Ellen Burstyn: ‘Women on screen were prostitutes or martyrs- I wanted to represent a hero’
At 85, the award-winning actor is preparing for her directorial introduction and starring in a new cinema. She talks about Trump, feminism and the incidents on The Exorcist set that still leaves a bitter taste
‘It’s startling !” Ellen Burstyn isn’t talking about her conflict with a demon in The Exorcist. Nor is she recalling her battle with amphetamine addiction in Requiem for a Dream. Rather, as I sit down opposite her, she is talking about the current US chairwoman.
He has become an inescapable topic, particularly in New York where we are, but for the 85 -year-old, his predominate has an added sting. Burstyn was not just a vocal booster of his predecessor but was a visible part of Barack Obama’s campaign.
” I was so happy and pleased for this country that we finally had been able to pace over the line into some kind of reasonable outlook and then it rebounded method back the other acces ,” she says.” But I recall the Russians did it, don’t you agree ?”
Throughout our dialogue, Burstyn often asks for my opinion, and then listens with fortitude to what I have to say. We are in her Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. Filled with diverse adornments, ornaments and furniture signalling a life filled with movement, it seems well-suited to the topic close at hand, owing to the fact that we are here to chit-chat about her brand-new cinema. The House of Tomorrow stars Burstyn as an idiosyncratic wife who maintains a geodesic dome home with her teenage grandson, played by Asa Butterfield. Their lives are led by the teachings of designer and futurist Buckminster Fuller, who, in reality, was close friends with Burstyn.
” The chairman, Peter Livolsi, communicated it to me not knowing I was associated with Mr Fuller in the past ,” Burstyn says.” It was quite by accident .”