Sunday, November 25, 2012

Second Look: Sally Field

Two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Emmys, honors at Cannes and Berlin film festivals and numerous other accolades are testimonies to her highly crafted skill as one of America’s most beloved actresses. Sally Field must know what it feels like to be liked by now (see reference to her 1987 Academy Award acceptance speech), without even taking into consideration her most recent convincing performance as one of this country’s most unliked First Ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln. She’d been lobbying for this role for over a decade as she’s had to do with most of her roles since we first saw her as Gidget on the TV screen in 1965.

Lincoln director Steven Spielberg rejected her twice for the part of Abraham Lincoln’s obstinate, outspoken and frequently depressed wife. Sally saw something in Mary that hinted at a future role for women in the political world and she wanted to help set the record straight. (Sally was an active campaigner for Hillary Clinton in 2008.) In her final audition with Daniel Day-Lewis who was to play Lincoln and is ten years her junior (Mary was ten years younger than her husband) her improvisation went so well, she got the part.

Sally’s move from television to film was a life changer for her. And now as she moves from the west coast to east coast, she feels another cosmic shift evolving around her. With her mother recently deceased and the last of her three sons leaving the nest, she’s ready to reinvent herself once again. How hard could that be for a woman who’s played so many varied characters throughout her career so far and so well. There’s talk of another Oscar nomination for Sally this year. That would be her third; move over Meryl!


  1. I recently saw the first of a two-part interview with Sally Field - I have always been intrigued by her but after the recent interview, I have an incredible respect for her - not just as an actress, but as a single mother and a woman ... she is an inspiration ... can't wait to see Spielberg's Lincoln - for both Sally and Daniel Day Lewis!

  2. I have always enjoyed her on screen, and wished we would see more of her especially as she has matured.

    I will ask what so many of us do: Why aren't there more roles, more stories, and consequently more midlife actresses in film? So much talent. So many stories to be told. So many of us to relate to them.

    Still the ignored demographic?

  3. You have to applaud the Academy for rewarding Sally twice for her acting excellence (and maybe thrice). It's possible she didn't get the typical respect of Hollywood because she didn't look or conduct herself like the typical starlet. Good for her! She did it her way and that's why we all understand and appreciate her.

    Why aren't there more roles/jobs for midlife women in general. We have the stories and the skills. Just read the blogosphere. Maybe we have to write more of our own screenplays and start more of our own companies. We will continue to be ignored otherwise!