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Archive for Thursday, August 13, 1998

August 13, 1998

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— The actor had to learn to ride a motorcycle for his new film, ``Polish Wedding.''

It isn't every day that you get to ride circles around Claire Danes while on a motorcycle. And it's probably something Adam Trese wouldn't want to repeat any time soon.

In the new film, ``Polish Wedding,'' Trese had to then whisk Danes, wearing a wedding dress, onto the bike as he drove off. Despite some deft driving, he's no biker.

``I had to learn,'' Trese said of his preparation some weeks before the scene was shot. ``They took me out on this really old bike. Later I had to ride on a `giant cop Harley.' And there were a lot of depressions in the grass that we were shooting on, so I was trying to not run over Claire in her wedding dress.

``I kept worrying about killing the movie star by accident,'' Trese said. ``It was a lot of stress.''

Trese also admitted to a certain amount of nervousness when playing love scenes with Danes, who plays a sexually precocious teen-ager in the film.

``I didn't know Claire at all before we started the movie. I had done a sex scene once in a TV pilot and I was shaking, I was so nervous.''

``Polish Wedding'' was written and directed by first-time director Theresa Connelly. Trese plays Russell Schuster, a young Detroit police officer who is smitten with Danes. The film also stars Gabriel Byrne and Lena Olin.

Trese, who's been acting for about five years, drew favorable notices in the indie film, ``Laws of Gravity,'' which is part of the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art. He also appeared in ``Illtown,'' ``Palookaville,'' ``The Saint of Fort Washington'' with Matt Dillon and Danny Glover, and Steven Soderbergh's ``Underneath,'' a remake of the film noir favorite, ``Criss Cross.''

This summer, he appeared in ``The Matchmaker'' at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. Last year, he played Marco in the Tony Award-winning play, ``A View from the Bridge.''

Trese, who grew up in Manhattan's Chelsea section, played drums with a punk band, The Young and the Useless, in the 1980s. He won't divulge his exact age and smiles shyly before answering, ``somewhere in my 20s.''

Here's what he has to say about the movie:

Tell us about some of the love scenes with Claire Danes in ``Polish Wedding.''

The scene with Claire was in the middle of a field in Detroit. So it was a little bit embarrassing. Claire took her clothes off, and I think it was probably more embarrassing for her. But those scenes were removed from the film. We were way in the middle of this field so there wasn't a crowd of people. Just the crew.

Several of your roles to date have been as policemen. Have you researched these roles in any way?

When I did ``Underneath,'' I rode around with police officers in Austin, Tex. At one point everybody left to chase these people and I was alone with the car key and the key to the shotgun. Some guys from the neighborhood were kind of inching closer to me. And I didn't know if they were going to carjack me. Of course, nothing happened. I think they were just curious as to why I was sitting in the cop car.

Have you ridden a bike since doing the film?

No. I don't want to ride motorcycles. I have a relative who lost a leg because of an accident he had. I don't want to take those chances.

What do you think of the controversy ``Polish Wedding'' has stirred in the Polish community?

I think that they're upset at possible stereotyping. We shot in Hamtramck, which is a Polish neighborhood in Detroit. The director who wrote the script was born and raised in that neighborhood. She took great efforts to educate us on Polish things like duck's blood soup. It's actually quite tasty. I'm glad they're protesting because maybe people will wonder about the film and want to see it.

Can you relate to Russell's fears about marriage and fatherhood?

Well, yeah. How can you know if you're going to be able to provide? It's scary. But sometimes the thing that you most fear turns out to be the best thing for you. For Russell, it's her. He becomes a man, she becomes a woman. They marry and have a child. It's beautiful but it's terrifying.

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