Sarah Polley on fame
In an article, film critic Kenneth Turan writes:
Sarah Polley looks back on her decision to leave “Almost Famous” as a turning point in her life, a decision to keep fame at bay and have as normal a life as possible.
“My first experience with a sliver of fame was as a girl when ‘Baron Munchausen’ debuted in Berlin, and a mob was so eager for my autograph they tried to pull open the door of my car and my father was trying to pull it closed, so I never had anything other than horrifying experiences.
“But when I made that particular decision not to do that big Hollywood movie, I couldn’t have articulated why I was so dead set against that life. That decision was pure survival; it takes enormous strength to retain humanity and a sense of self in that world, there is so much wanting, so little being, and some part of me knew that I couldn’t have survived. But at the time I was at a loss as to why I had done it.
“I went into a pretty serious depression. But that led to my doing my first short film, to meeting the people I am still working with today, including my husband. It led me to realize that being a filmmaker is something I needed and wanted to do.” …
Away From Her
“Away From Her,” Polley’s first feature as a writer-director, comes to the Sundance Film Festival after an opening at Toronto that had local critics calling it “one of the most astonishing feature debuts by a Canadian director in ages.”
“A beautifully done film made with delicacy and classic virtues, it showcases a luminous Julie Christie in a drama revealing what the onset of Alzheimer’s does to a marriage.”
[From “Her subject, and maturity, go way beyond her years” Los Angeles Times January 20, 2007]
Turning down the star-maker role
In an earlier article [Toronto Sun, Oct 29, 2003], Polley noted how big a decision it was not to take the part:
“They were already booking the cover of Vanity Fair. It was a star-maker role. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and I don’t believe Hollywood is as organized or as paranoid as people believe, but there are certain roles where it’s all sort of mapped out and pre-determined. This was one of them. And at the last second I pulled back.”
“Polley continues, ‘I think those moments where you decide not to do something, in the face of nobody understanding that decision, are the moments that form you, that carve you out. It will always be a part of who I am, that I did that.’
“(The role, though she doesn’t say so, was in the film Almost Famous. It’s not a secret, but Polley doesn’t want to take anything away from Kate Hudson, whom she felt was terrific in the role. She says, ‘I was miscast. I just knew it wasn’t my part.’ And upon seeing Hudson in the role, ‘I felt redeemed, because she brought a depth and an intelligence to it that wasn’t there for me.’)”
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[Photo from interview article: Sarah Polley By Katie Holmes, Interview mag.]