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Photo of Mary McDonnell
Photo of Mary McDonnell

Mary McDonnell

“I was very happy in theater, but I was very open to making a living that was a little bit more substantial. There was a part of me that had a lot to learn in front of a camera because, of course, it is different. I honestly think it is, and the difference lies in this: Somebody explained to me once that the reason they call it a “take” when you’re shooting camera work is that the camera’s job is to come in and take the present moment from the actor into the camera. The actor’s job is to be present, so that the camera can come in and take it. In the theater, the actor’s job is to project the present to the back row for the lady who’s blind and deaf. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s a different exercise. And learning how to trust the present moment was the job for me. You don’t do anything with your talent or what it is to be an actor, but you do have to begin to trust being present with your expression, as opposed to projecting it into a bigger space.”


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