Field, Sally 1

Sally Field likes the press


From the Dec. 18, 1981, Deseret News

NEW YORK – She started out in such juvenile TV comedies as "Gidget," "The Flying Nun" and "The Girl With Something Extra." But Sally Field has proven herself a serious actress – with an Oscar for "Norma Rae" on her mantle to prove it.

Now she is a seasoned beat reporter on a Miami newspaper in "Absence of Malice." Her co-star is Paul Newman, and they, along with several other prominent members of the "Absence" cast and crew, were being interviewed by entertainment reporters in New York to publicize the film.

Newman took the opportunity to talk about the side of the press he abhors, but Field said she has always been treated decently by journalists and hopes it will continue.

"The press has always been pretty good to me," said Field. "I've been in the public eye for 19 years now, in varying degrees. It's easy to think of the press as a whole, rather than a single individual. It's funny. It's been in my life for so long, it's just there."

She said she doesn't run away from criticism but she doesn't have a clipping service either. Generally, friends will give her clippings of stories they come across, and many well-meaning friends come running to her with negative press comments, which she tries to ignore.


                                     Paul Newman, Sally Field, 'Absence of Malice'

To prepare for her "Absence of Malice" role, Field said she merely read some books on journalism and spent two days in the offices of the Miami Herald, where the film was shot. "I really didn't do a whole lot – don't tell Robert De Niro!"

She said that as an actress, she tends to lean toward advice given her by America's dean of actors, Lee Strasberg, who told her once that she was "blowing out a candle with a Ritter, that's the big wind machine used for hurricanes."

Field said she reads many scripts, but few are what she feels committed to doing today. Of films in her past, she said "Smokey and the Bandit" is one she's proud of but not so much last year's "Smokey and the Bandit II." "You make mistakes. I had my reasons for doing it at the time." Today, however, she would like to think she would turn it down.


                  Sally Field poses with the director of 'Absence of Malice,' Sydney Pollack

She is also working on her own development company, following in the footsteps of Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn and Goldie Hawn, who are developing their own films.

"In this film (‘Absence of Malice'), if it were to do well, that would be wonderful for me, professionally. But if no one was to see it, though it would hurt me somewhat professionally, I don't think I would get the whole blame.

"Because it's (director) Sydney Pollack's picture. I want to do some pictures that are mine!"