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We Ask Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones 'Can Passion Last?'

The stars of 'Hope Springs' get real about intimacy

Keeping Life Fun

So what would you say is the key to keeping things "new"?

MS: Oh, I don't make any prescription myself.

TLJ: Stay interested.

MS: Yeah, but I think it's yourself, don't you? If you're bored with somebody, it's because you're bored with yourself. If you have a problem with somebody, often it's something in yourself.

TLJ: I always told my children when they whined "I'm bored, Dad" that "Only the boring are bored."

MS: I'm going to steal that!

If you could call anyone you know for marriage advice, who would it be?

MS: I wish I could call my mother. I wish I could call her every day.

While Hope Springs is about marital passion, it's also about finding passion in everything you do. How do you continue to be passionate about life as you age?

MS: Well, I find the older I get, the more intense my appetite for living and for appreciating life gets. I think I was heedless when I was younger. I thought it was endless. But I just lost two really close friends in the last two years, and, man, you realize you've got just seconds. I just — oh! I mean, my kids wouldn't dare say they were bored to me. I would kill them! How dare you! You have the gift of life. You've got to get out there and eat it!

TLJ: That's what I do.

MS: Well, you're insane! You play polo. You get on a horse and flirt with death. [Laughs.]I just don't get it!

Meryl Streep: "While you've got your health, you've got everything."

TLJ: I am insane! Horses have been important to me. [Pauses.] Look, I've got a young, beautiful wife, and I don't do anything that is not fun. I just don't do it.

But have you become more intent on appreciating each moment as you've gotten older?

TLJ: No, I've been doing that all my life. I'm a hedonist. That's just the way I am. I mean, I don't think I've ever had a real job! [Laughs.]

MS: I don't think it's unusual for my friends and people my age [to feel the way I do]. I really don't. I only see bored 20-year-olds. I don't see any bored 60-year-olds. People may get crotchety, mean, but it's because they hold life to a high standard. I try to curb that instinct myself, but it's there. You just want things to be better.

Sometimes your health can get in the way, though. My father was passionate about his work as a surgeon until he developed macular degeneration later in life. He had a hard time finding something else that interested him anywhere near as much.

MS: Oh, my mother had that, too. She was an artist, and it was really hard. But while you've got your health, you have everything.

Next: The kids are alright. »

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