Sally Field On Hollywood Gender Issues Over The Past 50 Years, And How She Reacted When Her Son Came Out

Sally Field is at it again. The esteemed actress on the edge of 70 celebrated having her latest film, Hello My Name Is Doris, hit theaters last week. The film stars Sally Field as the titular character of Doris Miller, and the film has her pursuing her younger co-worker.

According to Examiner, the film not only brings laughs and smiles but tears and sadness as well. The film deals with themes such as solitude and age as well as love and the desire to try new experiences in life. The sequence of events kicks off when Doris meets her younger co-worker John after being smitten by his good looks at the subway. One of the many ways to see this film is to view it as a throwback to the classic Harold and Maude scenario.

According to Stars and Stripes, the film was made on just a $1 million budget and it was shot in just three weeks. The film basically serves as an indie film for Sally Field, and the Not Without My Daughter actress says that she took the role simply because she wanted to take the role. The film felt right for her because she could relate with it. Sally Field spoke about taking on roles.

“I’m certainly at a point in my life where I don’t do anything that I don’t want to do. There are things that come to me, maybe the script is good but you don’t really need me in this movie to stand at the door and say, ‘Drive carefully.'”

She also went on to say that getting roles was always a challenge for her because of the male dominated industry of cinema. There is apparent sexism in the film industry for both directors and actors. Sally Field looks at things optimistically, however. She notices a gradual change for the better in general for Hollywood. Sally Field spoke about how things are changing.

“Certainly you can’t say that nothing has happened. There has been a lot of movement. But it has been SO gradual. I’ve been here for going on 53 years. It’s been so incredibly, incrementally gradual.”

Sally Field remembered how things were for her in the past, being a female in the 50s. Society then would’ve had a hard time fitting women into the equation. Sally Field spoke about how living in the 50s was like for her.

She spoke about living in an environment where women’s emotions and their “colors” were not acceptable to be shown in front of others. She implied that she felt repressed by the “tight parameters” she felt she had to live within, with everything from how she sat, what she wore and even who she was being tightly regulated and controlled. It was only when Sally Field was onstage in a movie, television or theater role that she felt she could be herself and that “all the pieces could come together.” And while many performers feel that they are playing someone else on stage, Sally Field says that when she was acting, she felt like she was finally herself. Acting gave her the freedom to be angry, or to be mean, and all of the other colors and emotions that she didn’t feel she was able to express in her real life.

She also spoke about how starting a family felt while she was filming.

“I was absorbing and drinking in the camaraderie and learning what a set was and the crew was I never thought of it as being a product. I was pregnant with my first child, [so] all of my focus was somewhere else. My life was happening beside itself. My focus was on what was happening inside of me.”

On the topic of sexuality, she brought up her son who came out as gay, according to People. Sally took her son’s coming out very warmly and accepted him with open arms.

Sally Field spoke about her son Sam’s sexuality.

“Sexuality is a human glorious part of existence, and in Sam’s case, certainly nature told him what to be, and it wasn’t something he looked to be. He found it difficult to grapple with. It’s specifically difficult in this country because we come from such a puritanical foundation [with] these terrible phobias, prejudices, and inability to welcome our own sexuality into our lives.”

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]

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