Thoughts on some of her most memorable roles

The Oscar winner weighs in on a sampling of her most memorable roles.

Broadcast News (1987)
“The movie has not dated at all, and that’s an accomplishment, because it’s about an industry that’s in constant flux. For Jim Brooks to have harnessed a truth about how network news is made and where it was headed in 1986 was very prescient. In fact, it’s probably more relevant now. I learned a huge amount from Bill Hurt and use it to this day. I took things from his habits and his reverence for his work and the way he behaved on the set. He was my first mentor, even though he didn’t know it.”

Raising Arizona (1987)
“What can you say about the Coens? It’s like extended family. They still have the same script supervisor they had back then, the same sound guy and accountant, and they often work with the same actors over and over again. I’ve done three projects with them, and we’ve all stayed really close friends.”

The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993)
“That’s the most fun I ever had. I had a blast with Beau Bridges and Michael Ritchie, who was such an amazing filmmaker. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many powerful directors, for whom it was a true calling. They didn’t fall into it. They had to direct.”

The Firm (1993)
“I loved playing the character, but I kept wishing it was a bigger role. I’d get down to Memphis — and I loved being there — and then I’d do my scene and have to go back to New York. ‘The party’s over?’ That party didn’t last long enough!”

The Piano (1993)
“Jane Campion remains one of the most formative people in my life. I really pursued that movie, felt that I was right for it (even when) no one else did. But Jane was enough of a true independent individual to keep an open mind regarding me. A lot of people would have said, ‘She’s just not right, I don’t need to see her.’ And Jane said, ‘If she really feels this strongly, I’ll be glad to see her.’ She gave me the chance to change her mind.”

Thirteen (2003)
“I look back on it with nothing but great enthusiasm and love because of the voice that (writer) Nikki Reed and (writer-director) Catherine Hardwicke found together. They both wrote in this journal — that was incredibly magical of Catherine to suggest she and Nikki do that. Nikki was an avid journal keeper well before then, so she already had the writing habit, and Catherine had the gift to see that it could be something they could do together.”

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