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Shirley MacLaine: At ease at 80


Shirley MacLaine: At ease at 80

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Shirley MacLaine pulled no punches when asked about her take on life at age 80.

“Well, I’m a lot closer to dying,” she said, with a chuckle.

Maybe so, but there still seems to be a lot of life left for both the vibrant woman and her Oscar-winning career.

MacLaine is among the very few octogenarians who still get name-above-the-title billing, which she shares with 84-year-old co-star Christopher Plummer in the big-screen dramedy Elsa & Fred, the upcoming American remake of the 2005 foreign-language favourite.

“I had seen the Argentinian film,” MacLaine said in a recent interview. “Loved it,” she continued. “Loved the relationship between the two; older people falling in love was really attractive to me.”

At first glance, MacLaine’s Elsa is merely the nutty neighbour to Plummer’s Fred, who has pretty much given up on living in the wake of his wife’s recent passing.

But there’s a lot more to Elsa than Fred, or the film’s viewers, see coming. Getting specific would spoil the surprises, but it’s safe to say that moviegoers should take what Elsa says with a grain of salt.

“She really did lie about everything,” MacLaine revealed.

But little matter, as it’s what Elsa does that’s of greater importance, as it re-introduces Fred to La Dolce Vita – both the classic Fellini movie, and, for real, its English translation, “the sweet life”.