“I was tempted by the opportunity to play the role of someone who wasn’t an authority figure or captain or commander of some sort”, laughs actor Bruce Greenwood, when asked what appealed to him about playing the role of Hugh Greenfield in 2014’s “Endless Love”. “Not that I mind playing those sorts of rules, but it was refreshing to be offered something different”.
Though the role of Gabriella Wilde‘s concerned father in the remake of the 1981 drama is a vastly different character to some of those other parts Greenwood’s known for – largely that of Captain Christopher Pike in the two recent ‘’Star Trek’’ movies, and his turn as JFK in ‘’Thirteen Days ‘’– the native still needed to read a script before he agreed to ditch the Starfleet duds.
“The first thing I recognized was that this was a totally different film to the 1981 film”, Greenwood says of the Franco Zeffirelli movie that helped launched Brooke Shields to superstardom. “It was a movie of its time, just as our movie is a movie of its time.”
A less dark, more teen-friendly chronicle of rocky young love, this ‘’Endless Love’’ is “for a younger audience”, says Greenwood, “whereas, I think, that the original one was a more adult movie.”
The Canadian-born actor was also taken with the story within the libretto, and though he admits he’s not as overprotective or as unreasonable as his character in the film, could relate to a lot of the father’s plight too.
“The subject matter was intriguing. I like the traditional story of where a young girl falls in love with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks and the father doesn’t agree with it. But this is different because the audience starts to feel for and understand where the father is coming from – right up until he becomes sort of unreasonable. The journey the father takes to get to that point of being so irrational was fascinating.
“This is a guy who has been a doctor all his life – so he’s been in a powerful, controlling position for a long time. Suddenly, something is out of his control, and the father’s world starts to unravel.”
Greenwood believes his character is “Somewhat acting out of fear. He’s already lost a child, and now that his daughter has fallen in love, he pictures her leaving too. He doesn’t want to lose another child.”
Even in Australia, a country Greenwood knows and loves, the actor believes “Endless Love “will hit home with many.
“I do. I think it’ll be enjoyed by a wide group of people”.
“Speaking of, I love Australia”, Greenwood tells. “I shot a film called Mao’s Last Dancer there a couple of years ago. We shot that mostly in Sydney, but I came down to Melbourne too – I love Melbourne; we went for a drive down the Great Ocean Road there, it’s so beautiful.”
Speaking of Aussies, Greenwood spends a lot of time around them.
“I had Roger Donaldson here for dinner last week”, Greenwood says of the Ballarat-based “Thirteen Days” helmer. “And I just finished a film with [adopted Aussie] Russell Crowe, called Fathers and Daughters.”
So are we done with the officer-type roles now, Bruce?
Judging by the request Greenwood recently made of his “Star Trek” director J..J Abrams, nope! He’s still willing to slap on commanding officer stripes – especially if it’s for his friend J.J’s current project.
“I actually said to J.J, just before he started Star Wars [Episode VII], that it would be good if, in one scene, the doors slid open and Captain Pike walked in – before excusing himself because he’d found himself for being in “the wrong room””, the actor laughs.
”Endless Love” is now out on DVD and Blu-ray