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’50 Shades’ of Friendship — The ‘Book Club’ Cast Spills Behind-the-Scenes Secrets

When making a movie, sometimes there are certain givens. For instance, in the case of Book Club, there's no question of the caliber of acting in the film considering that the cast features Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenbergen. What becomes a little more challenging, offers director and co-writer Bill Holderman, is making it seem as though there was a genuine connection between four women who, in reality, barely knew each other.

"How do you bring four characters together and make it feel like they have a 40-year friendship?" he rhetorically asks in an interview provided by the studio. "That's a huge challenge for the actors, and it's a big challenge for the movie. But one of those production miracles that happened was that these four women, in the making of the movie, got really close to the point where now they talk on the phone and have dinner with each other at each other's houses, and they're texting. It's like their friendship from the film has become real, and you see it in the movie. They reflect a real friendship, and it's because the foundation of what brings people together has brought them together in real life."

Strangely enough, what brings them together (on screen — we're not sure about off) is the novel 50 Shades of Grey. In the film, Diane (Diane Keaton) is recently widowed after 40 years of marriage, while Vivian (Jane Fonda) enjoys her men with no strings attached. Sharon (Candice Bergen), a judge, is still working through her decades-old divorce, and the marriage of Carol (Mary Steenburgen) is in a slump 35 years in the making. But everything is turned topsy turvy when, for their book club, Vivian recommends that they read 50 Shades, which actually has a life-altering impact on all of them and their love lives.

Explains co-writer Erin Simms, "We're hoping that this film will have some kind of an effect on people who feel that someone isn't sexy when they're older, which was an idea created by someone somewhere that just isn't true. I mean, look at our actresses. These women are forces to be reckoned with and people are obsessed with them and probably very attracted to them. They have plenty of opportunity in their lives. The movie is about taking yourself seriously and not being afraid or shamed of getting older. I think the movie's funnier because it's women of a certain age. And I think it's a conversation that's a little bit taboo, which makes it riskier and more fun."

Jane, Candice, Diane and Mary all agree with that sentiment, as you'll discover in the following interviews provided by Paramount Pictures.