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If you like Sally Field's story, you might also like:
Edward Albee,
Julie Andrews,
Carol Burnett,
Olivia de Havilland,
Whoopi Goldberg,
Ron Howard,
Jeremy Irons,
Naomi Judd,
Audra McDonald,
Sidney Poitier,
Hilary Swank
and Robert Zemeckis

Sally Field can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

Related Links:
The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute
Sally Field on Osteoporosis
Sally Field talks to Congress about Women's Health

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Sally Field
Sally Field
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Sally Field Interview (page: 8 / 8)

Two Oscars for Best Actress

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  Sally Field

In Absence of Malice, you worked with Paul Newman. Can you talk about that?

Sally Field: Just one of these really lucky wonderful moments. A remarkable, wonderful man who is absolutely an icon, who had continued to represent not only a really wonderful actor, but what it is to be a wonderful human being. He's learned from a lot of painful things that have happened in his life, losing a son, and being a big sexy icon kind of thing, which was a huge invasion in his life. He has taken all that information, and it has made him one of the most important people I've ever known as a human being, an example of "Who are you in the human race?" That's Paul Newman, and I am lucky to know him and lucky to have worked with him. God gave me a gift. And isn't it interesting, it was Paul and his wife, Joanne Woodward. Just really remarkable people.

When you got the script for Forrest Gump, was Tom Hanks already attached to it?

Sally Field Interview Photo
Sally Field: Yes. Tom and Bob called me together. Tom is also one of those people that is just simply remarkable. And how hard he works at it, to be human. Tom and Bob (Robert Zemeckis) called and said, "We want you to read this. Now don't be mad, because you'd play Tom's mother. Now don't be mad." I was doing Mrs. Doubtfire at the time. Of course I read it and said, "I'm there. I am honored. It is a wonderful piece. Tom will be beyond belief. Can I make muffins? What can I do?" That's all there was to it.

How much older than Tom Hanks are you?

Sally Field: In real life I'm 10 years older.

That was an interesting casting choice, wasn't it?

Sally Field: Yeah, but it was great fun, because I got to play much younger than I was, and then I played much older than I was. I was incredibly honored that Tom and Bob (Robert Zemeckis) would want me to do it.

On ER you played a character with bipolar disorder. You've have also spoken out recently about osteoporosis and are often seen on TV talking about it.

Sally Field: Yes, I am, I am, I am. I care very much about women's health issues, and probably because it relates to me, and because I am a part of the baby-boomer generation of women that are growing older. I feel kind of lost, like we don't really have enough information. First they told us to take this, and then they said, "Oh God, don't take that. No, don't take that." So what are we supposed to do?

I felt outraged at the lack of research that had been done for women in the past about heart disease and God knows what. So I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the same time when I was really approached by -- if there are like good drug companies, and I think there are, these two companies are really good in that they try. They're a business, yes. But they wanted me to be the spokesperson, but they allowed me to say there's other choices. What's the important thing is to understand what a huge threat this is to women. It is a huge threat, that one out of two women -- that's half, folks -- are going to suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lives. And there's 16 billion dollars spent a year in trying to repair fractures that happen to people from osteoporosis that could be prevented. And in many cases -- and I get on this rampage because it becomes part of the healthcare system, which is so terribly, terribly broken in this country. If you would pay for the bone density test -- healthcare plans -- and help people to pay for these medications, then you wouldn't have to pay 16 billion dollars to help these people if they do fracture a hip, a spine, a leg. Which doesn't mean you do that because you go skiing. If you have osteoporosis that goes undiagnosed or untreated, you can break your hip or your spine from sitting down on a hard bench. It becomes that porous and that dangerous, and ultimately can greatly impinge on your lifespan. So, I go, "Whoa! What is wrong with this country?"

You may be playing Mary Todd Lincoln in a Steven Spielberg film about Lincoln. Is that right?

Sally Field: If Steven ever does it, and he keeps saying he's going to. Janusz Kaminski would be the cinematographer, and I hope he does it. I told Steven once, I don't know what'll happen, but I know that Mary Todd is mine. I've always felt physically Mary Toddish, and because I understand the kind of mental place she was in. Steven asked me to do it and I was, "Whoa! I will absolutely be there." He's working on the script. It needs to be done in this country. And it needs to be done by Steven Spielberg. We need to see what it was like to have a fine and brilliant leader who rose to the occasion in great adversity. We need to see that, and how that strength, and that brilliance, and that tremendous sacrifice really allowed us to be the country we are -- still, I hope.

Speaking of Lincoln, what does the American Dream mean to you?

Sally Field: You know, it's changing.

I'm frightened for the American Dream. I'm so terribly frightened for America. The American Dream really was to have possibilities, to be safe and have possibilities. It is what -- my children say this to me sometimes, that I shouldn't have said, and I can't help it -- I will still say it, but you can be whatever you want to be. If you want it, work on it, devote your life to it. And anything's possible. And my children say, "Well, we're the generation that you've said that to, and that was bad because we expect that anything's possible." Well, God damn it! And I would be censored if that were Fox. I do think that anything is possible. It doesn't mean you won't be drug behind the wagon for some length of time. That's what America once was. I am very worried about our country though. We need some leadership. We need some bold, brave leadership. We need Abraham Lincoln.

[ Key to Success ] The American Dream

Miss Field, thank you so much for this interview. It's been delightful.

You're welcome.

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This page last revised on Aug 21, 2008 12:24 EST
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