Melissa Leo has always been a fighter
it that’s all you’ll ever have,” she nods.
“They think, ‘Oh, such confidence!’ No, it’s acting. That’s acting. So every day I work it’s that process of surmounting what’s terrifying. It’s a blessing to me.”
Before she was 10, her parents divorced and her father drifted out of the picture. Her mother, who was working on her graduate degree in early childhood education, moved Melissa and her brother to Vermont on a property owned by several people.
It was not a commune, she laughs. “We found ways to live there together, and in later years, when many of us moved away, we found a way to still share the property together and use it.
“Like any group, it was a complicated thing, but not a commune in the sense of a common ideology or anything like that, more in the sense of a social way of living; what makes sense.”
Her father’s departure had a long-term effect on her, she thinks. “When my dad left, it was confusing to me. And that set up some difficulty later in life of how that gets dealt with,” she says.
“A couple of parents in the house is a really good thing for a child growing up, two different people. Then, when I had my own son, we had some pretty tough years.”
The tough years were precipitated when she and her son’s father split up. “I was not going to continue residing with his father,” she says. “And finding out how our family would get shaped, those were pretty tough years.
“A lot of it was the five years I was on Homicide: Life On The Street,” she sighs. Her son is 29 and doing graduate work in fine art in Frankfurt, Germany.
She says she’d love to engage another sweetheart, but doubts that will happen. “It’s quite a mess out there and I’m not a man, never been a man, but it feels like it’s a bit harder. A woman partners when she’s younger, or she doesn’t.
“I would love to find somebody who’s a big, strong, strapping man who would let me also be whoever the heck I might be.” – Tribune News Service airs every Monday at 11pm on FX HD (Astro Ch 726).
Battle Of The Bastards