Ellen Burstyn, at 90 years old, finds herself busier than ever in her acting career. During a recent conversation with her co-star Christopher Meloni for Interview magazine, the veteran actress expressed her surprise at the number of roles she has landed in recent years. Burstyn humorously questioned why she seemed immune to the ageism prevalent in Hollywood. She playfully remarked, “What’s all this stuff about ageism in Hollywood? How did I get left out of it?” Meloni, curious about Burstyn’s success, asked for her opinion. Burstyn responded with a wry smile, saying, “I don’t know, except possibly that everybody else who could play those parts has already died, so I’m the only actress still standing who can play the great-grandmother or something.”
Ellen Burstyn’s involvement in the entertainment industry spans several decades. With a career that started in the late 1950s, Burstyn has starred in over 100 projects, including her iconic role in the original 1973 film, The Exorcist. Now, after 50 years, Burstyn is set to make her return to the hit horror franchise in the upcoming movie, The Exorcist: Believer.
When asked about the key to her career’s longevity and success, Burstyn credited her commitment to authenticity. She explained that her guiding principle was to ask herself, “Is this real to me?” in every scene she performed. Burstyn reflected on her training and the importance of avoiding anything that felt fake. To her, acting as a disingenuous character was akin to consuming rotten food. She emphasized the necessity of remaining open and genuine in her craft to protect herself from succumbing to artificiality.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Burstyn revealed her reasoning behind accepting the opportunity to return for The Exorcist sequel. She recounted how she had turned down previous versions of the film but was eventually tempted by an enticing offer. After initially declining, the production team surprised her with a doubled offer. However, Burstyn struggled with her decision, feeling as though the devil himself was bargaining for her involvement. Ultimately, she negotiated a price that included establishing a scholarship program for talented students pursuing a master’s degree in acting at Pace University. Burstyn’s price was not just financial but also a chance to support aspiring actors through education.
The Exorcist: Believer is set to hit theaters on October 6, and Burstyn’s fans eagerly anticipate her return to the beloved horror franchise. With her career thriving and her commitment to authenticity unwavering, Burstyn proves that age is no barrier to success in Hollywood.
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