Lili Bordan Learns from Four Legendary Leading Ladies in the Book ClubLili Bordan attended a recent premiere of the movie Book Club — a night that she will never forget. In her stunning hot pink gown, and surrounded by Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen, walking this red carpet was memorable in countless ways.
In the romantic comedy, Book Club, the lovely raven-haired Bordan is starring as a dance instructor who works with Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson to put the Cha Cha back into their marriage. Book Club, the extremely lovely movie from Paramount Pictures, opens Friday, May 18.
This is such a rich time in Bordan’s life. While her 14-year acting career is escalating to new heights, she will be celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary in August, to her husband, Michael, a loving man who totally gets her and supports her dreams.
The daughter of Hungarian actress, Iren Bordan, she attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she received her degree in theater and 19th Century Western Literature. She has studied with world-renowned acting coach Susan Batson, and after finishing her studies, she moved to Hungary.
In 2001, Bordan began her acting career in television with a guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her supporting roles include parts in: Kistestvér (2003), 8mm2 (2005), Joy Division (2006), and Kolorádó Kid (2010), and leading roles in films like Kinder Garden (2005), Cherry (2010), A Love Affair of Sorts (2011), Egill: The Last Pagan (2011) and the Indie thriller, Apparition (2015)
In 2007, she continued her television career; guest starring on the shows Painkiller Jane, Robinhood, and Könyveskép. Subsequent credits include Luke 11:17 (2008) and ER (2008).
She garnered recurring roles on Silent Witness (2011), as Anna Sándor, and Casino (2011), as Mirtill.
She joined the main cast of the military science fiction drama, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, portraying Dr. Beka Kelly. She was the lead in Apparition, a riveting indie thriller, and also cast as the troubled lead Jodie in British thriller Two Days In The Smoke, released in 2014 as The Smoke in the UK and London Payback in the rest of the world.
Smoke director Ben Pickering subsequently cast her as Dr. Jones in his second feature, Welcome to Curiosity, due for release this summer.
Speaking with my long-time friend, Bordan, from her home in L.A., she said she embraced the many positive messages of the movie and was inspired by the quartet of legendary leading ladies, who still have so much to give audiences far and wide.
The four life-long friends at the center of this romantic comedy are: Diane Keaton, as Diane, a recent widow after 40 years of marriage; Jane Fonda, as the vivacious trouble-making Vivian, who enjoys her men with no strings attached; Candice Bergan as Sharon, a federal judge, who is still working through a decades’ old divorce, and Mary Steenburgen as Carol, whose 35-year marriage is in a slump.These four mature women have spent their lives attending a book club where they bond over the typical suggested literature. One day, they end up reading the very racy Fifty Shades of Grey (by E.L. James) and are turned on by the content. Viewing it as a wake-up call, they decide to expand their lives and chase pleasures that have eluded them.
From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, they inspire each other to make their next chapter the best chapter.
Borden said that not only does Book Club have a stellar cast, including Alicia Silverstone, and the men who play the romantic interests — Richard Dreyfuss, Andy Garcia, and Don Johnson — but there was such tender loving care taken from first-time feature director Bill Holderman, and his writing partner, Erin Simms. He has written and produced other films. The production was top-notch in every way.
Everyone involved in this movie hopes the audience can share in their discovery, that “for young people to be less afraid of getting old, that it’s never too late, and you always have a second chance,” Fonda recently explained. “None of us are perfect, but we’re all good enough. We all come to that understanding by the end of the movie.”
Bergen said she loves that Book Club “is touching and funny, and has this honesty to it. Book Club focuses on the caring in their friendships. For a woman, her female friends are the key to a life well-lived and to a life of support. The movie is saying that it doesn’t matter how old you are – 50, 60, 70 or older – life isn’t over. New things start. So it’s about renewal. It’s touching and it’s funny.
Bergen added that the movie is “inspiring because these are women who have navigated their way through what most women have had to deal with in their lives, and they’ve found a way through it. They’ve reinvented themselves. The takeaway is that it’s not over until it’s really over.”For Diane Keaton, whose character of Diane was written expressly for her, the movie is about friendship and the way that friends are totally there for one another and open one another’s eyes to new possibilities. “This film is about that love and that bond. To find people that you can trust and you’re happy to be with, that you have and share your struggles with and it is a family in a certain sense,” explained Keaton. “You’re older. You’ve lost a lot of your initial family. In this movie, its friends. I don’t really have other friends, so we’re united together.”
Mary Steenburgen, who has several scenes with Bordan, said that one of the messages in the film is that there is no expiration date on living life to the fullest. “It’s not as if you’re waiting to be wise at a certain age, or you’re above it all in some way, or there’s nothing left to learn, or you’re not able to get your heart broken, or whatever it is you think it is that makes you cooked at a certain age.”
“We’re here to prove that’s not true. We’re still hungry. That’s a really good message for young people because if we treat people as though they’re insignificant,” Steenburgen explained, “or it’s over or there’s nothing left to say or there’s no surprises left, why should anyone live another day? What you hope for is that you’ll be this age and you have love and you have friendship and you have the full range of crazy that is within your being.”
The lives of these four lifelong friends are turned upside down after reading the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey, catapulting them into a series of touching, hilarious and outrageous life choices.
From discovering new romance to rekindling old flames, these four women, inspire each other – and everyone in their wake — to make their next chapter the best chapter of their lives. This is something that Bordan embraced, both as an actress, and as a smitten newly married woman.How did you get involved in Book Club, this extremely funny and charming movie?
Lili Bordan: Like any other project I auditioned for it, and the more I heard about it, the more I was chomping at the bit for it.
What was the process like?
LB: I was called back for a second round and met the writer, producer and director – all the usual route. I play Irene, who is a dance instructor for one of the couples. The movie is about four women and their relationships. All of a sudden after they start reading Fifty Shades of Grey, their lives get a bit more exciting.
What was it like working with four legendary actresses, who have made such a mark on so many of our lives?
LB: I didn’t really get to work with all of them. I worked mostly with Mary Steenburgen, and she and Craig T. Nelson were wonderful. My scenes got some big laughs at the premiere. There are some really funny moments and some very touching moments. Both my husband and I laughed and cried several times.
Overall, what was the film shoot like?
LB: So great. The director, Bill Holderman, is young, so this was his second or third feature film, and he and his writing partner, Erin Simms, wrote the script and produced the movie. This was Bill’s directorial debut. This was also lovely young team to work with. We made the movie in L.A., so we got to stay local.
Were you nervous working with such accomplished performers?
LB: I was excited; really super excited. I wanted to prove myself. I was extremely proud to be working with this caliber of actors. I brought my A game.
Were there any surprises during the film shoot?
LB: It was actually really a calm and laid-back set. I felt it was very well-paced and everyone was doing a wonderful job. I felt like I fit in right away. That comes from the top – the directors and producers of the project.
The four leading ladies in the movie love that it is for people of all ages to believe there is a rich life for us; one that is with love, romance, sex and more, regardless of our age. How do you feel about this?
LB: That’s exactly what Book Club is about. It’s about intimacy, how you are never too old to fall in love, how you’re never too old to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. It tells us that sometimes you don’t really grow up until later on in life – and that sometimes that important lesson doesn’t come until late in life. That time when you are able to fall in love and let yourself go and let yourself enjoy love.
There are many young and older widows and widowers or divorced men and women who have given up on romantic relationships. While they miss the companionship and everything else that goes with an intimate relationship, they are fearful.
LB: Fear is always a component, and has to do with stereotypes as well, and we have to fight that as well. There is no age limit when it comes to love and romance, but people can become disillusioned. So, the message is that all of this is worth another shot. The movie is about being willing to find that sort of romantic love, that it’s worth taking a leap of faith and stepping outside of our boundaries to explore. Even before the movie has debuted, people are already connecting to it.Overall, what was it like working with this cast?
LB: They are each so warm and inviting. They are comfortable around their peers. The other night at the premiere it felt like being back with family. When you are nice and kind I believe that people gravitate toward you – that’s what stars are all about, they make you feel like a star.
I watched your sizzle reel. It was wonderful!
LB: It is my last 10 years of work – some of the nicest moments.
What’s next for you?
LB: I am making another movie. It is a horror film and a studio feature, but I can’t say any more about it until August.
I will have to ask you then. You have done such a range of roles – including The Martian, Cherry and many others – do you have a career plan? Is there a genre you prefer?
LB: I lean toward drama because of my training. But I don’t choose projects based on a genre. I always go for quality that I like, and it’s based on whether I connect with the material and whether they chose me. If they think I make a good fit; I’m game.
How has making a movie like Book Club changed your career trajectory?
LB: Making a movie like Book Club is amazing on every level. When I look back at my career and at projects I’ve done, I know that the incubation period can be a year or two, or at least nine months, the same time frame as having a baby.
LB: So, sometimes when you are waiting you don’t feel the impact it has had. Sometimes a few years have passed, and I look back I can look back and discover that are projects that were good for my career that I didn’t know would be at the time. When you are building a career there is no going back. But, it adds up after time, no matter what your pace you know that you are building something. So, Book Club, the work, the overall experience and the connections, is definitely a step in the right direction.
What do you tell the next generation to do or to avoid?
LB: Don’t expect anybody to give you anything and don’t wait for a hand out. But, be ready to accept it when it arrives. [She laughed]. And know the difference. If you are expecting someone you give you something, you are probably missing the opportunities that are in front of you.
Please explain more about this.
LB: When young actors get started they need to go to websites to sign up with their head-shots. Shoot scenes with your friends on your phones. Do it for the right reasons, because you enjoy it. This is not a genteel profession. It requires a lot of dedication, focus and stamina. (Photo Credit: Sean Patrick Photo)
One fraught with rejection.
LB: Yes. Before I booked this movie I was saving my auditions to use as scrap paper and to use to write notes. When I booked my role in Book Club, a pretty important role for my career, I took the huge stack of papers, like a foot and a half high, and recycled them. [Photo credit: Sean Patrick Photo]
What is your career message or life lesson?
LB: For each and every role you pursue, you have to give it 100 percent and say ‘this is the one.’ Don’t make the stakes too high, and enjoy every moment of it. If you are enjoying it then so are the people who are looking to be your partner in the project.
How is married life?
LB: It is wonderful! He is so loving and supportive.
How is Iren, your actress/mom? Is she performing?
LB: She is on stage several times a week and making films, too. I am hoping to go back to Hungary in the summer; maybe in June.
I know you are super busy, but if I gave you free time to chill with your husband or friends where would you go and what would you do?
LB: – I love to travel. We were married here and then had a big celebration in Hungary with family and friends.
Where would you like to go next or in the not-too-distant future?
LB: We went to a resort in Mexico recently and I liked going, and eating and enjoying the free Tequila. But I’ve been wanting to go to Toluene, Mexico, to see a less commercial part of the country, and feel a different vibe and a more vagabond style of travel. I went to Nicaragua to a friends’ recent wedding and we went to the Pacific Coast. I Hear Honduras is beautiful on the Caribbean Coast, and I haven’t been to the Caribbean since I was a little kid. I make my vacation where I work and my husband will come and visit me. So stay tuned…
Tell me the difference between the premiere for Book Club and other previous movies in the past?
LB: There is a different energy when it comes to movies like The Martian in which I had a couple of lines, and Book Club, in which I’ve got three scenes and two of them I am right there with the other actors driving the scene. It was important for me and my husband for him to be there with me, and for him to see all that the work we are doing is not for naught.
You looked so beautiful in your hot pink gown at the premiere for Book Club. You had that Hollywood movie star quality about you.
LD: Thank you so much. The dress was Cloud Hunter, a local designer. The earrings were from Shop Armature. I really left it to the last minute, I put the feelers out there and these local L.A. designers and hair and make-up people did their magic. It was such a special night!
It truly was pure magic. I so enjoyed our talk tonight.
LD: Thank you so much. It was great catching up with you.For more details about Book Club, please Click Here
For the Book Club trailer, please Click Here
For Lili’s Facebook page, please Click Here