Actress Barbara Niven Passionate About ‘A Perfect Ending’

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Barbara Niven plays a sexy yet deprived wife-of-a-certain-age who’s looking for the “passion” (code for orgasm) in “A Perfect Ending.” She calls the role “my most favorite acting job I’ve ever had.”

“A Perfect Ending” is the first lesbian film for the veteran actress who’s best known for the soap One Life to Live and numerous TV guest roles. Written and directed by Nicole Conn (Elena Undone), “Perfect Ending” is the story of an older woman who learns about true love and passion from a younger, high-end prostitute, played by the exotically beautiful Jessica Clark (“True Blood”).

Niven is straight, but “Nicole made it really safe to go places I’ve never been before, and it’s not just that I’m naked in the film,” laughs Niven. “That’s scary enough, but baring my soul, going places I’ve never allowed people to see, ever, let alone on film, was extraordinary, and I think it’s going to be an extraordinary experience for women.”

It’s easy to see how anyone, regardless of sexuality, could be seduced by Clark. “She’s stunning,” Niven says of her co-star, an out actress who’s married in real life to fitness expert Lacey Stone.

Niven portrays Rebecca, a woman who is emotionally divorced from her husband, played by John Heard. Rebecca has “lived a perfectly inane life,” Niven explains, “but has never ever had real passion in her life. What do you do? Are you going to settle for that your whole life?”

The character’s best friends are a lesbian couple, played by Imelda Corcoran and Mary Wells, who are an example of what a fulfilling relationship should be. “I see what happens between my friends,” says Niven, “I want to know what that’s like. Just once in my life I’d like to be able to say I love you and really mean it.”

“A lot of things happen when women transition to another age,” Niven adds. “Especially if you’ve been pretty, and all of a sudden that’s not who you are anymore, you don’t get looked at anymore, everything is different. I remember watching my mom pushing her neck, her face in the mirror to get rid of the wrinkles, and that’s all the stuff I put into Rebecca.”

Niven didn’t take up acting until her 30s, but has enjoyed a successful career. In recent years, she’s become a motivational speaker and is profiled in the book “Feeding the Fame: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Eating Disorders & Recovery.”

While she doesn’t have personal experience with a lesbian relationship or even played one before this, Niven has her own opinion of her character in ‘A Perfect Ending.”

“I don’t think Rebecca is a lesbian, I think like all of us, we want to find our soul mate. I don’t think we should judge what that should look like. I think we should embrace it when it happens. And to be able to say once in your life and really, really mean it, ‘I love you.’

To find out more about “A Perfect Ending,” see Have you seen it yet? Tell us what you think below!

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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