As is previewed in the Thanks for Sharing trailer, the film is a fascinating look at sex addiction and even plays for comedy at times that truly works. Movie Fanatic met the cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad (Jobs) and Alecia Moore (otherwise known musically as Pink!), to talk about their film.
We had to start by wondering how difficult it would be to fall in love with someone who was a sex addict. After all, Thanks for Sharing does an impeccable job of humanizing the disease. For Paltrow, it would matter when in the relationship that fact was discovered.
“I’m an extremely open-minded person, so I think if it was something I knew going into it and someone said, ‘Look, this is part of who I am and what I’m dealing with,’ it wouldn’t keep me from exploring a relationship with somebody if I felt like everything else was lined up,” Paltrow admitted.
“I think it will be hard for me to be one of those wives that, twenty years in, you find out that it’s been going on behind your back for your whole life so you’re questioning what your life is. I think that would be harder for me. But if there is authenticity and honesty at the beginning then I wouldn’t hold a judgment about it.”
As is the case with any addiction, the risk of relapse is par for the course. And knowing that, any partner or friend for that matter, would have to know that it could happen at any time. “I think that in life the idea is that if you’re committed to someone and you’re in a relationship that’s important to you, you surmount things,” Paltrow added.
“I think for different couples it takes on different challenges, and I would like to think that I would be forgiving. It’s also something in that scenario I would know going in what I was signing up for.”
Thanks for Sharing puts a different face on the disease that some see as an “excuse” made for cheating or even worse, something that exists only in the darker corners of our society. “I didn’t think too much about it,” Robbins said.
The veteran actor portrays a man who has been sober for 15 years, who incidentally has also not taken a drink in many years either. Robbins plays star Mark Ruffalo’s sponsor and it is a role that the actor inhabits with ease.
“I didn’t think it was much of a problem until I started talking to sex addicts, and I was lucky enough to go to a meeting and see the courage it took these, mostly, men to address the issues and acknowledge how detrimental the addiction has been to their lives,” Robbins said.
“What’s inspiring about this is that there are people out there with these terrible afflictions that are working, working, working to overcome them, and that’s something I truly admire.”
The topic of what addictions the cast has had to deal with comes up in terms of finding those dark areas that are sprinkled with humor in Thanks for Sharing… all in an effort to bring truth to the cast’s roles and the film as a whole.
“Food has always been my addiction and that’s maybe something that goes to my happy place,” Gad said. “I’m working on it. I’ve been doing the Pink diet which is just Cirque du Soleil acrobats in my home and it’s been working great.”
Moore shakes her head at her co-star's comment and then gets serious. “When I was younger I used to do a lot of naughty things and I’ve seen all of it. I’ve lost a lot of friends. I think the first funeral I went to was when I was 13,” Moore said. “That’s part of what drew me to this; I believe that addiction is addiction regardless of the form it takes, and I can empathize and see the pain that it causes everybody whether you’re the person going through it or if it’s someone you love. It’s all around us.”
For Robbins, he is still grappling with his addiction. “I’ve been lucky that cigarettes are the worst,” he said. “I (expletive) hate them. But, I’m addicted.”
Paltrow then chimes in, showing off her wicked sense of humor. “I’m just straight up Internet porn,” she said as the entire cast, and her, laughs.
For Paltrow, portraying her character in Thanks for Sharing is leagues away from her role as Pepper Potts in the Marvel series, where we most recently saw her in Iron Man 3. This woman is seriously layered and reflected Paltrow’s own personal belief in continually looking at oneself in the mirror. “I loved the script when I read it, but one of the things I really was interested in is that she is a person who is holding all these judgments, and all of these judgments have helped her make this construct around herself,” Paltrow said.
“Through compassion and empathy and a situation she never would’ve imagined herself in, she starts to understand and have real self-awareness and reflectiveness. I think it’s such an amazing and essential human process to be brave and start to address your own shit. Mark Ruffalo’s shit looks dirtier, but actually it’s all the same and I thought that was a really interesting piece.”
Ruffalo was unable to attend due to a filming conflict. So, we asked the cast of Thanks for Sharing to give us their impressions of working with the man who is now The Hulk!
“I hated him," Gad said and laughed. “Mark is so extraordinary onscreen because he is so extraordinary in real life. He really is one of the most giving actors I’ve ever met and he just loves to play. He loves to find it in the moment with you, which is all you can ask for as an actor. He is as unbelievably charismatic in real life as he is onscreen.”
For Moore, being relatively new to the acting world, Ruffalo was a rock. “He was very supportive for me as the new guy. For me it was fun to watch those three guys, the boys' club, because you didn’t have to say anything,” she said. “They just had this incredible rapport with each other which was really fun to see. That was one of my favorite parts.”
For Paltrow, it was a chance for a reunion and perhaps a chance to make a movie a little better than their first!
“Mark and I did a really classic movie together [laughs] a long time ago that was shockingly snubbed by the Oscars called A View from the Top. I had an amazing time working with him then and we have good chemistry and it was very easy,” Paltrow said.
“He’s a lovely man and an excellent actor. I loved every minute of it.”