patricia and her sister Rosanna. whose star has seemed to wane while her younger sister’s has waxed. ‘I don't think it‘s ever. in a way. dawned on us because we‘ll read a script and I'll say. “Well. they offered me this and I‘m definitely too young. so I‘ve told them to hire you". ()r she‘ll'say. “I read this script and they want me to do it. but you know what. you should do it because it‘s a great part. but I already did

something like before". Actually. if Rosanna weren‘t my sister. she‘d still be interesting to me. as an artist. and because of what she has to say.‘ Although one might question whether the 27-year- old actress has the dramatic and emotional range to carry her demanding role as Laura Bowman. there is no denying her willingness to accept a challenge. Already she has played opposite Liam Neeson in [fr/Ian I-‘ronre. alongside Jessica Lange in Sam Shepard‘s Far North. and. more recently. she popped

up as the accommodating girlfriend of talentless. transvestite director lid Wood in Tim Burton's film of

the same name. She also earned great praise for her role as a hearing-impaired epileptic in Diane

Keaton's made-for-'l‘V movie ll’i/(lflower. Her next

film will be The .S’eerel xigenf. an adaptation of

Joseph Conrad's cruelly ironic 1907 novel about

anarchist bomb outrages in late 19th century London;

" the director is Dangerous Liaismrs scriptwriter

Christopher Hampton and the cast includes Gerard

i Depardieu. Bob Hoskins and Robin Williams.

‘I play this young woman. Mrs Verloc. who‘s married to an older gentleman (Hoskins). who has made a nice home for me and my retarded brother. whom 1 love very much. But there‘s a lot of anarchistic terrorism. which my husband turns out to be a part of. and my brother ends up getting killed. And the film basically shows how I. as a woman. change from that moment. I suppose. in a way. it sounds like Beyond Rangoon. but it‘s different because Mrs Verloc‘s reaction is not to dig into her inner strength but to collapse into a son of madness.‘ Beyond Rangoon opens in Seorland on Friday 30 June.

22 The List 30 Jun-l3 Jul 1995