With Harry Connick, Jr. in P.S. I Love You, you'd naturally think he's the guy who's going to help Hilary Swank pick up the pieces after losing her husband. Actually, he's a socially awkward guy who immediately falls into the friend zone. Perhaps the real Connick has been found out.
Harry Connick Jr. Talks P.S. I Love You
"I think it’s more of an outer dork and it was very easy to tap into," said Connick. "I didn’t have to tap at all, as a matter of fact. We were dealing with a character who could have borderline being controversial in that he’s got Asperger's syndrome, and to be funny without laughing at that syndrome was sort of the challenge that Richard had, when I came to the process that I had too. This guy just says whatever’s on his mind. I don’t know what you’ve seen of my work, but in personal situations I’m probably more like that guy. I’m really good onstage. I like to get out there and perform for people but I’m a pretty quiet person otherwise. I think if there was somebody like Hilary that I fell in love with, it would be difficult to communicate with her. It was hard for me to sort of communicate with my wife when I first met her. It’s just intimidating. I would never be a big player like that."
Asperger's has been popularized on Boston Legal in a humorous way, but Connick learned the real deal. "I knew what it was but I certainly couldn’t have played a character of a guy with it. I had to do a little research about that and subsequently I’ve done more just because I’ve become fascinated with it. It’s profound. It really is an interesting disorder."
P.S. I Love You
P.S. I Love You
It may have been insensitive to approach a grieving widow so soon, but that's part of the Asperger's Syndrome. "That’s the whole point of Asperger's. It wasn’t soon in his mind. He just doesn’t pick up on the social etiquette that normally occurs when people meet. He just says what he has to say, and then has to deal with the consequences which is, from what I know about the syndrome, is probably very debilitating for people with it. The fact that they say things and then can’t understand why they’re being treated the way they’re treated, why they’re looked at in an awkward way. They just say whatever comes to their mind. I think in normal situations, sure. They’re at the memorial service and he’s hitting on her so I would think that’s too soon. But this guy doesn’t."
In most of his scenes, the set was ruled by leading ladies like Swank, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon and Kathy Bates. Connick could relate to this world. "My life is chick power. My manager’s a woman. My wife’s obviously a strong, intelligent woman. I have three daughters. I’ve got three dogs, they’re all female. I’ve got so many women in my life, running my life, I wouldn’t know what to do with a guy."
P.S. I Love You opens to theaters on December 21, 2007.