March 27, 2008

Laura Linney Talks...

Haven't you noticed that Laura Linney is always good in everything? I really can't think of any missteps in any of her performances. Can you?

She's costarring in the awesome HBO miniseries John Adams and she took some time out from rehearsing Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the Roundabout Theatre in NY to answer some questions about herself and her experience playing Abigail Adams. Linney is heavily featured in episode four of John Adams "Reunion" which airs this Sunday on HBO.

Here is part of the conversation:

Women & Hollywood: Do you think Abigail Adams was a feminist?

Laura Linney: She was certainly progressive in her thinking, but you also have to realize where she was. Within her context, she was progressive, but at the same time, she still very much believed that a woman’s place was at home. It’s sort of tricky when talking about her as a feminist, she was more like a humanist, I think. But she was very, insightful and very aware of – in her personal politics as well as governmental politics.

Her entire life she regretted that she wasn’t able to have an education. And the fact that she was a far superior writer to her husband, which he admitted...So she always, I think she realized that there was injustice there.
W&H: I was particularly interested in seeing Sarah Polley join the cast last evening (the episode that will air this coming Sunday). She's a very talented young actress and director. I’m wondering if you had any conversations with her.
LL: Yes. She’s an amazing, amazing person. Away from Her, was just hitting when she was there. It was so sweet because I don’t think she was quite aware of what was happening. I mean, she knew that her movie had done well, but I don’t think she had realized the impact that it had particularly within the U.S.
W&H: Both of your trajectories are not typical in Hollywood so I found it just so interesting that she would be cast as your daughter.
LL: Sarah is having a remarkable life. And as the years go by, it’s will be really interesting to see what she chooses to do next. She has a lot to give. There’s a lot for her to do. I think she’s going to have the opportunity to do it.
W&H: Please talk about the way women are treated especially as they age in Hollywood.
LL: It’s a complex topic. And a lot of it is just what you will participate in. I can only speak for myself. I don’t know what anybody else should do. But you just have to surround yourself with the right people and keep yourself concentrated on the things that you think are important and do the best you can.

I don’t know how, you know, completely tackle this because I don’t spend all of my time there. I do work in the theater, and I work in television, I’m not completely 100 percent focused on just film. So I’m certainly aware that it’s there. I’m very lucky and grateful that I’ve somehow been able to keep working. But I think you have to be you and not let people tell you what to think about yourself, quite frankly.