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I Dream of Gina

Actress Gina Gershon uses drive and dreams to forge her varied and sometimes risqué career.
Paul Chutkow
From the Print Edition:
Gina Gershon, Sep/Oct 98

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She is also very happy with her private life. She lives with her boyfriend, Sean, who designs and owns restaurants and cafés in Los Angeles. Describing his work, she calls him an "environmental producer," a creator of interesting spaces and environments. More importantly, he has just the kind of temperament she needs in a partner: he's warm, supportive and well grounded. The last thing she needs is a man who's an emotional roller coaster.

"I'm enough of a roller coaster," she says with a laugh. "I need someone really solid and stable. Sean's really good about that. I need someone who's like a rock. So when I'm way up there, flying, he can say, 'OK, time to come down again.' And I'm like, 'OK.' Sean lets me go and fly around and do my thing and is secure enough to say 'OK, she's just doing her thing.' I need my own space to do my own thing. And he knows that." In return, she tries to be equally tolerant and supportive. "I think that's what a relationship is. You don't want to squish someone; you just want to support them. And, hopefully, help them to get to reach their potential."

Gershon's dream work does pose its share of problems, though. "When I'm doing certain dream assignments," she says, "I'll now know to warn Sean: 'Listen, I'm doing an assignment tonight.' Because sometimes these dreams are so unbelievable. I've always had really intense dreams," says the actress, "I mean, really intense. They're either like total movies where I can see what's going on or they hit nerves where, literally, I'll wake up screaming and crying, at such a level that, of course, his instinct is to calm me down. But I'll say, 'No, no, no! I'm working! Leave me alone!' Because I want to get to the end of it, I want to keep going! So I have to tell him, 'Don't wake me up tonight.' "

The dream work, coupled with the way she immerses herselfin difficult roles, has made Gina Gershon more accepting and more philosophical about life and what it has to offer. "Life is good that way, even when things are at their worst," she says. "That's the great thing about being an actor especially, or being any sort of artist: a writer, a dancer. Even in the really awful parts of your life, there's a part of you that you feel like you can work with it. This helps you understand life, it helps you evolve as a person and it helps you mature as an artist. And deal with the pain of it all."

Paul Chutkow is the author of Depardieu, a biography of the French actor Gerard Depardieu, and he collaborated with winemaker Robert Mondavi on his autobiography, due out in September from Harcourt Brace.

Women of CA gallery

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