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Lara Flynn Boyle Talks Drinking, Ageism and Dating Jack Nicholson

Lara Flynn Boyle Talks Drinking, Ageism and Dating Jack Nicholson

When The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Lara Flynn Boyle for a rare interview in June 2021, she had a new movie to promote, Death in Texas, her first in five years. But Boyle was quick to swat away any chatter of a comeback by saying, politely, “I never went anywhere.”

The veteran star, now 54, has maintained a relatively low-profile ever since but she’s back once again with another interview, this time with People, timed to the release of another new movie, Niclas Larsson’s Mother, Couch opposite Ewan McGregor, Rhys Ifans, Taylor Russell and Ellen Burstyn.

The wide-ranging, one-hour conversation with writer Eric Andersson at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge finds Boyle opening up about ageism in Hollywood, dating actors, and her marriage to Texas real estate developer Donald Ray Thomas. Even though it’s becoming something of a trend, Boyle once again swats away talk that this is yet another return to the spotlight for the veteran star. “You don’t want an article to read, ‘Boyle’s Second Chance’ or ‘Look Who’s Back,’” she explains. “I’m right here.”

For many years, Boyle was commonly found in the tabloids or The Daily Mail with headlines centered on romances with actors like Jack Nicholson, an “unrecognizable” face or the concerning paparazzi shots that showed her drinking from a bottle of Johnnie Walker while seated in the driver’s seat of a car in a Westwood parking lot. Though she doesn’t get into details on the latter, she does tell People that her drinking days are done.

“Those disco boots, they’ve had their time,” Boyle tells People, which reports that she’s mum on whether there was an impetus to stop. (The Daily Mail published the whisky pics in February 2018.) “Some people are allergic to it; some people are un-allergic to it.”

On the subject of dating actors, she offers that her time dating Nicholson marked a turning point. “I left with a bang when it came to actors. Then I went, ‘OK, I’m done now.’” Of her current status, Boyle added that she and her husband have been together since meeting nearly two decades ago. “I have a lovely marriage. We were together that night and ever since.”

Lara Flynn Boyle and husband Donald Ray Thomas on April 13, 2007.

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Mother, Couch, which opens in limited release on July 5, stars Burstyn as a cantankerous woman who goes furniture shopping only to sit on a sofa and refuse to get up. Boyle plays Linda, the woman’s chain-smoking daughter who is running short on patience. McGregor and Ifans play Linda’s estranged siblings. The director tells People he hopes to cast Boyle in all of his films moving forward.

As for what the future holds for her, Boyle seems eager to keep working in the business she loves. One thing she’s not swooning over is ageism in the business. “The thing that gets my goat is when actresses talk about ageism in Hollywood. Ageism is human nature. It’s not Hollywood’s fault. It’s all of our fault. Myself included. I like looking at pretty people on the camera.”

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