Pedro Almodóvar on Gay Love & Sex Over 50 in Strange Way of Life: ‘People remain desirable’

There’s a social illness in the fact publicities always focus on younger bodies,” the director tells Attitude, as we discuss his new movie starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke


Pedro Almodóvar is showing us where the magic happens. “It’s here the ideas come,” he says over Zoom, spinning his laptop to show Attitude around his busy, book-laden study. Through a window we see a burst of vibrant green; handy inspiration, one imagines, for his trademark use of bold colour in his movies. “I’ve got the good luck that there are a lot of trees here, [despite this being] quite a central avenue in Madrid,” he explains of his home. One imagines him typing away as gorgeous, stressed women pound the pavement below, caught up in real-life Almodóvarian psychodramas. “There’s a big park, Casa de Campo [nearby]. It’s fantastic. I can breathe.”

Breathe and work. At 73, the prolific director shows no sign of slowing. After 22 critically acclaimed feature films, and one glorious short starring Tilda Swinton (The Human Voice), the Oscar-winner is back with his gayest outing in years: Strange Way of Life. This gruff Western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke follows two middle-aged men reviving a passionate love affair after decades apart.

“When we started rehearsing, it was immediate: very good chemistry,” says Pedro of his leading men, and their characters’ smouldering attraction. The actors are seasons pros, of course, with Pedro, 48, reaching new levels of success this year with dystopian sci-fi series The Last of Us. Meanwhile Ethan, 52, is arguably best-known for his Oscar-nominated role in 2014 drama Boyhood.

“I didn’t do any special exercises,” says Pedro of the rehearsal period. “We just lived in Madrid, spent time together. At one point I went to a concert with Ethan, because Pedro wasn’t there yet. Because they were both foreigners in Madrid, with a language neither one manages very well, that adds to a connection. But it was just sharing dinners and drinks, the three of us.” 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top