Rene Russo is one of them. Uma Thurman is another.
If you were to sit up and ask, “Rene who?” no, I will not be offended or surprised, for you are only proving the point I am about to make. This beautiful and talented lady is one of the most underrated and underutilised actresses in Hollywood today. One of the reasons could be that after being a top model for a number of years, she came into films when she was past 35. The other reason could be that she is married to the same man for the past 16 years and may not have given much grist to the gossip mill unlike so many other leading ladies of her time.
To the uninitiated, some necessary filmography: Lethal Weapon 3, Lethal Weapon 4, Outbreak and Ransom, opposite Mel Gibson.
I may have not perhaps mentioned in these posts, but I am a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, right from his “A Fistful of Dollars” days. In my pantheon of Hollywood Greats, old Mr. Squinty is right up there, somewhere close to the very top. And there is one movie where Rene Russo and Clint Eastwood come together and this is the movie I want you to see. It’s called “In the Line of Fire” (ITLOF).
ITLOF is a predictable but well-made thriller where Eastwood plays a veteran Secret Service agent. Russo is his FBI associate and the duo race against time to foil an assassination attempt on the US President. Predictable stuff indeed, but Russo imbues what could have been a typical Eastwood-sidekick-and-love-interest role with a certain luminous charm and gives the character a solid veneer of professionalism and reliability.
What really works for me in ITLOF is the on-screen chemistry between Russo and Eastwood which doesn’t exactly boil over but sizzles quietly in the background. My favourite scene is the one where the duo is having ice cream with the sun setting over the Washington monument. Eastwood says something particularly annoying and misogynistic and Russo asks him ever so sweetly: “Do you really have to try to be obnoxious or is it a gift?”
“It’s a gift,” says Eastwood, a smile crinkling the corners of his eyes.
Photo Courtesy: Chuang’s Public Gallery, Picasa Web Albums