James Marsden: “The Notebook made me cry man tears!”
We chat heartbreak, dream dates and working on the saddest film of all time with the star of Nicholas Sparks’ new movie, The Best of Me
So, let’s begin by asking if there has ever been one that got away?
Not really. I look back and think about my first relationship and how devastated I was when we broke up. At the time I felt like she was the one who got away, but slowly I realised it was better we didn’t end up together.
When your heart’s broken, it takes time to get over it. At the time when you’re so in to somebody, you can’t see yourself with anyone else, but there’s always a reason for what happens in life.
It’s comforting to know even James Marsden can have his heart broken. No offence…
Oh yeah! Everyone can have their heart broken. Even if you know the relationship isn’t working, it’s still sad. Even in a bad relationship they’re part of your life for a long time and saying goodbye to that can be difficult.
Are you naturally a romantic?
I’d say so – I find as I get older I’m more traditional and old-fashioned. I prefer face to face conversation as opposed to texting. You need to go out of your way to spend good time with one another, you need to have a date night. Whether you have kids or a career or whatever, for a relationship to thrive, it’s about making time for each other.
Is that tough to manage with your career?
Yeah it can be. But also that time away makes you want to be with them more when you get back!
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
Oh, boy. Um… When I was with my wife, I brought my guitar to the beach and sung to her. It sounds really cheesy right now, but at the time it felt romantic. It all depends on what your definition of romance is.
When you have kids and get older it goes beyond flowers and chocolate. It’s about waking up with a baby, letting her sleep in, and making a coffee for her when she wakes up. To me, being romantic is putting someone else first and thinking about what makes them happy.
If you had to take a lucky lady on a date, where would you go?
I’m a bit of a foodie so I’d go to a nice restaurant. Maybe to a concert. I haven’t done much dating… I’ve been in two long relationships, I was together with one person for 15 years. I could do with a refresher course. I wouldn’t do a movie though.
Even a Nicholas Sparks one?
The Notebook made me cry! It got me. Ryan and Rachel were fantastic. I was at the premiere and they were handing out tissue packages. I thought that was presumptuous. I was like, “Take those away,” but they said, “No. We’ve done this before. We’ve had plenty of screenings. We need them.”
I remember going to the men’s bathroom afterwards and there were grown men splashing water on their faces to clean up.
The Best of Me and The Notebook are all about second chances – do you believe in them?
I believe in being open to second chances and I believe in forgiveness, but I think sometimes we romanticise too much about what could have been. I look at my high school girlfriend, who I was with for four years and at the time we were thinking we were going to get married. As much as I look back and go, ‘I wonder what would have happened if we had stayed together,’ that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right person for you.
Having been married and had kids – what have you learnt about love and relationships over the years?
When you’re young there’s a desire to be one person together and that’s not healthy. Maybe it’s a romantic idea to think that way, but it’s very important to maintain your individuality, and yet go through life together. It’s not good to give up on other parts of your life and cling to somebody, that’s not the right way to go about it.
So what’s the one thing you still don’t understand about women?
Nothing comes to mind!
* The Best of Me is out on Monday 9 February on Blu-ray and DVD, courtesy of Entertainment One