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

WKND - - Hollywood 50 Years Of Acting - By Cindy Pearl­man

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

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