Magazine article Variety

Gena Rowlands: After 60 Years, Still Surprised by the Acting Life

Magazine article Variety

Gena Rowlands: After 60 Years, Still Surprised by the Acting Life

Article excerpt

Gena Rowlands occupies an interesting position relative to her fellow Governors' Award honorées. She and husband-collaborator John Cassavetes were true American independent film pioneers, establishing a genre in which the personal vision of a Spike Lee could thrive.

Yet for 60 years she's been a mainstay on television (three Primetime Emmys) and in Hollywood movies, a major player in the showbiz arena where Debbie Reynolds is a reigning legend.

To Rowlands, it's all part of 'the great surprise" of the acting life.

"Working this long? I didn't even think I'd be living this long," she confesses in the roaring, throaty laugh instantly familiar from "Faces"and her Oscar-nominated chef-d'oeuvre 'A Woman Under the Influence."

She made a near-effortless transition from Broadway ingenue to grande dame. "A lot of women, when they can't keep doing young romantic roles, don't want to consider character parts and quit sooner. But I just looked at the scripts and kept seeing what I'd like to do, and never worried about it. …

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