Diane Lane explains how experiencing ‘battles’ between her parents as a child made her instantly connect with ‘Let Him Go’

  • Diane Lane spoke to Insider about making her new movie "Let Him Go."
  • The Oscar-nominated actress said she related to the material because she found similarities to her childhood being in the middle of her parent's divorce.
  • Lane also said she would never do a sequel to "Under the Tuscan Sun" because she never wants to repeat herself.
  • The actress said "it was a process" to get through a 14-day quarantine before shooting a new movie in Canada.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

In a career that has earned her Oscar, Golden Globes, and Emmy nominations, Diane Lane has made her mark in Hollywood in both supporting and leading roles that will stand the test of time.

Whether it's her taking us on an emotional journey through Italy in "Under the Tuscan Sun" or playing the tender Martha Kent in the DC Comic movies, the versatility of Lane continues to grow. And you can see that in her latest movie, the thriller "Let Him Go," in theaters Friday.

Starring opposite Kevin Costner, who Lane worked alongside in DC Comic movies where the they play Superman's parents, the two reunite to portray grandparents who set out to save their grandson when they learn he and their widowed daughter-in-law are living with an abusive family.

Lane's powerful performance as a driven grandmother who will not rest until her grandchild is back in her arms — and will not hesitate to use force — is one she admits has a lot of deep-seated meaning since she's a child of divorce.

In fact, things got so heated when the actress was a teenager between Lane's mother, model and nightclub singer Colleen Farrington, and her father, acting coach Burt Lane, that Farrington kidnapped Diane and drove her from New York to Georgia. Six weeks later she was back in New York with her father. (Lane and her mother reconciled before her death in 2015.)

Insider recently had a Zoom chat with Lane about how she used her past to connect with "Let Him Go," why we'll never see an "Under the Tuscan Sun" sequel, and how she survived a 14-day quarantine before shooting a new movie in Canada.

Lane said she understood what the characters' motivations in "Let Him Go" were because she experienced her divorced parents' "battles" as a kid

Insider: What grabbed you about the story and the Margaret character?

Diane Lane: The title was something that I found interested because I thought, 'Is this going to come out of some character's mouth at some point?' I didn't see anybody say it, but I sure felt it on every page. Kevin and my characters' grief and loss. The struggle over coming between our grandchild and harm is a no brainer. So I was grabbed in. And I loved the fact that Kevin and I are in a long term relationship where you don't need things explained. It's just trusted the audience would get it.

Watching this movie and knowing your life there is an interesting parallel. Your mother did dramatic things to get you back in her life and your character, Margaret, does dramatic things to get her grandchild back in her life. Did you think about your mother or your childhood at all while making this?

Good question. [Pause.] I wouldn't want to muddy the waters with my own references, but it was not hard for me to feel what the clear right decision is and acting on it. Margaret didn't have to check with anybody. She didn't have to ask permission. She was gone. I understand that willfulness. I understand it from many perspectives and experiences. And I do understand what it's like to be the child in the middle of battles. That energy that can get out of hand. 

Diane Lane and Kevin Costner in "Let Him Go."
Kimberley French/Focus Features

Lane praises rehearsal time for her powerful performance opposite Kevin Costner

You touched on the audience trusting the story. That comes with that connection you and Kevin have. Does that come from working numerous times with him or were rehearsals possible?

I felt very grateful that Kevin [who is an executive producer on the movie] felt strongly about the need for rehearsal. It was a gift to everybody. Everybody's nervous in rehearsal because it's your first exposure of your efforts and intentions. You're finding your way. It's wonderful because it garners trust and collaboration. You get a sense of people's energy and styles and humor. Eventually it starts to feel like a working family.

How rare is it to get rehearsal time on movies?

It's something you have to fight for. I think asking for it is important. And now, I'm in Canada for work, and we're doing some things over Zoom because we can't get together. We just work with what we have. And it's weird because you can see yourself on the screen and you don't want to so you have to figure out how to turn that function off. [Laughs.]

"Under the Tuscan Sun."
Touchstone Pictures

Lane does not want to repeat herself, so that means no "Under the Tuscan Sun" sequel is coming

You've played so many different roles, what are you looking for now going forward in your career?

It's nice to find something unexpected and fresh. I see a lot more narratives of the female experience that is not just the ingénue one — obviously because I'm still working. [Laughs.] So I have no desire to repeat myself. No. I like the diversity of experience to have in my line of work. It's energizing. I'm grateful that my life's trajectory got me here because as a young person I didn't vibe with it. But I seemed to be good enough to keep getting hired so it seemed maybe there was something to this. 

But if you ever would repeat yourself I hope it's a sequel to "Under the Tuscan Sun."

[Laughs.] I don't think so. Not without [director] Audrey [Wells] and she's not with us any longer. (Wells died of cancer in 2018) I miss her terribly. She was a very good friend and that's rare, I don't get to keep people going forward from jobs. I don't know why.

And I stayed close with [producer] Tom [Sternberg.] I heard some rumors that they wanted to do more of it, but I'm not a fan of the concept of continuing forward. Unless it's a franchise like "The Bourne Identity" when you know there's going to be more. 

Or more Justice League.

Oh, there you go. The Snyder Cut. 

Will you be in it?

I won't know until I see it. 

Lane spent 14 days in quarantine before before shooting her latest movie — "It was a process"

You mentioned you're in Canada working. What's it like doing your job in the COVID-19 era?

I like that fact that we are forging forward and the will is strong to create protocols that empower safety first. If that means we have all these things filming in Toronto, well, there you go. [A] 14-day quarantine and all these intense safety protocols, you have to have that.

Wait, are you currently doing this interview in quarantine?

No. I finished that. I don't think I could do a press junket in quarantine. [Laughs.] It would not be pretty.

What was it like doing the quarantine? Did you just hang out in a hotel room watching TV?

No. It was self-confronting, but in a good way. You create variety for yourself. And then you go through the phase where you give up on that. [Laughs.] It was a process. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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