Hello, my name is sally
Two- Time oscar winner and veteran actress sally field on her upcoming movie and why she isn’t interested in her Cinematic legacy There is some connection between The hand and The brain. i write Things out, and it suddenly fits into my head
Sally Field wasonthebrinkoftears. Head dropped forward and hair shaking, she scrunched her eyes tight … and then looked up and smiled.
“That’s how you do it,” the 69- yearold two- time Oscar winner said, beaming. “That’s how you give an emotional performance. You train, but you also dig deep and use your own life.
“I’m sure, if I spent a few moments digging, I could get it out of you,” she added. “Everyone has a deep sadness that’s waiting to be unleashed.”
In Hello, My Name Is Doris, opening later this month, Field plays Doris Miller, a 60- something office worker and eccentric who develops a crush on a younger co- worker ( Max Greenfield).
Doris wants someone to hold her. She’s also trying to find herself after decades of caring for her aged mother, who recently passed away. Her life revamp includes attending a lecture by a motivational guru ( Peter Gallagher) and relying on her outspoken best friend ( Tyne Daly) and teenage granddaughter ( Isabella Acres) for advice.
No one knows exactly what makes Doris tick, though, including Doris herself. “This character has some borderline personality issues,” Field said. “She’s not certifiable, but she’s very shy and has some real issues. She’s somewhere on the scale between serious issues and just quirky.
“That’s what I loved about this character,” the actress added. “I also loved that this film walks a fine line between high comedy and some deep, dramatic moments that really break your heart.” To get into the Doris mindset, Field said, she wrote out all the breakdowns of her scenes by hand.
“I still love doing that by hand,” she explained. “There is some connection between the hand and the brain. I write things out, and it suddenly fits into my head. Then, as I develop a character, I fill in the rest of the information.”
Another way into Doris’ sense of the world was through her eclectic clothing choices, including a penchant for neon. “Doris wears some of the most bizarre vintage clothes,” Field said with a laugh. “But the truth is, once I started putting them on, I found Doris started appearing. I was like, ‘ Oh, there she is.’ She even copies Brigitte Bardot’s hairdo. Does it look like Brigitte’s hair? No, but in her mind it does.”
Her only question, as far as Doris’ outfits was concerned, was where to draw the line. “There was a neon jumpsuit that we kept arguing about,” Field recalled. “I thought it was too much, and the director kept saying, ‘ Trust me, it will get a big laugh.’ I thought, ‘ There’s a laugh … and there’s a laugh.’ I never want to puncture the fabric of reality we’re creating. But, in the end, he was right,” she admitted. “Audiences love when I’m in that jumpsuit.”
Audiences have loved the native of Pasadena, California, for more than five decades. The daughter of an Army officer and an actress, Field began acting as a teenager, making her first mark as Francis Elizabeth Lawrence, better known as Gidget, the boy- crazed beach girl in the sitcom Gidget ( 19651966). She went on to play Sister Bertrille for three seasons on The Flying Nun ( 1967- 1970). She won an Emmy Award for her star turn in the miniseries Sybil ( 1976), in which she played a woman plagued by split personalities.
Field madeherfilmdebutinthewaywest( 1967), but didn’t emerged as a big- screen star until Smokey and the Bandit ( 1977). Once established, though, she quickly amassed a string of impressive credits, winning Oscars as Best Actress for her work in Norma Rae ( 1979) and Places in the Heart ( 1984), as well as starring in Absence of Malice ( 1981), Murphy’s Romance ( 1985), Steel Magnolias ( 1989),
Soapdish ( 1991), Mrs. Doubtfire ( 1993) and Forrest Gump ( 1994).
In later years, as meaty film roles began to thin out, Field returned to television for a recurring role as Maggie Wyczenski on ER ( 2000- 2006) and a series- regular role as Nora Walker on Brothers & Sisters ( 2006- 2011). She hasn’t been entirely absent from the big screen, though, earning an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln ( 2012) and playing Aunt May in The Amazing Spider- Man ( 2012) and The Amazing Spider- Man 2 ( 2014).
During her half- century in Hollywood, Field said, she has figured out a few things. “They won’t hire you to act it,” she said. “They will only hire you if they believe you are that character. Most of us are asked to do roles that they think you are.
“Take my role in Sybil,” she said. “I had to pick who I was going to be, but the most important thing was that I had to convince them that I wasn’t Sally. I was actually Sybil.”
Not all of her work has been of the best, Field admitted. “I’ve done some great films and some really crappy work too,” she said. “Sometimes it’s beyond your wildest expectations, sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes the policeman in my head doesn’t blow the whistle and I keep going despite all the stop signs. Later I’ll think, ‘ Someone should have stopped me.’” She laughed. “The great part is that you’re constantly learning and evolving,” Field said. “That’s what I love about acting.”
How does she know when she gets it right? “There’s a feeling, a click,” the actress said. “I love it when I feel a character so clearly and hear that click. That ringing of what’s untrue is gone. You don’t feel as if something needs to be fixed.”
Of all her roles, then, which one produced the loudest click? “I can’t pick favourites,” Field said with a sigh. “I always say that maybe I will when I’m on the front porch, drooling into a cup. That’s when I’ll choose that one role that made all the difference.
“The great part of being an actor is that you have all these pieces that stick with you from the parts you played,” she continued. “You’ll wonder, ‘ When did I say that?’ Then you’ll realise, ‘ I didn’t say that as Sally, I said it in a scene.’ All of these wonderful histories begin to blend together.”
Field admitted that she still gets nervous when a new film is about to debut. “It’s fabulous and horrifying to see a film for the first time with an audience,” she said. “I do get lost in the story, but I have to honestly say I’m pretty much focused on myself. My heart is beating really fast. I feel like the curtain is going up.
“People say, ‘ Why are you still nervous?,’” Field said. “I’m cotton- mouthed. My hands are shaking. I’m still watching my work and hoping I squeak it out.”
With her 70th birthday coming up in November, Field has started to be asked about her sense of her own legacy. It’s a topic which, she insisted, doesn’t interest her. “I don’t care about my legacy— I’ll be dead by then,” she said. “Seriously, I don’t think in terms of legacy. I just want to be a good grandmother. That’s my legacy: I want to be impactful in a positive way to my grandchildren. That’s all I’m thinking when it comes to long- term issues.
“Oh, and I don’t want to die a painful death,” Field added. “Other than that, I think about today.”
— New York Times Syndicate
i love it when i feel a character so clearly and hear that click... you don’t feel as if something needs to be fixed