Labyrinth seems to have been the quintessential David Bowie movie, but for actress Jennifer Connelly, it was an early role that proved her introduction to the singer and actor.
Jennifer Connelly was only 15 when she took on the role of Sarah, who was trying to save her little brother, Toby, from the goblins in Labyrinth. It was one of her earliest roles, and certainly a role that garnered her a great deal of public attention. In fact, Labyrinth illustrated to audiences worldwide that Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah was more than just a headstrong teen, and it also highlighted Bowie’s willingness to work as a foil to Connelly’s character rather than use his already considerable fame to dominate the movie.
“Jareth works around Sarah’s power, feeling out weak spots: her need for escape and adventure; her lack of maternality, her girlhood, music-box daydreams of princess finery and chivalrous romance,” Guardian writer Charlotte Richardson Andrews said in her salute to David Bowie and the film Labyrinth itself. “He manipulates her, tricks her, woos her.”
— Birth.Movies.Death. (@bmoviesd) January 12, 2016
Jennifer Connelly first met the rock legend when she was 14. Now 45, she recalls Bowie as much for his kindness as his talent.
“I met David Bowie when I was 14 and he became a hero to me — because he was an artist, and because he was a genius who had the time to be kind,” she said, according to UPI.
Entertainment Weekly described some key plot points of Labyrinth for readers who had not necessarily seen the cult classic. As the Goblin King, Bowie’s Jareth kidnaps Jennifer Connelly’s Sarah’s little brother while she is babysitting. She must complete the labyrinth in 11 hours or her little brother will become a goblin. Since the film’s premiere nearly 30 years ago, audiences have celebrated Jennifer Connelly’s work with Bowie, who by all accounts treated the teenage actress as an equal rather than lording his celebrity over her.
In fact, Jennifer Connelly had high praise for her former co-star, according to ET Online.
“He was just a nice, sweet guy — cracking jokes and friendly with the crew,” she said.
While Jennifer Connelly had worked fairly extensively as a child model, Labyrinth marked just her fourth film role. She said that the experience working with Bowie and Jim Henson, who also created the Muppets, was a truly memorable one and that making the film was incredibly fun.
Such a plan for a sequel is almost certainly scrubbed as the world continues to mourn the loss of rock icon David Bowie – that is, if there had been one in the works. That is not to say that Jennifer Connelly has been sitting and waiting for one to happen; in fact, she has been hard at work on American Pastoral, a film due out this year directed by Ewan McGregor. According to IMDb, the film is based on the novel by Phillip Roth and is set in post-war America. The film is currently in post-production and is set for release later this year.
[Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]