Kathy Baker was one of the people who acted with Robin Williams in what became his last (released, anyway) live-action film. In “Boulevard” the late performer plays a closeted man who finds himself inching his way out after befriending a troubled male prostitute (Roberto Aguire). Baker plays his wife, but she’s not your usual long-suffering, pathetically jilted killjoy. Her character has a life and agency of her own, and it’s clear that at the end of the day they share a deep love. The Emmy-winning actress talks about what was refreshing about this coming-out story, how it could only be an indie these days and worrying her costar would make her laugh.
With most movies about someone who’s married realizing he or she is gay, it’s not entertained that the husband and wife can still have a deep love for each other.
What I like is that they’re best friends, they’ve created a nice life together, they love each other. I think he loves her too. I mean, it isn’t a romantic or sexual love anymore, although I believe that originally, when they were very young and in college, they did have a romantic connection, as much as they could. You know what I mean? Because they were young and hormonal and Robin Williams’ character Nolan was so positive in those days. But he wants to make her happy. He has such a hard time coming out because he knows how much it’ll hurt her.
The only time, early on at least, that she seems hurt is when she learns he doesn’t like confiding in her. She’s genuinely taken aback.
She expects that they’ll tell each other everything. I also like the way she gives him a little room. She knows he lied about a couple of things, but she gives him a little room. She doesn’t jump on him. Then finally, at the end, I think it’s brave of her to start the confrontation. She just has to confront him. Because he wouldn’t confront her. It’s brave of her.
She’s in a real Catch-22 situation, because she can’t hold him back but if he fianlly comes out she's worried she'll be alone.
Her hope is that they will face this, that he’ll admit he’s gay but they will stay together and still live together. That’s where she’s not courageous. That’s where she’s not strong and he is, because he says, we both have to go out and live our own authentic lives. We both have to be who we really are. And she says, I don’t want that. I don’t want reality. I want what we have. I actually think it it’s almost harder for her because Robin’s character is going towards something. It’s something pulling him; it’s something he’s always wanted. She has to back away from something she loves and find a new path. Maybe it’s not fair to say it’s harder, but it’s equally hard for her.