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'Love Is Love Is Love': Rita Wilson expresses 'Love' through music

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Rita Wilson stars in "Love Is Love Is Love" and performed the song "Because Love," which she co-wrote with Laura Karpman. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5529f262b8e4c9b951ff0976c0c917a1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Rita Wilson stars in "Love Is Love Is Love" and performed the song "Because Love," which she co-wrote with Laura Karpman. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Rita Wilson performs the theme song for the movie Love Is Love Is Love, on video-on-demand Tuesday, in which she also stars. Wilson plays Mary Kay, an aspiring singer who sings "Because Love" at the memorial lunch for her friend, Claire.

"My character never made an album," Wilson told UPI in a Zoom interview. "She wanted to and Claire was always encouraging her to but she never did because she was always too scared."

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Wilson, 65, has released four albums of music herself. Laura Karpman co-wrote "Because Love" with Wilson. Mary Kay sings it a capella in the scene, and Wilson recorded a version for the end credits.

"When she's asked to sing it, it's not something she's crazy about doing," Wilson said. "I really wanted to communicate that 'at the end of the day,' this is a lyric from the song, 'only love remains.'"

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Wilson previously wrote and sang the song "Even More Mine" in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, which she also produced, and "Everybody Cries" for The Outpost. Wilson said when she writes songs for movies, she tries to capture the movie's theme.

"I think, 'What is it that this movie needs to say about itself through music?" Wilson said. "So I took a number of things that already existed in the script and put them in the lyrics of the song."

Wilson said she had a Claire in her life, who encouraged her in all of her career aspects, and that was Nora Ephron. Ephron cast Wilson in Sleepless in Seattle and Mixed Nuts and advised Wilson on writing for magazines like Harper's Bazaar.

"She wanted women to succeed," Wilson said of Ephron. "Six weeks before she died, she threw me a party for my very first show in New York at Joe's Pub."

Ephron connects Wilson and Love Is Love Is Love co-star Rosanna Arquette too. Arquette, 62, said Ephron hired her as the music consultant for Lucky Numbers because Ephron was not happy with the music supervisor's choices.

"I found the songs in this movie because she knew my love for music," Arquette said. "She didn't like what was happening and she thought I would have a better take."

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It is the only music consultant credit in Arquette's career. An actor since 1977, Arquette has appeared in movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, After Hours, Pulp Fiction, TV's Ray Donovan and many more. She also directed two documentaries.

Arquette said the song and the movie's theme of love resonated with her, too. In addition to acting and directing, Arquette is an activist for civil rights, gender inequality, environmentalism, homelessness and many more causes.

Arquette said political activism is a volatile environment. Arquette said the film reminded her to focus on the people she loves, too.

"We've got to just be surrounded with the people that love and nurture us," Arquette said. "Try to just get back to basics."

For Wilson, having a woman behind the scenes and so many on screen was special. Wilson has been in Now and Then with three other women, but never nine, plus writer/director Eleanor Coppola.

"I said to Rosanna one day, 'Oh, so this is what it must be like when men go to work every day on a set,'" Wilson said. "It doesn't happen all that often. It's happening more now, though. That's good."

Wilson said she and Arquette also shared a dressing room on Love Is Love Is Love. Arquette said sharing a dressing room was like having a college roommate, one who taught her the value of rest.

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"She was just very disciplined in her nap and it was inspiring to me," Arquette said. "I want to do that at lunchtime and really calm your brain down."

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