May 14, 2008

Karen Allen is Back in the New Indiana Jones Movie

One of the most exciting things I'm looking to this summer is seeing Karen Allen onscreen returning in the Indiana Jones movie. Her character Marion Ravenwood was a much more realistic foil and partner for Indy than the women who followed. (Granted the film was made in 1981 when there were many more strong roles for women in the movies -- think Silkwood, Norma Rae, 9 to 5, Yentl)

It's smart and bold for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to team their 65 year old male star (Harrison Ford) with a female contemporary rather than following the trend and giving him a younger girlfriend.

Here's a sneak preview at the new issue of More magazine which features Karen Allen on its cover.

Here are some excerpts from the piece:

About getting the call from Steven Spielberg:

“What’s funny is that his wife, Kate Capshaw, had just bought a lot of my knitwear for Christmas presents. I though he was going to tell me he loved the presents! He said, ‘Haven’t you been watching television? We’re doing another film, and you’re in it.’ And it wasn’t a cameo, it was a big, beautiful part and I was jumping up and down.”
Life on the Indy set:
On the first day of filming, she and Ford, who turned 65 during the shoot, had to leap from the back of a moving truck into its cab. “Harrison and I were laughing in between takes, saying ‘Here we go again.’ It just felt really seamless.
About the second time around:
“Now, we’ve all grown up, we all have kids: Steven has seven children; Harrison has several families. As a younger actor, I had a harder time enjoying the process. I was so serious about it all, there was more ego involved. I’d never worked on big action things where you spend you entire day navigating through snakes or having corpses fall on your head, and I was overwhelmed."
Harrison Ford on Karen:
“Karen has this sort of girlish streak to her, even as a mature woman. And yet it’s not a coy thing. It’s not a weak thing. She has a sense of adventure.” On the first day of filming, “there I was in a fedora and a leather jacket and she showed up up looking like the Karen of old. Or of young.”
Women over 40 in Hollywood:
“There just aren’t that many wonderful roles for women over 45. I come from a generation of fantastic actresses, most of whom are not working at all and I don’t think it’s because they stopped wanting to.”
About the TV offers she’s turned down:
“For actors over a certain age, everybody thinks you’re going to work in television. It seems to me there’s one good show a year – like right now I love In Treatment. But most television I find unbearably bad. So, if an acting job comes along that I want to do, fantastic, and meanwhile, I have this really full, rich, interesting life.”
About her life now:
“Honestly, I have to say, 56 is my favorite age ever. I’ve raised my son, and I’ll never stop being his mother. But now he’s moved on in his life, and that opens up mine as well. It’s taken me this long to figure out how to create a life that’s diverse and interesting and balanced.”
The divorced star and her future loves:
“I feel that if I’m going to get involved at this point, I’m looking for a person I’d spend the rest of my life with. And short of that, I honestly like being on my own. Every once in a while, I’ll see a really romantic movie and think, why can’t I find somebody like him? But I’m kind of reconciled to the possibility that I might not.”
You can read the full story next week.