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Home » Film

Theresa Russell on Track 29

Submitted by MBergeron on February 20, 2012 – 5:56 pmNo Comment
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Theresa Russell came up with her character constantly wearing purple in Track 29. “Linda is obsessed with violet,” Russell tells Free Press Houston in a phone interview. She obsesses on that color after being assaulted near a lilac bush by the carnival guy, seen in the film via flashbacks. Track 29 comes out on DVD February 21.

Track 29 (1988) was one of a series of films Russell acted in for director Nicolas Roeg, which also includes Bad Timing, Eureka, and Insignificance where Russell played Marilyn Monroe (although the character was called The Actress). The couple was married in 1982, and while no longer together Russell has nothing but praise for his artistic vision. “Nick’s forgotten more than most people know. He loves cutting his films. Don’t forget he started as a cinematographer on films like Fahrenheit 451,” reminds Russell.

Parts of Track 29 revolve around a young man who’s shown up in Linda’s life claiming to be her son, her husband who ignores her, as well as an expansive model railroad set. In typical Roeg fashion we see the railroad cars crashing in various rates of slow motion. “Nick had another special set just for the trains, it was like a film onto itself.”

Gary Oldman, currently nominated for an Oscar for his role as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, made Track 29 early in his acting career, having made Sid and Nancy and Prick Up Your Ears around the same time.

Other scenes depict Linda drinking vodka in the morning while watching cartoons like Underdog. “We also reference Engineer Bill,” adds Russell about Linda’s husband (Christopher Lloyd) and his fixation with trains. Track 29 blends layers of reality as we observe characters all at odds with each other.

Russell comments on her auspicious debut in The Last Tycoon, directed by Elia Kazan and featuring Robert De Niro as well as several classic era actors like Robert Mitchum, Ray Milland and Tony Curtis. “I was totally calm when I met De Niro but Mitchum was like meeting an idol. I wished I was older and a notch on his belt.” In Russell’s next film Straight Time she starred alongside Dustin Hoffman. “Last Tycoon had been so formal, with a Harold Pinter script that couldn’t be changed and on Straight Time we would spend the entire morning improvising the scenes we would shoot later.”

- Michael Bergeron

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