Excerpts from a November 1993 PREMIERE piece on POLLY PLATT: She’s Done Everything (except direct) by RACHEL ABRAMOWITZ
- “Tonight she seems quite ebullient, charged up by her recent discovery of two young filmmakers from Texas… Bottle Rocket makes her giddy….”If I were young, I’d give up everything -boyfriend, home- and go to Texas and beg these guys to let me work on their movie.”“
- Still, when her ex-husband picks up, all her expansiveness vanishes. She seems to contract into an almost fetal position. Her voice becomes tight, careful. The conversation has a ritualistic quality: all the habits of intimacy, but no longer the trust. She treats him as if he were fragile, thanking him for the flowers he sent her, babying him with the good buzz she’s heard about his latest venture. She tells him about Bottle Rocket. “It’s in Texas and there’s no Larry McMurtry, but it has a bit of the feel of The Last Picture Show,” she says. She asks him to talk to PREMIERE about her. He refuses. “I’ve been talking all these fucking years about you!” she erupts.
- One year later, they packed their meager belongings into a car, along with Platt’s one-eyed dog, Puppy, and set out for L.A., where they soon befriended the auteurs they worshiped. One night, Howard Hawks took the pair out for dinner, along with a beautiful young starlet from Rio Lobo named Sherry Lansing. Toward the end of the meal, Lansing decided to visit the ladies’ room. “She stood up, and she was gorgeous. And I was not,” says Platt “Peter and Howard watched her. She walked to the bathroom, and I remember having Howard on my right and Peter on my left, and their eyes were following her.” As Lansing disappeared from view, Platt recalls, Hawks leaned across her and said, ‘Peter, now that is the kind of girl that you should be with.’ I remember thinking, It’s like I don’t exist.”
- One summer while the children were with Bogdanovich, Platt drank seventeen cases of beer and wrote Pretty Baby
- After sending other emissaries, Brooks asked her personally to produce Broadcast News, which she did. Her all-around dedication to the project renewed her legend for telling detail. Brooks had wanted Broadcast News’ key color to be red; now he was shooting the schoolyard scene where the young Aaron is getting beaten up. He looked up and saw the woman who fifteen years ago had removed the E from a TEXACO sign; she was down on her knees, painting a red accent line on a staircase. “If you were putting together a basball team, this is the person you’d kill for,” says Albert Brooks, who played the adult Aaron. “She can play any position. She can hit; she can pitch.”
- “There are times when I hear Jim talk that I experience something that is so much worse than the jealousy that I felt toward Cybill. I am so envious of his ability to think and express himself that I think I’m going to die. I totally identify with Salieri [in Amadeus], because when he picks up Mozart’s music and starts talking about how brilliant it is, I feel like that’s me. But I don’t have any desire to destroy Jim or Peter or anybody.”
“Ms. Platt’s incisive eye for the filmable printed page extended beyond fiction. In the early 1980s, she gave Mr. Brooks an original piece of art from the comic strip “Life in Hell,” by a young underground artist named Matt Groening. Mr. Brooks was so enchanted with it that he engaged Mr. Groening to create animated segments for “The Tracey Ullman Show,” of which Gracie Films was a producer.
On his way to meet with Mr. Brooks, Mr. Groening dreamed up a new set of characters, a yellow family known as the Simpsons.” (via)
“She has this uncanny way of condensing their careers into a single gesture or a series of actions. Call it cruel, but it’s a clever choice casting Jennifer Aniston in multiple scenes, squeezing pricey sample face creams, hoping for one last drop. Her character, Olivia, is a pothead, a maid, single, broke, tired, and pissed off. Thwarted by her last mint green Clinique mini-tube, Aniston’s disheartened face — bitterness turned tantrum, and soon turned conniption — has never been better optimized.”
A piece I wrote about Nicole Holofcener’s Aniston and Keener, about linen, overalls, and little boy tees, about how seeking significance in films is a twisted version of self hatred, and about my summer—its ratios and goals thus far.
“It took me a while to see that it is not a good idea to spend time with men who make you dislike other women, or make you forget your own plans, whether it’s the train you meant to catch or the career you want to have. I learned that sometimes being nervous around someone is thrilling but sometimes it keeps you from being your full, best self, the way you are in the company of friends. I also realized that break-ups are the kind of mistake it’s okay to cop to, that my dad was right when he told me that heartbreak is a disease 99.999 percent of people survive, except for in Tolstoy.”