Bryce Dallas Howard portrays the “unapologetic” Fisher Willow in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, from a screenplay by Tennessee Williams.
Howard says “The Hollywood scene, these parties, freak me out. I’ve never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I wasn’t interested in losing control.
“There was alcoholism in my family, so I saw the negative effects and how difficult it was to recover.
“When I was in high school, I would never go to parties because I would be embarrassed to say no. Consequently, I had almost no social group.”
She also notes: “When I work on a film, I always tend to relate to the crew. I struggle immensely with celebrities of all forms. I get clammy hands and turn a little purple.”
[From Too Good to be True, Papermag 01/25/06.]
In creating and playing her character, she found, “I learned some interesting things about myself. Fisher is unapologetic about anything she does or says, and I am not; in fact I am apologizing all the time.
“I liked that she was almost hedonistic in her approach to life, and I connected to that side of myself that wants to be fearless.
“Also I learned that moving through the making of this film with the many obstacles, I watched Jodi [director Jodi Markell] do so with such grace, and I tried to follow her example, to handle whatever life throws at me with that sense of wonderful grace”, she says with a slight laugh, “and I hope I continue to do that going forward.” [incontention.com]
She has also commented about her role in this movie:
“I don’t really get nervous. I just get really focused and intense. I feel a responsibility to do the best that I can.
“And I feel that nervousness sometimes gets in the way of that, because you get wrapped up in your own neurosis. I feel very protected, as well, because Fisher Willow was such a thoroughly written character that I could obviously trust the writing enormously.” [imdb.com]
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I don’t know Howard, and I’m not saying she is shy or a highly sensitive person, but in a number of her interviews – and her comments above she talks about thoughts and emotional reactions that sound to me like shyness and/or high sensitivity.
And many other highly talented actors do share those qualities.
The trait of high sensitivity is experienced by 15 to 20 percent of us.
In my video On Being Sensitive are quotes by and about Winona Ryder, Heath Ledger, Amy Brenneman, Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, and Ellen DeGeneres about their experience of sensitivity.
Also see my related video Shy actors: Vanessa Hudgens, Sigourney Weaver, Taye Diggs – and the Highly Sensitive site.
Anxiety / nervousness article — Performers With Stage Fright and Anxiety
A number of actors and other performers talk about dealing with stage fright, feeling shy, or experiencing other kinds of anxiety, mood disorders such as depression or other mental health challenges.