In this exclusive clip from upcoming biographical drama Genius, you can cut the tension with a butter knife.
The dinnertime scene begins with Look Homeward, Angel author Thomas Wolfe, played by Jude Law, describing the major role costume designer Aline Bernstein (Nicole Kidman) has played in the production of his latest novel.
Bernstein shakes off the praise, turning instead to Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth), the famous editor of authors like Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“Tom speaks of your contribution with such passion,” Bernstein tells Perkins, reminding Wolfe that Perkins “is the genius who made all of your dreams come true.”
“He’s the one who shaped that massive collection of words into a marketable best-seller, putting it into the eager hands of readers everywhere,” she says coldly. “I mean, that is quite a triumph for Mr. Perkins, hmm?”
Although Bernstein is able to keep her simmering anger from boiling over at the dinner table, Louise Saunders (Laura Linney), Perkins’ wife, admonishes the designer’s blatant contempt for Saunders’ husband, warning her to “behave in a manner appropriate to [her] years.”
The film revolves around the relationship between Perkins and Wolfe. Fingers crossed it also features more fiery drama between Perkins and Bernstein, who Kidman described to the Wall Street Journal as “a fiery, dark-haired, strong woman, flamboyant, ahead of her time. My kind of stuff.”
Genius hits theaters this Friday, June 10.