Category Archives: Actors

“I’m really confident. I had a perfect childhood. I had perfect parents and grandparents. They just love me, simply. So I have no fears.” — Mélanie Laurent

Today is the birthday of French actress and director Mélanie Laurent. Probably most American audiences (and international audiences, outside of France) were first introduced to the extraordinary Mélanie Laurent in her perfoƒrmance as the revolutionary Shoshanna in Inglourious Basterds. Laurent … Continue reading

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“If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work.” — Alan Rickman

It’s his birthday today. When Alan Rickman died, I paid tribute to him for Rogerebert.com, including my memory of seeing him in the unforgettable Broadway production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, opposite Lindsay Duncan. I still have the poster. I … Continue reading

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“If someone puts up $100 million on a movie, they’re gonna be concerned about whether they’ll get it back. So they’re not gonna make a movie about three girls, you know?” – Lili Taylor

It’s her birthday today. Like most of my generation, Lili Taylor first made an impression on me in Mystic Pizza. She’s basically the third lead, and she’s great throughout, but her monologue at the end – if you’ve seen the … Continue reading

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It’s Ron Eldard’s Birthday: the first famous person I interviewed

Here’s the story of the first famous person I interviewed – an actor I had admired for a long time: Mr. Ron Eldard. I saw the excellent Roadie at the Tribeca Film Festival. Eldard plays a roadie fired from his … Continue reading

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“Since I couldn’t actuate the things that I wanted to do, the only weapon I had was to say no.” — Sidney Poitier

It’s Sidney Poitier’s birthday. Poitier was the first African-American to win a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Homer Smith, the drifter/handy-man in 1963’s Lilies of the Field (which also won Best Picture). Poitier is a superstar in it, … Continue reading

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Substack: On Ann Savage in Detour

It’s Ann Savage’s birthday today. I wrote a big piece on Substack about her one-for-the-ages performance in Detour.

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For Presidents Day: Marilyn and Abe: a lifelong relationship

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“You know, as character actors we play all kinds of sex psychos, nuts, creeps, perverts, and weirdos. And we laugh it off, saying what the hell it’s just a character. But deep down inside, it’s you, baby.” — Lee Marvin

“It was fun for me to play that dangerous guy. It was a dangerous kind of a character. One of the bad facets of yourself that you blow up. Well, that’s intellectual. I don’t hang out there too much, you … Continue reading

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“I’m not shy about trying to find what truth there is in any genre, whether that be an action piece, a sci-fi piece, a small indie film, or a play. I’m open to it all.” — Mahershala Ali

It’s his birthday today. I so respect his work in Hidden Figures, where he plays “support staff” to Taraji Henson. Some thoughts on actors’ understanding of storytelling functions and how they fit into stories: Actors are storytellers, and they understand … Continue reading

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“I looked like a bad girl. But I wasn’t a bad girl, really. I was a very nice little girl, until I found out what life was.”– Harriet Andersson

It’s her birthday today. Ingmar Bergman wrote in Images: My Life in Film, “Harriet Andersson is one of cinema’s geniuses. You meet only a few of these rare, shimmering individuals.” It’s difficult to talk about Harriet Andersson without hyperbole. She … Continue reading

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