Field of dreams
Sally Field’s star is still shining bright, reports Neala Johnson
AS SHE clutched her Golden Globe to her chest just a couple of weeks ago, young queen of Hollywood Anne Hathaway made a point of singling out one of her more experienced fellow nominees.
The 30- year- old starlet would never have made the transition from The Princess Diaries to Les Miserables, she declared, if it wasn’t for Sally Field.
Field was still a teenager when she played the titular surfer girl in TV series Gidget. And she still couldn’t legally drink when she became Sister Bertrille in The Flying Nun.
It took Field a further 10 years to finally break into more dramatic roles; to begin to build a resume that would include Steel Magnolias and Forrest Gump and to become the actor Hathaway so admires.
Accepting her own award – for career achievement – at the Palm Springs Film Festival last month, Field said: ‘‘ Yes, it’s true I’ve done love scenes with a pelican . . . but I’ve also done love scenes with Paul Newman’’ – before concluding that in 50 years of being an actor, ‘‘ it has never once occurred to me to change my mind’’.
It is the role of the Civil War- era president’s wife in Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, that has brought Field back to the table at Hollywood’s awards season.
She already has two Oscars – Best Actress for the 1979 drama Norma Rae, about a single mother who started a union movement, and for 1984’ s depression- era drama Places in the Heart – and has a chance to nab a third later this month.
Lincoln had been on Field’s radar for some time. When the project come together with Daniel Day- Lewis as Lincoln, director Spielberg could no longer picture Field standing across from his leading man.
But Field would not give up on Mary Todd Lincoln. ‘‘ I fought for Mary,’’ Field says.
And in a gesture Field calls ‘‘ the most generous thing another actor has ever done for me’’, Day- Lewis flew to the US from Ireland for a day just to screen- test with Field. It convinced Spielberg that Field was still the best choice.
‘‘ It was really through the generosity [ of] Daniel Day- Lewis that I was there,’’ she says. LINCOLN Opens Thursday State and Village cinemas
ROLE OF A LIFETIME: Sally Field and Daniel Day- Lewis in Lincoln. MADE HER DAY: Daniel DayLewis flew from Ireland to
the US for a day to screen- test with Field.