Q: What did you like about The Host's script?
A: The heroine fights so hard against the alien voice inside her. I was intrigued to be part of a movie that discusses how there are different parts of our minds that speak to us. The war between the ego and the spirit. Everyone has that going on.
Q: Are you always glad you became an actor?
A: Yeah, because there was nothing else I ever thought I wanted to do. Once I discovered that I could become a professional at what I was doing for free at the community theater in Orange, Texas, I thought, "My God, I'm the luckiest person in the world!" [Laughs.] Forty years later, you know, the ups and downs of the business are extensive.
Q: Does your daughter want to be an actor?
A: She's auditioning, yeah.
Q: How does that make you feel?
A: You know, if that's what her passion is, and that's what she wants to do, how can I say "Don't"?
Q: How does Francesca's dad feel about her being an actress?
A: I have no idea. We don't communicate about that. But I'm very happy for her. She's just completed her first feature film with her boyfriend, [director] Tyler Shields and Abigail Breslin. It's called Final Girl, and it has the most interesting trailer I've ever seen.
I've always tried to show her the pitfalls of the acting field. She's seen the fabulous side of it and she's seen the struggling side of it because she's seen what I've gone through. Not knowing where your next job is coming from is — something. After Titanic I didn't work for a year, interestingly enough.
Q: They don't come much bigger than Titanic.
A: Well, everyone pigeonholed me: "Oh, she can only play the uptight mother who doesn't want her daughter to date the boyfriend."
Q: You don't have to be an actor to face ageism, though. You can be working in a sales office and trying to get ahead at age 55 and you face the very same challenges. It's just that people who are in the acting profession have to do it on a very public stage.
A: Yeah. It is public. It's also about the availability of roles. I was talking to Jane Seymour today. You know, we haven't done anything to our faces, and the subtle pressure from people to do that is beginning to come to my attention. But I am a firm believer that if I am a true actress, to be able to play all kinds of roles in all different periods of time, I can't mess with my face. If you're supposed to be living in the 1850s, you can't look like someone who's had work done!
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