Incognito

With star turns in last year’s “Lady Bird” and the new period epic “Mary Queen of Scots,” out Dec. 7, the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, 24, has catapulted into Hollywood’s top ranks. But she prefers to spend her off time out of the limelight: The 24-year-old’s favorite pastimes include knitting, cooking and reading history. “I don’t go to a lot of clubs because I’m busy knitting,” she jokes. “I just knit and read history books.” She laughs and shakes her head, adding, “Now nobody will want to read this interview.” …

She’s read a lot of history books to study for her roles, but she says her script choices are more emotionally than strategically driven. “It’s like a chemistry thing,” she says…She found revisiting her emotions “quite therapeutic,” she says. “It can really help get something out of your system or help you understand why you’re feeling a certain way or just be more in touch with how you’re feeling.”

That self-aware groundedness is part of what keeps her close to home in Ireland when she isn’t working. A self-described homebody, she lives outside Dublin, near where she grew up. Her father is an actor and her mother a homemaker…

She enjoys remaining incognito at the grocery store. Her relaxed attire helps. While she says her style changes all the time, she thinks she tends to dress like a “cool Scandinavian mother.” When I look at her quizzically, she describes loose, high-waisted pants and flowing shirts. “They’re not necessarily Scandinavian, but I just mean mothers who have just had a baby,” she explains. “I look a bit like a mother of one who’s gone mad in Anthropologie.”

Alexandra Wolfe, from “Saoirse Ronan Would Rather Be Knitting” – The ascendant star, now playing ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ prefers to spend her off-time out of the limelight—and get through the grocery store incognito (wsj.com, Dec 7, 2018)

Happy Birthday Holly!

Happy 60th Birthday Holly Hunter! (Born, March 20, 1958)

“I don’t want anyone to ever wonder who I am,” she says. “I’m not interested in fooling people.”

“Acting is a tremendously insecurity-making profession. I always feel insecure and I always feel confident. They’re slammed up against each other and it’s a constant balancing act.”


Source: Vulture – Holly Hunter Is Keeping It Real

Uma

Uma Thurman knows that there are no retakes in theater, no postproduction fixes, no chances to dub in a line. When she strides onstage for “The Parisian Woman,” a play by Beau Willimon, the “House of Cards” creator, that opens Nov. 30 at the Hudson Theater, no flattering lenses or editing trickery will help her.

“Of course it’s exposing,” she said over dinner recently, “but no exposure, no challenge. You can’t test yourself in safety.” […]

“It wasn’t very difficult to cast her,” said Stephen Frears, the director of “Dangerous Liaisons,” speaking by telephone. “She was so striking, so beautiful and so fresh.”

She was also, as Mr. Frears said, “very formidable.” That’s a hallmark of her career and also maybe a clue to why that career has been so eclectic. Ms. Thurman isn’t a delicate actress or a melting one or the kind who comes right to the front of a movie screen and invites you in. There’s a remove in a lot of her best work (“Henry & June,” “Kill Bill”), a sense that she has emotions and ideas that are hers alone.

She has refused to be typecast as a siren or a femme fatale and has struggled to find roles that attract her. It isn’t that she won’t play wives and girlfriends — she will, she has. But these are women as likely to steal a scene as to yield to it.

Quentin Tarantino, who directed her as a gangster’s wife in “Pulp Fiction” and wrote the “Kill Bill” movies for her, compared Ms. Thurman to golden-age luminaries like Greta Garbo and Bette Davis. “There’s this year’s blonde and there’s last year’s blonde. Interchangeable. But to me, Uma has a quality that could rank with a Marlene Dietrich,” he said in a phone interview. He also called her, with affection, “a big, tall willow.” […]

Playing Chloe, she said, was taxing her more than any part in a decade. It was forcing her to use all of her actorly muscles “in a more total and protracted way.”

Is Chloe a siren? Maybe. A femme fatale? Depends who you ask. Happily, she is more than that, too.

As dinner wound down, with plates of vegetables and tiny bowls of tofu littering the table, Ms. Thurman considered the question of what a woman like Chloe really wants. “I think I’m still exploring that,” she said. Finally, she gave what she called “a most banal and bad answer.”

“I think she’s wanting and demanding to be fully alive,” Ms. Thurman said.

~ Alexis Soloski, excerpts from “Uma Thurman, Ready to Be Tested.” Hollywood’s “contempt and dismissiveness” toward women have led her to Broadway. In “The Parisian Woman,” she’ll be onstage for every minute of every scene. (NY Times, Nov 8, 2017)

give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday

A couple of decades ago, she had soured on celebrity, once and for all, so it seemed. “It wants to name you and diagnose you and keep you as a comfort animal,” Ms. Winger said the other day before quietly changing her tune. “Celebrity is not my favorite part of the gig,” she confided. “But it’s the price you pay for doing what you want.”…

True, she feuded viciously with former co-stars and directors. She once called John Malkovich …“nothing more than a catwalk model.” She endlessly needled Shirley MacLaine during the filming of the 1983 movie “Terms of Endearment,” tonguing her thigh during off-camera moments and teasing her crudely about her attire, her psychosexual antics causing Ms. MacLaine to flee the set … Has she mellowed over time? Could be… At 61, Ms. Winger is offering no excuses. “Sometimes I have less tact than other times,” she said.

“If I have an intention I’m going to try to stick with it and not be taken by someone else’s energy. “I’m on a quest; aren’t we all? With humans, it’s always a dance. If somebody’s moving slower than you are, you’ve got to get them out of your way.” Her truculence did not sit well with her long-ago peers or her studio bosses. “People said I’m too intense,” she acknowledged. “People can’t handle that.”  These days she is reserving that surfeit of passion mostly for her work…In many ways, she has never really stopped. What seemed like a hiatus in the mid-1990s was in fact a fertile time. Ms. Winger taught at Harvard, married the actor Arliss Howard, brought up three sons in Sullivan County, N.Y., and worked on memorable indie projects…

“It’s hard to accept your aging face,” she said. “You’ve got to be tough.” Still, you can hope to ease the pain. “You just give away the mirrors in your house, one with every birthday,” Ms. Winger said. “By the time you reach the right age, you have just one little mirror over your bathroom sink to make sure you don’t have any green in your teeth.”…

“It’s all about finding your groove at every age.”…“It’s all about chi, your life energy,” she said with Yoda-like serenity. “Like everything else, it goes through iterations. If it’s alive it changes.”…Till when? She fixed her companion with a sphinxlike gaze and grinned. “Can I get back to you on that?” she said.

~ Ruth La Ferla, excerpts from Debra Winger Comes to Terms With Fame and Age (NY Times, May 5, 2017)

I’m hooked on the hard thing. I believe in the hard way. Long recipes, no shortcuts.

Michelle-williams

Unobtrusive as a shadow, she slips in…wearing black jeans and a fisherman’s sweater as pale as her tousled hair, which looks as if she just rolled out of bed—except that she never went to bed last night. She’s the opposite of a diva making an entrance; this is a woman who knows how to hide in plain sight, with no makeup, no frills, no attention-grabbing gestures. In this busy restaurant she seems to inhabit a bubble of stillness; it’s easy to see why one critic described her as “a slight, unprepossessing person.” […]

Finding suitable film roles is tougher, and their demands often conflict with her daughter’s needs. “I think about work and how to do both all the time. I worry about the next job and when it’s coming and will I be able to get it, but when you’re looking at something, there’s also the criteria of timing, the school calendar, the location, the duration and just where we’re at as a family. How much does this work for me as a person, and how much does this work for my family? Sometimes they balance up perfectly, and sometimes they lean in one direction.” […]

She is also a woman who understands paralyzing grief. Like Randi, a mother forever shattered by a malevolent moment of fate in Manchester by the Sea, Williams is a mother who has spent years trying to recover from an irreparable loss…After (Heath) Ledger died (from an accidental drug overdose), she found it excruciating to give up the home they had shared with Matilda’s father.  “At that time, I was inconsolable, because I felt, How will he be able to find us? This is where we lived, and he won’t know where we are,” she says, dabbing away tears. “And now I can’t believe I thought that.” She shakes her head. “The past—you might be done with it, but it’s not done with you.” […] Over time, she has learned a tough lesson. “When you find yourself in hell, the best thing to do is keep going,” she says. “Don’t stop. Put one foot in front of the other. The territory keeps changing, but it won’t change if you sit down. Keep moving.” […] [Read more…]

Riven with insecurities

dustin-hoffman

Hoffman, 78, often professes himself riven with insecurities and convinced that every job will be his last. “You don’t erase the first 10 years of your life, it stays with you, it’s imprinted … you didn’t work!” he says. “Selfishly, I feel, well, I just got in under the gun.” However, he has nothing to prove. With a catalogue of era-defining movies including The Graduate, Lenny, All the President’s Men, Straw Dogs and Tootsie, he’s one of the pre-eminent film stars of the last 50 years. While it’s doubtful that Kung Fu Panda 3, the film he’s promoting today in New York, will join The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy in the National Film Registry, it’s still a perfectly charming kids’ movie, enhanced by Hoffman’s infinitely expressive growl. […]

So who’s the best actor of all time? Hoffman doesn’t believe in the concept, but he believes in best performances. “The first one that comes to mind – he just got an Oscar, I heard – Mark Rylance. His Jerusalem, my God. I said: ‘What is that?’ When you see something that transforms everything that you’ve been doing for a living … I mean, you’re an actor but that goes beyond. He was doing something larger.” Equally stunning, says Hoffman, was Simon Russell Beale as Hamlet. “He was unkempt, he was heavy, he played him like a real loser, which I think Shakespeare wrote, and I thought he had an essence. Then it came to ‘To be or not to be’ and he came to the lip of the stage and he said: ‘To be …’”

Hoffman gets up, and just for me performs Russell Beale performing Hamlet. “And he held it until there wasn’t a person in the audience that was breathing and it was as if he had collected everyone to the very essence of what he was saying. ‘… or not to be.’ And I thought, ‘Woah.’ I got goosebumps. He still kept the iambic pentameter but it just got inside something that no-one else had done before. Great acting, I do love it.” And, he says, despite niggles – a torn rotator cuff, back injuries and waning ability to remember people’s names, he’ll be doing it for as long as he’s able.

~ Alex Needham, Dustin Hoffman: ‘I was an outsider. I came to New York and I was cleaning toilets’


Source: The Guardian

 

50. And most beautiful.

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Christie D’Zurill, LA Times: Sandra Bullock is People’s most beautiful woman; ‘ridiculous,’ she says:

Sandra Bullock, mother of Louis and winner of Oscar, is People magazine’s most beautiful woman for 2015…

At 50, she’s the oldest celebrity to be featured on the magazine’s annual cover celebrating beauty — a factoid that likely wouldn’t register with her 5-year-old son.
“[H]e asked why I have wrinkles, and I said, ‘Well, I hope some of them are from laughing so much.’ And he touched my face and said, ‘You’re not old, you’re just happy…

“Real beauty is quiet,” she said. “Especially in this town, it’s just so hard not to say, ‘Oh, I need to look like that.’

“No, be a good person, be a good mom, do a good job with the lunch, let someone cut in front of you who looks like they’re in a bigger hurry.”…

A blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others

tatiana-maslany

By: Lili Loofbourow, The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany:

Tatiana Maslany, the 29-year old actress, is a native of Regina, Saskatchewan. She is the leading lady on the set of “Orphan Black,” the BBC America television show that has the same star many times over. “Orphan Black,” you see, is about a group of persecuted clones, and all of them are played by Tatiana Maslany.

Despite Maslany’s reluctance, I managed to steer our conversation back to her magical quick-change act. I still wanted to know how she does it. “I think there’s something about being prepared enough that you can surrender,” she said. Then she quoted to me something the dancer Martha Graham told the choreographer Agnes de Mille in 1943.

At the time, de Mille was confused and bewildered by her sudden rise to fame, and Graham offered her words of encouragement.  […] De Mille asked Graham when she would feel satisfied, and Graham replied: “There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” I asked Maslany what her divine dissatisfaction was. “I don’t know how I would label it right now,” she said. “I think if I looked back on this time, I’d probably see where it lived.”

Don’t miss entire NY Times Magazine article here: The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany.


Boldly Go Mr. Spock

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spock-leonard-nimoy-star-trek-cartoon


Image Source: larygo and mayangelsfall

 

The Humbling

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Al Pacino and Barry Levinson on Age, Accomplishments and ‘The Humbling’:

Mr. Pacino, 74, is playing Simon Axler in The Humbling. Axler is an aging actor whose memory and stamina are failing him. He fears his opportunities are drying up and audiences no longer recognize him.

Q: “The Humbling” deals with a character who is despairing because he’s growing older and believes he’s no longer proficient at the things that defined him. Are these feelings you’ve experienced yourselves?

Al Pacino: Oh, yeah. What film is this again? [Laughter] There are professions where there are certain tools you depend on. With the actor it’s the memory, and also it’s the stamina. You can’t coast in some of these Shakespearean roles. They’re uncoastable. You can imagine the kind of panic that sets in when you realize you can’t get through this.

Q: Is a crisis of confidence like the one your character experiences unimaginable to you?

Al Pacino It’s got to be really confounding when you no longer have that appetite, I would imagine. I know about Philip Roth saying that he doesn’t write anymore and he feels good about it. There’s a kind of relief in that. But to be an actor that doesn’t want to do it anymore?


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