The New York Times Look West program ended the season just over a week ago with “Leading Ladies: Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.”
Seems like old news, especially with everything that has been happening (i.e., #PrayersforCharleston #NYmurderersontheloose #presidentialelection, etc.)… but… these women are worth writing about.
The moderator was Cara Buckley, a culture reporter for the NYT. I have to admit, I wish they had someone more seasoned, someone to “spar” a bit with these two icons, but JL and KB held their own quite well.
American Horror Story was the main topic of discussion. Learned a few things, too, such as KB had a double mastectomy and didn’t know what she was going to do for money. She happened to watch an episode of AHS, loved it, and called her good friend JL. A simple ask was what it took for her to be on the show. (Is anything really that simple? Friendship does go a long way though.)
Clips of American Horror Story were shown, which was great. Both are amazing performers. It was a great reminder that I have to watch the rest of Freak Show. The clip of Jessica singing in Freak Show was phenomenal. And the scene when Kathy is talking with the doctor just mesmerizing.
Clips of their early works were also shown (i.e., Frances and Misery). They’ve both been in this business practically their entire lives. And neither would have it any other way. Jessica said she was lucky to be cast in King Kong, and everything took off from there (thank goodness she moved to New York from Paris – when she was studying mime…who knew?). And Kathy said she grew more into it…. sharing that someone had told her that it takes a good 15 years to make it, if you’re going to make it. She compared it to being a doctor or a lawyer … you have to put in the time.
Put in the work.
And be the best you can be.
How wonderful if we could all be just the best we can be for all things.
They shared who their inspirations were – for Jessica it was Kim Stanley (who starred with her in Frances) and for Kathy it was Jessica Tandy (Fried Green Tomatoes)… they each spoke so highly of these women it was inspiring.
JL is retiring from AHS, which is a shame. She’ll be returning to the stage, apparently reprising a role she did 15 years ago. She didn’t say what or where, so I’ll be keeping her on the radar.
KB will be back for the next season of AHS, which will be worth watching. Would love to see the two of them on stage together sometime. They have such a wonderful chemistry. And they both love the stage. Just putting it out there. Writers??? Or, maybe I’ll write something myself. I find them both to be incredibly inspiring.
candid photos of Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Cara Buckley
Pacific Design Center, June 10, 2015