Jake Weber talks to Indulge about Learning to Drive and women-centric films
Jake Weber might not have had a bigger part to play in Learning to Drive (2014). But his role as Ted definitely acted as a catalyst to motivate his wife Wendy (Patricia Clarkson), who is a successful book critic and radio host, to explore her life on her own, after he leaves her.
While most of the 89-minute action and comedy film revolves around Wendy and her driving instructor Darwan Singh Tur, played by Ben Kingsley, we catch up with Jake Weber to know more about his role in the film and his views on the rise of women-centric films. Some of his other prominent roles include Michael in Dawn of the Dead (2004) and his role as Brett o’ Keefe in the ongoing television series, Homeland.
Jake’s character, Ted, is not one of those supporting husbands who always stand by their wife. We ask him about the relationship with his wife in the film, which fades eventually. “ I leave my wife Wendy for a pretty young girl. She struggles to re-adjust to her single life, as I move out. But yes, she truly is the protagonist of the film and Ben Kingsley’s character is definitely a great support. She takes up her driving lessons and goes all the way to England to meet our daughter,” says the 54-year-old.
The actor adds that the bond between the characters of Ted and Wendy is spiritual and emotional. “It’s beyond something physical. I believe that my absence has actually inspired her to move on in life, and
learn to drive — which was her big goal. It’s good that she meets someone like Ben and the two damaged souls enjoy each other’s company,” says the English actor.
Talking about the relevance of Wendy’s role to a current generation of young women, and how women-centric roles are gaining visibility and attention, Jake says, “Women have always played a strong position in my life. And, it’s exciting that there are increasingly powerful roles, and women are not marginalised the way they used to be earlier. This film is an example.”
The actor continues to speak about campaigns like #Metoo that are trending on social media. “ I know men who have abused their positions against women. I have also worked with people who have behaved very badly towards women, and some of these people are getting to learn their lessons. As I said, I don’t have a daughter, but young women growing up now can feel that they don’t have a need to be recognised by men anymore. I’m glad that movements like these are making an impact on our culture,” he wraps up.
The London-based actor is busy working on the Second Season of 13 Reasons Why and an upcoming film.
Watch Learning to Drive on AXN.