I was practically born and raised at 20th Century Fox studio, started to work there selling papers when I was around seven years old, and every summer vacation from school I would work in a various department at the studio. So I was an old-timer when I was 15.
I was very innocent and shielded as a child, so I didn’t know a lot about music or dancing. When I was in Primary Six, no one would participate in a talent show, so I decided to go on. When the audience applauded me, I felt euphoric, and I started dancing right after that!
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
When I started in 1978, the greatest wine in Spain, Vega Sicilia, wasn’t even imported to the United States. The alleged greatest Australian wine, Penfolds Grange, wasn’t imported to the United States. There were no by-the-glass programs. Sommeliers were intimidating.
My first movie was this independent that I did on the Erie Canal in 1995, called Erie, that I don’t know if you could even get, actually with Felicity Huffman. And then from that I did this film that was eventually called The Broken Giant later that fall. And then I kind of started getting...
I knew I could sing. That one thing I did believe in was that I could sing, but then constantly getting rejected, it started to get me down. But my voice was always there and my dream and my ambition was always there when I went through bad times.
I had the lunchbox that cleared the cafeteria. I was very unpopular in the early grades. Because I hung out with my grandfather, I started to bring my lunchbox with sardine sandwiches and calamari that I would eat off my fingers like rings. I was also always reeking of garlic.
I started in New Orleans music and played all through the history of jazz.
What can I say: I got started on the whole wife-and-kids thing at a young age.
My cameraman and I devised a method, which we started using from my second film, which applies mainly to day scenes shot in the studio, where we used bounced light instead of direct light. We agreed with this thing of four or five shadows following the actors is dreadful.
I’m a natural blonde. But when I started acting, I would go to auditions and they didn’t know where to put me because I was voluptuous and had the accent, but I had blonde hair. It was ignorance: they thought every Latin person looks like Salma Hayek.
We are sliding back into a dark era, and there seems little we can do about it. I am profoundly depressed at just how difficult it has become merely to get a realistic conversation started on issues such as climate change or genetically modified organisms.
Once I started on ‘Frances’ I discovered it was literally a bottomless well. It devastated me to maintain that for eighteen weeks, to be immersed in this state of rage for twelve to eighteen hours a day. It spilled all over, into other areas of my life.
Well, I first started going to Europe in the late ’70s.
I started working with friends of mine and that, to some degree, continues.
All the Warner actors were real actors. They started in theater and led very straightforward lives – you never saw entourages around. The MGM girls were the glamour girls, and they always had the makeup and hair people with them and all that.