“Some of the time, when you’re walking out there where the air is thin, you just hope you can walk back again.” — Gena Rowlands

It’s her birthday today. The quote in the headline was Rowlands talking about playing Mabel in A Woman Under the Influence, but it could be said about many of her roles, particularly the ones she did in her husband’s films. Far far out there on a limb, or on a mountaintop, without an oxygen tank, without a net, whatever metaphor you want. That’s how far out she goes.

I’ve written so much about her, my favorite living actress, and here’s a roundup:

For the Criterion release of Love Streams, I wrote and narrated a video essay about Rowlands’ work with her husband John Cassavetes. Here’s an excerpt from the video (the whole thing is in the Special Features on the DVD):

When Gena Rowlands received her Lifetime Achievement Oscar, I was hired to write the narration for the tribute reel played at the ceremony. Angelina Jolie read what I wrote. Unfortunately, it isn’t online. (It was a trophy moment, personally to hear “Angie” saying MY words.)

Here’s Gena Rowlands’ highly entertaining speech at her Lifetime Achivement ceremony, complete w/Bette Davis anecdote (they did an amazing TV movie together, “Strangers.”)

I wrote the booklet essay for Arrow Film’s release of Another Woman (part of a Woody Allen box set) – it’s one of my favorite Rowlands performances, and it’s rarely discussed. It’s so different from anything else she ever did. Gena, playing uptight and repressed? Well, YES.

Here’s my report for Rogerebert.com on a QA she did after a SAG screening of her latest film. Witness to a Legend: The Career of Gena Rowlands

Also for Rogerebert.com, I wrote “Gena Rowlands: A Life in Film,” to highlight the career entire, not just the films she did with John Cassavetes.

When I interviewed Dan Callahan about his The Art of American Screen Acting, we discussed Gena Rowlands, of course.

Here’s a huge post on my site with quotes by and about Gena Rowlands.

“When Gena and I are home together, we’re husband and wife. On the set, we’re deadly combatants. We have great respect for each other, like enemies do.” – John Cassavetes

This entry was posted in Actors, Movies, On This Day and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Some of the time, when you’re walking out there where the air is thin, you just hope you can walk back again.” — Gena Rowlands

  1. Myrtle says:

    Offtopic: Yesterday women were finally allowed into the Azadi stadium after 37 years to watch the World Cup game featuring Iran vs. Spain on screen.A journalist tweeted that when he was there in March, 35 women were arrested for trying to get into the Azadi.

    I keep thinking about the film Offside. Which I would never have known about or gone to see if I hadn’t read about it here;). I hope Jafar Panahi saw the footage of all those happy, excited women and families.

    • sheila says:

      I hadn’t heard this news – thank you for letting me know! Jafar Panahi – STILL banned from making films – and STILL making films. Hero!

  2. Brendan O'Malley says:

    She’s terrifying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.