Ellen Burstyn: ‘Women on screen were prostitutes or preys- I wanted to embody a hero’
At 85, the award-winning actor is preparing for her directorial entry and starring in a new film. She talks about Trump, feminism and the accident on The Exorcist gave that still leaves a bitter taste
‘It’s scaring !” Ellen Burstyn isn’t talking about her war with a beast in The Exorcist. Nor is she recalling her battle with amphetamine addiction in Requiem for a Dream. Rather, as I sitting there opposite her, she is talking about the current US president.
He has become an inescapable topic, especially in New York where we are, but for the 85 -year-old, his reign has an added sting. Burstyn was not only a vocal supporter of his predecessor but was a visible part of Barack Obama’s campaign.
” I was so happy and satisfied for this country that we are at last had has been unable to step over the line into some kind of reasonable outlook and then it ricochetted lane back the other way ,” she says.” But I believe the Russians did it, don’t you concur ?”
Throughout our gossip, Burstyn often asks for my opinion, and then listens with perseverance to what I have to say. We are in her Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. Filled with diverse gilds, trifles and furniture signalling a life filled with travel, it seems well-suited to the topic at hand, given that we are here to chit-chat about her new movie. The House of Tomorrow stars Burstyn as an idiosyncratic maiden who maintains a geodesic dome home with her teenage grandson, played by Asa Butterfield. Their lives are led by the teachings of inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller, who, in reality, was close friends with Burstyn.
” The administrator, Peter Livolsi, communicated it to me not knowing I was associated with Mr Fuller in the past ,” Burstyn says.” It was quite by coincidence .”