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The Robert Loggia/Marc Meyers Interview  (Page 3 of 4)

An Interview with Robert Loggia and Marc Meyers

Gary Barg: Saying goodbye.

Marc Meyers: It is like his last great moment

Gary Barg: I was specifically touched by Loggia’s acceptance of and response to Barbara Barrie’s condition. My take is that to him, it is all about love now, is it not?

Marc Meyers: I think when these things happen gradually within a family and you love someone your whole life, it is always a gradual progression towards realizing where you are in your life. You are not going to reject that situation as much as you are just going to embrace this woman you have loved your whole life and you are chemically and biologically connected. Though she may have Alzheimer’s dementia at this moment in time, the love and bond they have transcends this shift that has been a gradual progress, probably over a number of years. That is true probably in any marriage and relationship.

Gary Barg: My take on Alzheimer’s caregiving is that the last thing anybody feels or remembers or understands is love. When my grandfather was ill and in a nursing home, he didn’t know or understand anything. But when my mom walked in, he chemically or biologically knew it and perked up.

Marc Meyers: There’s almost something infantile but primal that remains and as a director, it was fun to play with that instinct when talking to Barbara—that she may not be able to get the words out, but she can know certain things. For example, when she says there is a parade downstairs, she is referring to the funeral at the house. She knows there are people down there. She knows it is for a bad reason. She probably even in her heart knows it is because she lost her husband, but she cannot even concentrate or keep her brain together long enough to reach that conclusion. But in her gut, she understands what is going on like a child might understand what is going on.

Gary Barg: As a writer, I was very aware of how you got into the soul of somebody living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and what it is like inside their head. That scene with her and Jack on the bed—could you explain that a little bit?

Marc Meyers: I feel like the movie is progressing towards that scene. It is for the audience to see that scene so clearly that there is no reason for me to move the camera; I just allow them to be alone together. In that scene is a moment where she cannot communicate verbally what she is experiencing inside, but the audience completely understands what she is going through. They understand her now and I have earned that moment by allowing people to just be with her. I always felt that the movie progresses right toward that moment. It was all leading to that.

Gary Barg: What would the takeaway lessons for a family caregiver be in the movie you created?

 

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