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I have to pay the bills just like everybody else, but it also pays my soul to work.
– Kathy Bates
My mother used to tell this corny story about how the doctor smacked me on the behind when I was born and I thought it was applause, and I have been looking for it ever since.
I look for a role that hopefully I feel empathy with and that I can understand and love, but also that has that challenge for me to play – a different kind of role, a different type of character, a different time period.
Every time an Oscar is given out, an agent gets his wings.
For a long time I did not want to do television because I did not want to get stuck playing the same person. I wanted the ongoing challenge of a variety of roles.
The roles I was lucky enough to get were real stretches for me: usually a character who was older, or a little weird, or whatever. And it was hard, not just for the lack of work but because you have to face up to how people are looking at you.
Jack made it very comfortable for me on the set. We’d met socially before but never worked together. You know, he’s very professional, very disciplined and he’s always prepared and knows his lines.
I haven’t talked much about being an ovarian cancer survivor because I don’t really want to define myself that way.
The Oscar changed everything. Better salary, working with better people, better projects, more exposure, less privacy.
I hope I look skinnier in 3D. I hope I don’t look three times as fat. That’ll be disappointing.
Drama comes more naturally to me. It’s the comedy you really have to delve into.
I was never an ingenue. I’ve always just been a character actor. When I was younger, it was a real problem, because I was never pretty enough. It was hard, not just for the lack of work, but because you have to face up to how people are looking at you.
I have always had a problem with my weight.
I’m not that conservative. I do feel – I guess I’m more of a Democrat at heart, although I’ve never affiliated myself with a particular party.
I’m not a stunning woman.
I want to be defined by my own essence.
I think that being in an environment is a much richer experience than just working on a soundstage.
I try to always stretch myself to fit the characters that have been presented.
Alexander Payne’s very specific. His scripts are always complete when you start working on them.
I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love to do, and I hope I can keep doing it for a while.
It was also wonderful to have the prospect of playing with Jack Nicholson. It was a terrific part, a terrific script, with Alexander Payne and Jack Nicholson. You can’t get any better than that!
And people are always saying: ‘Well, you go to Hollywood and you get yourself a film career or a TV series, and then you can do anything you want. Because then you’ve got the clout.’ That had always sounded like a lot of hooey to me, but now I think it’s true, unfortunately.
I went from years of honing my craft to sudden recognition. It was quite a life changer.
After winning the Oscar, I was committed to do ‘Fried Green Tomatoes,’ but I didn’t know what the next thing would be after that. It was a scary time. But the advantage of TV is the regular work. All you need is a hit series, I guess.