A movie is made up of many moving parts, as you know, but The Tomorrow Man really makes you appreciate its supporting characters. John Lithgow and Blythe Danner (as Ed and Ronnie) are terrific actors who have no problem holding our attention and steering the story (provided by writer/director Noble Jones). But, their characters would have a hard time finding momentum if it wasn’t for Ed’s temperamental family – a group of people we’re briefly involved with – and Tina, an honest co-worker Ronnie confides in.
Tina is played by Eve Harlow (Instant Family, TV’s The 100). I wanted to pick Eve’s brain about her small yet significant role, as well as what she believes makes The Tomorrow Man unique.
Addison Wylie: Your character, Tina, observes most of the story from the sidelines while people around her find themselves challenged by life choices. Outside of the cinema, is it better for us to deal with conflict or to live a life less challenged?
Eve Harlow: I’m an advocate of dealing with conflict head on. Yes, ignorance is bliss, and living in denial is a far easier route to take…but I feel that is impossible to keep up, and eventually one has to face one’s demons. Why not do it as they come?
AW: Have you known people like Ed who over-prepare for the unexpected, or people like Ronnie who are struggling with their own confusion? If so, did you use that experience to shape Tina’s personality?
EH: I’ve definitely known people showcasing both those traits, and have gone through phases where I’ve adopted both of them – I mean, who hasn’t been so scared that they’ve over-prepared? Or so overwhelmed by a situation they just can’t seem to figure out what the next step to take is? Life will do that to ya. But Tina is neither like Ed or Ronnie; does she have her own anxieties and neurosis? Of course, every character, every human does. But they aren’t portrayed in the film, and they needn’t be – she is a foil for the heroes of the story; one CAN approach the world in a more relaxed manner, and Tina is a representation of that.
AW: I think it’s easy to generalize that The Tomorrow Man is for an older audience because of the romance between Lithgow and Danner. It’s kind of a lazy assumption considering there are other universal themes at play. What do you think most audiences will take-away, or learn, from the movie?
EH: Saying that it’s just for an older audience is the equivalent of saying that stories whose protagonists are young are only for young people. The truth is, we don’t all stop living once we get past 40; experiences of life and love continue past that. So what I think what people will take away from this is what one takes away from any well made film – an insight into humanity.
AW: The Tomorrow Man is Noble Jones’ feature film debut as a writer/director. What do you admire about his filmmaking?
EH: I think that because this was his first film, it made him the director that he ended up being – he knew exactly what he wanted, was specific about it, and knew how to express it. There was no time wasted, no confusion as to what scene we were doing, what the shot was going to be; it’s quite invigorating to work with someone who has a set vision for what they want.
AW: What makes The Tomorrow Man unique to other dramas you’ve seen?
EH: As you mentioned, it focuses on the development of a relationship between an older couple, and what I love about it is that it it takes its time with that relationship. There are no fast car chases, no overly dramatic revelations with dramatic music, no big explosions to distract with. It shows their eccentricities, their weaknesses, portraying them in a very real light, and it’s rather refreshing to see this – two humans trying to make sense of this crazy world, trying to find solace and some sort of answers in each others and those that surround them…a quest that I don’t think ever truly ends.
The Tomorrow Man is now playing in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
The film expands to other Canadian cities starting Friday, June 28.
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