The actor Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters, The Americans) once said of working with Sally Field, “One time she was in the kitchen and she likes to sort of prepare things in the scene, I wasn’t really paying attention, and she’s chopping away … and she just presents this huge bowl of guacamole! That’s a testament to Sally Field because I’m concentrating on just about getting by and remembering my lines – she’s doing that and preparing guacamole for the rest of the cast!”
Growing up she was one of my mother’s top favorite actresses and watching her in a movie just yesterday, I realized that she was one of mine as well. She is so good at what she does, she makes it look like she’s coming up with everything right on the spot. A lot of actors personally call her friend and many of them have worked with her multiple times. She’s known to be a method actor and prefers to get into a character and stay in character.
Recently, she has said of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, “Daniel and I work exactly the same way. I always stay in character,” she said. She thought that Lincoln represented the perfect environment as an actor because Spielberg embraced the method (keeping in character at all times) throughout the shoot and made sure that the actors all had a bubble around them where they were not asked to come in and out of character during breaks and meals and such.Over the years, she’s racked up quite an impressive set of awards and library of roles that firmly put her in “legend” status, in my mind, the same way that James Garner, Meryl Streep, Paul Newman or even Katherine Hepburn has. She’s very impressive in Sybil, Norma Rae, Absence of Malice, Places in the Heart, Murphy’s Romance, Steel Magnolias, and Lincoln, but my personal favorite is her performance in Smokey and the Bandit, which she once said was her favorite movie.
To me, what’s more important than awards, is how many of her costars continually want to work with her. She is shy by nature, but always gives it her all and is enjoyable and fun to work with. I hope to see many, many more years of fascinating work from this great actress.