"When you've had the best, the heck with the rest," says the actress, now earning awards buzz for I'll See You in My Dreams

By Mariah Haas
Updated May 08, 2015 05:30 PM
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Credit: Bob Riha, Jr./Virgin America/Getty

Blythe Danner lost her husband, director-producer Bruce Paltrow, to cancer in 2002. The actress (and mom to Gwyneth Paltrow), 72, says she hasn’t been in a relationship since – and to have to even kiss another man for an on-screen role made her “nervous.”

In her upcoming film I’ll See You In My Dreams‘, Danner stars as a widow and former schoolteacher who finally warms up to the idea of dating. She ends up falling for a charming, handsome man (Sam Elliott) – and after one date the two share a kiss.

“I was a little nervous. That was probably the only scene I was a little nervous about … because my husband has been gone for 13 years,” Danner says. “I ve had a couple of blind dates, but I haven t had a [serious] date and I m not really shopping for another relationship.”

She adds, “As June [Squibb] says [in the film], ‘When you ve had the best, the heck with the rest,’ and that s kind of my attitude about it all.”

Related Video: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Changing Looks

And since the film – which also stars Malin Ackerman, Mary Kay Place, Rhea Perlman and Martin Starr – was shot in only 18 days, director Brett Haley admits they “didn t have any time for rehearsal.”

[Blythe and Sam] are literally meeting at the table read. Then we’re shooting the next day with them and they’ve got to kiss,” he explains. But, nerves aside, Danner says Elliott “was so kind” and the kissing scene “went smoothly.”

And Elliott agreed that the pair “had a lot of fun” working together. “We were totally respectful of the other one … and it just was a joy to work with her,” he said.

As for awards buzz for Danner? “That s very sweet that anyone would even say it!” the veteran stage and screen actress says with a laugh.

I’ll See You In My Dreams opens in select theaters on Friday, May 15.