How Blythe Danner's Pot Smoking Past (Or Lack Thereof) Helped Her Let Loose in 'I'll See You in My Dreams'
By John Boone
Blythe Danner (who you probably know from movies like Meet the Fockers or The Lucky One, or as Gwyneth Paltrow’s real-life mom) hasn’t smoked weed in a while. And come to think of it, last time she got high, it didn’t end well.
“I tried pot a couple times when I was younger, but it always made me very antisocial,” the 72-year-old actress told ETonline while perched on a couch at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons. “Everybody would be laughing hysterically and I’d be paranoid in the corner, going, ‘Why aren’t I laughing? What’s wrong with me?’ So, I just never did it. Except a couple times.”
Decades later she gets a do-over -- at least, on the big screen. In her latest movie, I’ll See You in My Dreams, Carol (played by Danner) is a widow whose dog also recently died, leaving her all alone. Thankfully, she has best friends (the perfectly casted Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, and Mary Kay Place) to help fill her days with bridge...and marijuana, as you can see in the exclusive clip above.
“Aren’t they incredible, those women?” Blythe gushed over her costars. “When it came to the pot scene, I just said, ‘Take it, girls.’ I just sat back and let them have a ball, because I thought they were so wonderful.”
The “pot scene” -- a standout moment in an all-around lovely movie -- comes after Carol has struck up new romances (of sorts) with two men (Sam Elliott and Martin Starr) and is getting her groove back. Enter: The vape and some choice medical marijuana.
“I’d heard of a vape, but I hadn’t done it,” Blythe says. Rhea Perlman, whose character Sally is the one who owns the vape, was even less informed. “I did a little research!” she exclaimed. “I’d never seen one before, so I had to go get one. Somebody bought me a pipe -- and I didn’t put anything in it, of course.” She paused to laugh coyly. “I had to figure out how to work it.”
The weed on the other hand? Perlman knew how that worked. “I think we were all pretty educated,” she smiled. “You know, we’ve been around. We all came through the ‘70s and you could not avoid marijuana in any shape of form. Along with all kinds of other things that were passed around the world. So even though, I don’t think any of us are pot smokers today, we all know what we’re doing.”
In the movie, the four ladies pass the vape around then embark on a night of hilarious hijinx, including a late night visit to grocery store to quell their munchies. “We were in the store, and there were people shopping!” June Squibb, who plays the buttoned up Georgina, told us. “They thought we were crazy, I’m sure.”
Perlman adds of scenes that didn’t necessarily make it into the movie, “There was a lot of funny stuff where we’re throwing food over the aisles and trying to hit the basket on the other side and doing all kinds of crazy things, so we did a lot of improv.” Blythe notes the ladies also did a dance number that was cut. DVD extras, please!
As for the aforementioned bridge games that lead to the pot smoking, well, that experience didn't go as well.
“We had this really ridiculous day where we tried to learn how to play bridge,” Perlman recalls. “[Director Brett Haley] hooked up with this really master bridge player, trying to teach four women who have never played bridge before -- and we got really hostile to him.”
So who won the bridge game that day? “We don’t know! We never learned!”
I’ll See You in My Dreams is in select theaters now and expanding this week.