It would be easy, even in the absence of more damning anecdotal evidence, to cast Rowlands as the long-suffering wife, stuck at home with three kids while Cassavetes pulled all-nighters in the editing room, or got drunk with fellow actor Seymour Cassel.
Rowlands has never said anything in public that indicates she regrets the sacrifices that she made for her husband — or even that she believes them to be sacrifices.t’s a truism that any marriage is, to outsiders, ultimately mysterious.
“I don’t want you lying to me about being , Rowlands was “floored” when her husband told her “just before the scene was about to be filmed” that he’d be playing opposite her.
, Minnie, played by Cassavetes’s wife and frequent collaborator, Gena Rowlands, comes home after an evening with her friend Florence. “Okay darling, I’ll see you tomorrow.” The camera cuts and through a doorway the viewer sees a man putting a suit jacket on. He takes a slug of beer and ambles into the living room. It’s a pint-size portrait of their relationship, which was apparently loving, artistically fruitful, but also undeniably tumultuous: a decades-long battle neither ever tired of.As an actress, Rowlands is fierce, expressive, and physically nimble.(With a few anxious hand gestures, she turns her character’s daily wait for her children’s school bus in , into a high-stakes drama fraught with potential disaster.) She played the lead in six of her husband’s films, earning two Oscar nominations.Also, “my idea of a love story is when two people get together and go through so much turmoil and so much pain just loving one another.I don’t know what anybody else feels, but that’s the way I’ve always known love to be.” But he also said, “Gena has been a miracle; my children have been miracles.