William Hurt and Maria Bello, who star in "The Yellow Handkerchief," have a history together.
The two starred in the David Cronenberg classic "History of Violence," and became friends, with Hurt even going to Philadelphia to meet Bello's family. Working together for a second time, under the direction of Udayan Prasad, the pair have the lead roles in journalist Pete Hamill's tale set in the South.
In "Handkerchief," Hurt plays an ex-convict traveling with two teens through post Katrina Louisiana in a search for his ex-wife, played by Bello."Yellow Handkerchief," which debuted at Sundance in 2008, hits theaters Friday in a limited release.
Hurt can only hope "Handkerchief" brings him the same props as "History of Violence." He credits Bello for his performance as thuggish Richie Cusack in the 2005 film. "I owe Maria everything for that role," Hurt said during "Yellow Handkerchief's" press day. "But it's true. Absolutely true."
Bello explains that she sent her onscreen husband Viggo Mortensen to visit her colorful family in Philadelphia to prepare for his role of a transplanted Philly mobster. Mortensen then passed this Philly mannerism education onto the method-hungry Hurt. "I had lots of discussions with Viggo about it. He told me every word of every discussion," said Hurt. "That's how I got my character." Bello concedes she saw a lot of family in Hurt's performance: "He basically played my Uncle Pete."