| Richard Gere (left) jokingly hides behind Diane Lane during a photocall in Munich for Unfaithful . (AP/PTI)
Rome, Dec. 6 (Reuters): Dodging scooters and the admiring stares of shopkeepers, Diane Lane is living it up on location in Italy far from the Oscar buzz surrounding her film Unfaithful.
Instead of an upper-class adulteress whose intense eroticism has wowed US audiences, Lane is playing a writer who rebuilds her life amid the rolling hills, sumptuous recipes and handsome men of Italy in Under the Tuscan Sun.
“It’s a relief to play somebody who is having a better time of things,” said Lane, after shooting the film’s first romantic encounter in Rome’s cobbled streets — the opposite of a famous scene in Unfaithful.
In images full of raw emotional energy, Lane's character in Unfaithful relives an adulterous tryst while heading home on a commuter train. Fear and delight flash across her face as she recalls the exhilarating act.
Critics see an Academy Award-winning performance opposite Richard Gere as a suburban wife who throws her marriage into chaos when she has an affair.
“It feels funny. It’s a nice kind of funny, but scary,” said Lane, 37, who got a meteoric start as a young actress, gracing the cover of Time magazine at 14, but has had a patchy run in her adult career.
She has also starred in The Perfect Storm, The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. In Under the Tuscan Sun, loosely based on the bestselling memoirs of Frances Mayes about living the simple life in Italy, Lane is carrying a film on her own.
“I really like the many-faceted female perspectives on love and romance and keeping your dreams alive,” she said. “It’s just so refreshing, rather than a male take on a woman’s experience.”
In the film, Lane plays a writer from San Francisco whose divorce has left her depressed and unable to put pen to paper. On a whim, she buys an Italian villa and starts a new life — which includes a romantic encounter with an antiquities dealer played by Raoul Bova, whose star status in Italy ensured that the crew was followed everywhere by paparazzi.
”I love my character and her journey,” Lane gushes as the crew packs up and she prepares to meet her family for an evening of site-seeing in Rome's historic centre.
The journey has also taken Lane to Tuscan hills covered in fruit and olive trees, dramatic cliffs along Italy's Amalfi coast and to the eternal city of Rome.
”Certainly, the location is a boost,” says Lane.
The movie, directed and written by Audrey Wells for Touchstone Pictures, will be released in the autumn of 2003.