Emmy-Nominated Actress Ellen Burstyn: “I like to take on projects I don’t understand right away and present a challenge”

Ellen Burstyn and Heather Graham in Flowers in the Attic

It’s Emmys Week and Ellen Burstyn is nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for Flowers in the Attic. In a profile on the actress by Studio System News, Burstyn gave her thoughts on her Emmy-nominated role and what attracted her to acting early in her career.

The 82-year-old star mentioned that she rarely gets notes from a director anymore. She explained, “I usually bring in an interpretation of the role that directors appreciate, and for the most part they don’t interfere with it and it seems to work out all right.”

Even though she’s left to her own devices on set, Burstyn had a hard time connecting with her Flowers in the Attic role.

She said, “I like to take on projects I don’t understand right away and present a challenge. A woman who is cruel to her children and at the same time religious—I don’t quite understand that. To be in love with Jesus, who said love thy neighbor as thyself , I don’t know what that psychology is, so that’s what interested me. If there is something solvable but I don’t know how to solve it at the beginning, I find that challenging and exciting.”

Even with a career spanning almost seven decades, the Requiem for a Dream star shared why she started out in the entertainment field. Burstyn said, “It seems to be what I can do well. When you recognize what your talents are, a happy life is developing them to the greatest extent you can. Once I got involved in it and really started studying it with my teacher Lee Strasberg, it became the deepest exploration of the human psyche that I could imagine.”

The Primetime Emmys air on NBC on Monday, Aug. 25.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/24-legacy-corey-hawkins.jpg
Tony Nominee Corey Hawkins on His Nearly-Disastrous Juilliard Audition
"I remember thinking, ‘I want to go to Juilliard, I want that structure and I want that rigor and that classical foundation.’" - Corey Hawkins
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/the-walking-dead-josh-mcdermitt.jpg
Josh McDermitt: “I moved to LA a little later in my life than when most people move and I feel like I’m better for it.”
"You have wins, you have losses. You have to remain positive, that’s probably the biggest challenge; to not get yourself down." - Josh McDermitt on Acting
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/tracy-letts-indignation.png
Tracy Letts on Turning Down Acting Work: “It’s not worth doing work that I’m not proud of”
"I'm in a weird and enviable position in that, because of my playwriting, I don't have to do anything as an actor I don't want to do." - Tracy Letts
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/elizabeth-moss-handmais-tale.jpg
Elisabeth Moss on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and Doing Television When Actors Weren’t “Supposed” to Do Television
"I still get excited when I get offered stuff. Like, a part of me thinks, They think I can do it! That’s awesome!" - Elisabeth Moss
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/dennis-quaid-dogs-purpose.jpg
Dennis Quaid on Discovering Acting and His Early Career
"I discovered that acting was really a study of human behavior; what made people tick. And that fascinated me, and still fascinates me." - Dennis Quaid