Blake Lively decided to take a year off from acting when her CW Network series “Gossip Girl” wrapped in 2012. She worked hard the six seasons the show was on the air, not only making the series but also in the feature films “Green Lantern” and “Savages.”
“I was just tired,” Lively says. “You work 10 months a year, 16-18 hour days. I took the time off for practical reasons.”
Part of the way the Southern California native filled the time off was by reading scripts. A few got her attention, but it was “The Age of Adaline” that caught her attention and made her end her self-imposed acting break.
She plays a woman who in the 1920s is in a mystical car accident that stops her aging process. She stays 29 for decades. That’s a lot of years to fall in love, even when you aren’t trying, and that’s what creates the drama.
The fanciful story is what drew Lively to the script.
“I don’t believe magic exists much in films these days unless its a superhero movie or it has wands,” Lively says. “Magic in a quiet film is very rare.”
Having an infinite amount of time sounds appealing, but there’s a tremendous downside. Adaline avoids falling in love because she can’t grow old with them.
As Lively sees it, it’s better to have less time as long as it’s filled with love.
Lively thinks of aging as a symptom of life.
“I think people worry about mortality but aging is something society puts on you,” Lively says. “It’s more of an aesthetic thing. I don’t think people sit at home and think, ‘Oh, I’m going to age slightly.’ When you are worried about a crease at your eye or your hand looks a little older, it’s because its instinctively related to mortality.”
Lively has aged in front of the cameras. The 27-year-old actress landed her first professional job when she was 11 in the 1998 film, “Sandman.” Her credits include “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Elvis and Anabelle” and “The Town.”
In “The Age of Adeline,” Lively worked to find the right way to play a character who looks young but actually has more than 100 years of life experiences. The biggest clue to the character’s real age is in how she mixes and matches wardrobes from a variety of time periods.
“I would joke on set when people asked me if I was trying to play a woman from the ‘20s or ‘60s of today. I would tell them I was just trying to portray an old cat lady,” Lively says. “She’s an old woman who has closed herself off for so long.”
The actress took etiquette lessons to be able to eat, talk and walk properly for a woman who would have come of age in the ‘20s. Lively also was inspired by different grandmothers she’s known — the older they were the more conservative and “lady like.”
Lively was in the early months of her pregnancy when the final scenes were shot, including a stunt where her car crashes into a pond. Her child with husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, came months later.
Now, she’s back to work juggling jobs and motherhood.