Oscar-Winning Actress Marcia Gay Harden: "There's Nothing Like Comedy”

Marcia Gay Harden has spent decades taking on Hollywood's most hard-hitting roles. We spoke with the seasoned star about her foray into comedy and what you'll catch her in next.
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Marcia Gay Harden

BC: Would you ever consider directing?

MGH: I would, actually, but it needs to be something that’s really meaningful to me, something that I need to tell and the story will probably start to tell itself and that’s how I want to approach directing. I have such admiration for directors and their relationships with cinematographers to bring out things like Anna Karenina, which is incredibly digitally beautiful.

BC: You have so much on your plate career-wise. What are some of your favorite things to do when you’re not working?

MGH: Travel. I love to travel. I love the national parks, taking the kids to the Grand Canyon, swimming –I have a lake home– we swim and fish and I do pottery and make blueberry jam. And reading. I really love to read.

BC: What advice would you give to young women who are just starting out in their careers?

MGH: Be brave. Have a clear head and a strong educational structure. I’m glad to hear that there’s a move away from a money centric way of being, because it may mean that women and men accept a little less money in their lives but they may make the world a better place. They also have a lot of choices to make: Do you have a family, pursue a career, or stay home? But at the end of the day it’s about relationship. You don’t want to be a great writer alone in a tree house with no family. It feels like families have disintegrated and values aren’t the same. We have to be leaders and in order to be leaders, we have to be brave.

BC: What should we be keeping an eye out from you next?

MGH: I’m working on The Newsroom now and Parkland. I did a movie with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer called Elsa & Fred and it was a lot of fun. And maybe there’s a pilot. Keep your fingers crossed that it gets picked up. There’s always a lot going on –it’s a little smorgasbord of activity.

Diana Denza is BettyConfidential’s contributing editor.

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