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"I'm not Jewish, but I am a Jewish mother": Interview with Marsha Gay Harden
Marsha Gay Harden, the acclaimed actress and winner of the Oscars and Tony Awards, stars in the new series "Barskins" (National Geographic). In an interview, she tells why it is important for her to protect young actresses, what humanity must understand about the world and how it all relates to baking banana breadTags
- National Geographic
- Marsha Gay Harden
Avner ShavitMonday, 10 August 2020, 00:23
Marsha Gay Harden belongs to a small and prestigious club: actresses of our generation who have won both the Oscar and the Tony Award. She received the American Film Academy Award for "Pollock", and in addition she was nominated for it thanks to "Mystic River"; And in that of the theater world she was honored by the "God of Carnage," and in addition she was nominated for it in the wake of "Angels in America." She was also nominated for Emmy for "Law and Order: The Special Victims Unit" and has appeared in a variety of series and movies - recently, for example, she could be seen in the "Fifty Shades" movie series.
Now, Harden is starring in the "Barskins" series, which aired last week on National Geographic. This is a period epic that takes place in the late 17th century in New France, the area where Quebec is now located. He follows a rich gallery of characters, in which she runs an inn played by the veteran actress, who is well versed in the profession and knows everything about everything and everyone.
The series is based on the book by Annie Prolex, whose writings have already been the basis for "Brokeback Mountain," among others. "I read the book when it came out, and when I learned that a series was being made based on it, I begged to be part of the project," Harden says in a Zoom interview on the occasion of the "Barkskins" broadcast in Israel. "A lot of period epics have been done, but this particular story has not been told yet, and it was interesting and fascinating to tell. Another thing that attracted me to the project: we filmed in the real scene, that is, in Quebec, and working in a foreign country is one of the biggest privileges in acting."
What was it like to take photos in the heart of the forest?
"The real challenge was not the weather conditions, but the costumes. I wore nine thousand layers - corsets, things over the corsets and what not. Going to the bathroom was a nightmare. It usually takes me five minutes. This time it took half an hour."
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To the full article"You begged to participate in the project." Marsha Gay Harden in "Barskins" (Photo: PR)
During the series, the character played by Harden extends his sponsorship to a girl who took advantage of a kitchen. When the question arises as to what it would have been like to work with the young actress who plays her and the other actresses younger than her in filming, she smiles and declares - "I am not Jewish, but I am a Jewish mother. Like my character, I am very protective of young women."
"Whoever makes his first steps in the industry, can easily fall on his face. Actors can be scum. Therefore, one should create an environment as safe as possible, that the young talents should dare to try things. It is important to be as professional as possible, but also not take things too hard. One of my first roles was at the Cohen Brothers' Miller Junction, and luckily I had John Polito by my side, who kept saying 'I screwed up', 'I was wrong', 'I was shit', and he made me realize it's okay to make mistakes. "My character in the series is very motherly, very warm, and that's how I am - I always invite people to get a hug from me."
The girl the innkeeper takes under her care is played by beginning actress Lola Reed, who happens to be the daughter of series creator Elwood Reed, who, among other things, was previously behind the American version of "The Bridge." He joins the conversation and tells - "Because of a new puddle in the industry, I kept telling her 'look at Marsha and listen to God'. One day Marsha called and told me she was taking my daughter somewhere. I thought they were going to sit and talk about the profession, but it turns out they baked bread together "Banana, zucchini bread and other pastries. I called my daughter to ask what was going on and she replied 'I'm making a tart, leave me alone."
"The fact that Marsha baked great pastries for the whole team is just as important as anything else. Part of the job is to create a comfortable atmosphere in the photos and make everyone a family. Marsha is very generous, even with her time, and she makes everything look fun and cozy."
Reed also talks about the topical and relevant issues that arise from the series. "I have a very negative opinion of humanity and a pessimistic outlook about it," he says. "'Barskins' teaches us that capitalism always flourishes at the expense of the earth. History is supposed to teach us a lesson, but instead it always repeats itself. Do I hope to change viewers' opinions? No, but it's always interesting to see where we came from and what we destroyed along the way. "There are historical lessons to be learned from the series, but unfortunately, people do not tend to listen, especially those who are in a position to make decisions."
Harden confirms Reid's bleak remarks - "I agree with everything that has been said, and I want to add something. We now tend to think that almost everything is not essential, that everything can be thrown away. Over the years, I have learned to understand how much everything has a place and importance in nature's harmony. "You can't say that this mushroom is not important or that this tree is not important. Everything is important. Nothing should be thrown away, except while editing a movie or a series."