Dutch actor Michiel Huisman — who has starred in such fan favorites as “Orphan Black” and “Game of Thrones” — and I had a similar experience. We both had anxiety about turning 30 (mine decades ago) but realized after that milestone birthday came and went, it wasn’t that bad.
“I never thought about turning 30 until I was about to turn 30. That just seems like an age where things change a lot. Now that I’m 33, it doesn’t matter,” Huisman says.
The subject of age comes up because Huisman stars in the new feature film “The Age of Adaline” with Blake Lively. The feature film opened April 24. She plays a woman who in the 1920s has a freak accident that causes her to stop aging and remains 29 for decades.
Adaline has spent her life avoiding friends and relationships because she doesn’t want the heartbreak of watching her loved ones grow older without her. Huisman plays the man who comes into her life and convinces her that it’s OK to love. That relationship is complicated when a man she loved decades ago comes back into her life.
As far as Huisman is concerned, not aging is a curse.
“One of the things I liked about the script was how is shows there’s a reason why there’s a cycle of life,” Huisman says. “You would miss out on so many things by not getting older.”
If he was forced to pick an age to be for decades, he would be happy with being 33 a little longer.
That’s probably because in recent years he’s not only been on two of the top shows in TV but was a regular on the ABC series “Nashville” and HBO’s “Treme,” plus was in the feature film “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon.
As for the variety of his TV work, Huisman was able to juggle schedules so he could work on multiple series.
“I didn’t plan it that way, but I think it worked out OK for me,” Huisman says. “It gave me some momentum and the opportunity to work with Blake on this movie.”
Along with getting to work with Lively and Harrison Ford, one of the main reasons Huisman likes being in “The Age of Adaline” is that he gets to wear regular clothes. The actor laughs and says it takes hours to get him suited up for an episode of “Game of Thrones.”
Whether it be medieval garb or modern clothes, the way things are going, 33 has been very good to Huisman.
“This feels like an exciting time for me and I have made some giants steps toward my career,” Huisman says. “It’s also very early in my career and I really don’t know what opportunities are awaiting me. I always want to do more. Sometimes I just step back and think about how exciting the promise of more is.”
Zombies to the Max
Max Brooks — the author of “World War Z” — was at Fresno City College as part of the school’s speakers forum. His main topic was his latest book, “The Harlem Hellfighters” (Broadway Books, $16.95), but he got around to the topic of the movie made from his “World War Z” book.
It’s not fair to say the book was adapted into the movie. That would suggest more than just the title was used to make the 2013 film. The movie version is as close to the book as “Hogan’s Heroes” is to what really happened in World War II.
When the movie premiered, Brooks decided to hold his tongue and not talk about how far afield it went. Other writers had told him that the main point was the movie would bring more attention to his book and that would be a good thing.
To say he was stunned how little of his book is in the movie is a massive understatement.
At the party after the premier, Brooks was approached by the film’s star, Brad Pitt.
“He asked me, ‘Did you cringe?’ I figured if he was honest enough to ask me that I would give him an honest answer,” Brooks says.
He told Pitt that he did cringe. The truth was as soon as he got past the opening credits, the film was very good. It had nothing to do with his book, but it was entertaining and he hoped the film would do well.
It became the No. 1 movie in the world.
Now, there are talks to make a film based on “The Harlem Hellfighters.” The book is based on the real story of the all African American unit during World War I who went on more missions than any other unit but never got any recognition.
Brooks is a little gun shy after what happened with “World War Z.”
“At this point, I would be happy if the characters are still black in the movie. They probably will cast Chris Hemsworth and Channing Tatum and make them in charge of a Chinese unit,” Brooks says.
If that happens, he can still bank on the film drawing attention to his other books.