Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • people say, Well, how do you do what you do?

  • I mean, it's in all of us.

  • You know, the most fun we had his kids was when we play dress up and pretended, and we could be anything we wanted, they call it a play.

  • They call it a screenplay.

  • You say I play a role.

  • It's always play and it's that little kid inside of you.

  • Only now you have the best costume designers in the best makeup and the best scripts, and and it's all like a huge, heightened reality.

  • That's what I love about it.

  • Hi, this is Cathy Bates, and this is the timeline.

  • Oh, I was born into a World Full of Angels and Kings with first film role that I had was with Milos Forman, his first American film called Taking Off, and I taught myself how to play the guitar.

  • When I was 12 my mom bought me an old Silvertone for 20 bucks at Sears, and I ended up writing a song about loss of innocence when I was around 16 and then when I got to New York through friends, I met Milos.

  • My song was featured Carly Simon's song was featured.

  • It was really cool.

  • We got paid $5 a day on.

  • I don't think SAG knew about any of that.

  • I loved acting in high school, and I was very serious about acting on stage.

  • I wasn't particularly focused on being in film.

  • The whole working with Milos was a riel accident for May.

  • Oh, Max, you didn't bring any beer, did you?

  • Warren Beatty saw vanities, which was a play we did off Broadway, and he told his buddy, Dustin Hoffman about me.

  • We were all in Dustin's house.

  • There was a scene where we were supposed to talk through a screen door.

  • I don't know where he got the screen tour, but he was holding the screen door in between us and we did the scene together and he really liked some of the things that I did.

  • And he cast me in the role right then and there, and I remember saying to him, Can I call my mother?

  • You know, is this really happening?

  • And, uh, he said, Yeah, and I'll always be so fond of Dust and because he's just an actor's actor, he literally took me by the hand and walked me across this empty sound stage and said, That's the camera.

  • It was totally serious about it.

  • He was so excited, I think, for me as an actor having this first speaking role, I learned so much from him.

  • I had followed his movies.

  • He was so passionate and so excited still to be an actor.

  • I feel so fortunate that that was my first speaking role.

  • Working with someone is talented and has committed a CE Dustin.

  • But the other really cool thing was, is that they were trying to cast a kid to player, son and Gary abuses.

  • Kid Jake decided they, you know, they asked him if he would consider doing it.

  • Keeps five.

  • He said he had to think about it, and so the next day Gary came in with Jake and he said, Jake, it's said to him I will.

  • I guess acting is like pretending, but making believe like you're not pretending, We all thought, That's it.

  • That's the bottom line.

  • You know, all the actor classes can just learn this one thing.

  • Trust me, God still very much involved in theatre.

  • When I moved out to L.

  • A and I did a production of Aunt Dan and Lemon.

  • But Rob Reiner was stating Elizabeth McGovern, who is in the play, and he would come almost every night and bring her roses.

  • And he saw me playing this fanatic.

  • And I think he had seen me in place in New York, too.

  • So when it came time to cast misery, I think they were interested in Bette Midler and certain names, you know, to play this character.

  • And then they decided maybe it was better to go with somebody who was really unknown.

  • So I went in and it was similar to being cast and straight time in that, you know, I came into Rob's office and sat down, read a scene or two with him, and then he cast me and I said, Can I call my mother?

  • You know, it's like he said, Yeah, you call your mother And it was really hard to find a guy who wanted to be in that vulnerable position.

  • But he tried.

  • Everybody tried Redford.

  • He tried, you know, baby at one time was gonna do it.

  • Finally, Jimmy said, yeah, was the worst thing you could have asked Jimmy Caan to do because hates not moving.

  • He's knows every sport in the world.

  • Hated being a bit also have to confess.

  • Sometimes you have to look really, really close to the lens.

  • And you, the other actor can't see you.

  • And I had a crush on the operator.

  • Sometimes Jimmy was like, Is this okay, Jimmy?

  • You know, you can wait this one out.

  • You know, one of you looking at Todd beautiful blue eyes, and I could play Anne and stuff with him.

  • The other great thing about doing misery was I got a really beautiful trailer was powder blue inside, and I got in and I sat there for about 20 minutes, and I thought, Well, this is really lonely.

  • Why am I What am I going to do in here by myself?

  • So I hung out on set with everybody, and by then, Rob had a fantastic crew of people, people he'd worked with for years who were creme de la creme.

  • I learned so much just hanging out.

  • And besides flirting with Todd, I remember working with Tony Serrano.

  • He was the man's customers working with Jimmy, and we were just passing each other on the soundstage, and he just threw over his shoulder.

  • He said, Get your Oscar dress ready and I was like, You know, because again, I wasn't thinking.

  • I just wanted to be the best I could be.

  • I'd like to thank the academy.

  • I've been waiting a long time to say that What often happens after someone wins an Academy Award is you never work again because I guess they feel like you're terrific Stamp of approval.

  • Now we can move on to somebody else.

  • So it was hard from you for a while to find roles that weren't horror roles and just what was I going to do next?

  • And so it took me a while.

  • I was in Japan.

  • I was publicizing misery and getting over jet lag and all that, and I got this script fried green tomatoes to read.

  • I read it and I thought it was great.

  • I had read Fannie Flagg's book.

  • It was very brave of Fanny, too, right?

  • Fried green tomatoes way back then, because of the prejudice against lesbians, I think even in the film it's more suggested.

  • It's not really spelled out, so that drew me to it.

  • That kind of bravery and the relationship between those two lovely women.

  • How fierce Iggy was in fighting for her friend.

  • I'd like to go back and do some of those early scenes.

  • It was hard for me to get a hold of, um the kind of I don't know, the naivete.

  • And and the Southern woman who's grown up in the South that I grew up.

  • But the south that I ran away from, Thank God I was working with Jessica Tandy.

  • Working with her was amazing because you could see how her craft was a life force in her.

  • She was 84 at the time, and I felt like my own light was kind of going out inside, and I don't know why, but her knocking on her trailer one day and she opened it and she said, Oh, you've come to see the wise woman.

  • I spent the day with the people at the bank.

  • Turns out you weren't supposed to do that light.

  • Oh, they can break their rules.

  • What are you going?

  • D'oh!

  • I got all that money given right back to me in cash.

  • Deloris Claiborne wasn novella by Stephen King.

  • The Taylor Hackford directed.

  • I loved working on that film because Taylor gave me every tool that I needed to create that character.

  • You see her when she's in her forties, and then later on, when she's at the end of this very hard life.

  • In her sixties, I had a fantastic movement coach because we wanted to figure out the difference in the spine.

  • The difference in the hands, the difference in the movement in a younger woman and a woman who has been on her knees taking care of things.

  • And also, I know from getting older that because you're used to doing things, you have a shorthand when you're cooking or doing well.

  • I don't cook, but we wanted that we wanted the difference in the hands it was.

  • What I had studied to do was create a whole character like that.

  • It was an amazing experience to work together on all of this, and we had a good long time to do it.

  • And in Nova Scotia s o beautiful, we were so cold when we got there and then it just this incredible spring and summer.

  • It was just It was just amazing time that I'll just never forget.

  • I don't understand a one of you Theo role in Titanic was just a gift.

  • Once again, we had training.

  • We had a woman who literally taught us how to use our silverware and how to move as the ladies and how to put our napkins on our laps.

  • Jim Cameron is He's a genius.

  • He had gone down in this Submersible.

  • I think he'd been down to the Titanic the real Titanic three times.

  • And it takes about two and 1/2 hours to really sink all the way down there.

  • Which would?

  • He also created the Snoop dog that went in through the different holes in the ship.

  • And a lot of what you see in the film.

  • The doll, the glasses is what he photographed.

  • I remember going down to Baja.

  • He built a studio.

  • He built a 78 replica of the Titanic.

  • I remember because we'd have to go up inside the ship to do the Promenade, so that was on the other side because they wanted to see the ocean in the background.

  • So I went up in this elevator, walked across some planks and I open this door and I saw people strolling and it was suddenly 1912 everybody was in Deborah Scott's amazing costume.

  • She got costumes from all over the world like 4000 vintage costumes, and I couldn't see anything else but these people who were the background who were walking up and down and I thought, Holy crap, I feel like I've just walked into another time.

  • Another place it was on hydraulics.

  • So he flooded the whole damn thing.

  • It was just astounding what he did.

  • And it was also maddening because the ship went down at night.

  • So it was all night shoots you'd get there at five and get all suited up.

  • And then you'd sit there in your dressing room until they called you it like three in the morning.

  • And I don't know how Kate and Leo did that.

  • They were working so hard and they were pushing their calls.

  • They're working in cold water, and it was It was an amazing experience.

  • Paramount Fox had come together to create this magnificent opus, and there were a lot of us who felt like, you know, I don't know if this is gonna work and he ended up winning all of those Academy Awards, and I feel very honored to have been in that that film.

  • I will not let you up this campaign to I will not let it happen.

  • That was 20 years ago.

  • In 1998 Mike Nichols cast me in Primary Colors with John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Amazing group of people.

  • That was really based on Bill Clinton.

  • I couldn't believe I was working with him.

  • He would tell us stories.

  • Um, first time we got around the table because he wanted to tell us what it's like to be part of that group in that you know, that kind of a political group.

  • And he had some amazing stories to tell us, like he was there the night that Marilyn Monroe was in the garden and sang Happy Birthday to JFK and hearing Bobby Kennedy and Maryland talking to each other as they were dancing later and hearing Maryland say, I really like you, Bobby, in hearing Bobby's say, I really like you to Maryland and he would just have all these amazing stories and there was just nobody like him.

  • I think the best directors are the ones who can play all of the characters deep down to their marrow That's how they help you if you're not there yet or you haven't thought of it.

  • He knew everything about Libby Holden.

  • He was so loving.

  • I remember we were just about to finish and I was getting an opportunity to direct my first time.

  • And so I was very shy.

  • I said, So you know, what kind of advice can you give me?

  • Mike?

  • And he said, I said I didn't you know, Even though it meant actor.

  • I'm kind of nervous about directing other actors because, you know, when you work with other actors were never supposed to say anything about what they're doing.

  • That's the director's job.

  • And he said, I love him, Just love him and he was right.

  • Food ball, you playing the foosball behind my back and the only reason I'm doing it so so I can go to school school.

  • I remember picking up this script.

  • The Waterboy and I read the 1st 12 pages.

  • It was really silly.