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Laura Linney plays one of the lonely people in ‘The Details’



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Updated: November 29, 2012 6:19AM

Laura Linney pays attention to the details.

“I remember a very strange woman who lived in my building when I was a little girl,” says the 48-year-old native New Yorker. “We were all instructed, ‘Don’t go near that lady. She’s strange.’

“I always thought she was just lonely, which is also what’s happening with my character in ‘The Details.’ ”

Linney explores her comedic stranger side in the movie (opening Friday) about domestic issues, infidelity and murder that starts when a family of raccoons torments homeowners Jeff (Tobey Maguire) and Nealy (Elizabeth Banks).

Linney plays Lila, a lonely neighbor who pushes the limits in every way. “I knew Laura would be perfect for this role,” says writer-director Jacob Estes. “She imagined her own Lila. My rule is if people have an idea better than mine then I cast them.”

Loneliness can be debilitating, Linney says. “If it touches someone who a slight leaning towards a mental illness, then perhaps the loneliness forces them to go to the dark side.”

She even has a wild sex scene with Maguire.

“Tobey was such a good sport about letting me emotionally and physically maul him, which is what I did for hours at a time,” says Linney. “It was just fun to be that emotionally uninhibited for a little while.”

She has another emotional role in December in “Hyde Park on the Hudson,” where she plays Margaret Suckley. The film revolves around the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin, including a weekend in 1939 when the king and queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.

Bill Murray plays Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt.

“Bill was just great at FDR. I was just so impressed that he took it on in the first place,” Linney says. “It takes guts to play FDR. That’s just a frightening undertaking.”

Murray, she says, “is as eccentric and unique as you hear that he is as a person. Then he is incredibly hardworking as an actor.

“This movie was important to him. He was really concerned about how the cast, and even how the crew, was doing.”

Linney plays a mom with cancer on the Showtime series “The Big C,” soon to conclude its four-season run.

“People have been very supportive of me in this role — and I can’t even begin to describe how good that makes me feel. Because I love that character,” Linney says.

She says her fan mail often makes her cry.

“You don’t have to look very far to find someone whose life has been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form.”

“It’s also much more than a show for me,” she says in a soft voice. “The irony is that my father died of lung cancer while I was filming the show.”

He died in January 2011.

“The subject matter of cancer is very close to me, too,” she says. “It’s a powerful subject in my life.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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