Diane Kruger 'just wanted to have fun' acting with Richard Gere in the new movie 'Longing': 'It's so remarkably out there'

"It takes the audience for a ride,” she said of the movie.

Diane Kruger and Richard Gere stroll down in the street in Longing. (Darren Goldstein /Lionsgate)

When Diane Kruger first read the script for Longing, she thought it was unusual.

The film follows Daniel (Richard Gere), a businessman who learns that he fathered a son he never met — and that the son recently died at age 19. He investigates his son’s life by exploring what he can learn about his past, including the teenager’s romantic fixation on his teacher, Alice (Kruger).

"It's so remarkably 'out there' and yet kind of heartfelt and emotional,” Kruger told Yahoo Entertainment. “I wanted to see how [the film] would all come together."

She was also eager to collaborate with Gere again. They appeared together in the 2007 comedy-thriller The Hunting Party.

“I thought it would be a really fun thing for a couple of days to join this movie to get to work with [Gere] again,” Kruger said. “I just wanted to have fun. It’s a great film that fit into my schedule.”

Driven by grief, Daniel acts bizarrely. He asks Alice outrageous questions, and at one point, conspires with a couple whose daughter also recently died to throw a wedding celebration for their children (who never met) in the afterlife. One of the film’s surreal scenes is a dream sequence in which Alice is shown as a giant. Her high-heeled foot is the size of a building.

“It was very absurd, to be honest,” Kruger said of filming the giant scene. “I put my foot on a box and there was no one around — just me.”

Longing is writer-director Savi Gabizon's Canadian remake of his own 2017 Israeli film. Kruger said it was an unusual experience working with a director who already knew what he wanted to see on screen.

Richard Gere in
Richard Gere in Longing. (Darren Goldstein/Lionsgate)

Gabizon told MovieWeb that the grieving parents in the film have “painful and ridiculous” needs, which are reflected in some of the film’s lighter moments.

One of the film’s clearest themes is that parenting involves moments of both grief and absurdity. Daniel quickly learns a lot about his son from speaking with Alice about his obsession with her, which ultimately got him expelled from school.

“You always want to think of kids as perfect little angels," Kruger said. “But you also have to get through winding roads of feelings and emotions. They might be your kids but they have their own personalities.”

Ultimately, Kruger hopes the movie encourages people to “​​make the best of each situation.”

“It’s just a fantasy. … It takes the audience for a ride,” she said. “I’m not sure there’s a message, per se, but the movie will make you reflect on life.”

Longing is in theaters starting June 7 and available on video-on-demand platforms June 28.