Saturday, January 21, 2012
Eva Marie Saint
My parents mentioned a few days ago that they were recently introduced to Eva Marie Saint by mutual friends. They now see her around their neighborhood in Montecito, and chat occasionally.
My first reaction was wow, cool!
My second reaction was, what exactly is it about meeting a movie star which is so cool, but also weird? After all, they're only actors, who as a group tend towards dysfunction.
Here's a clip with Saint and Marlon Brando from On the Waterfront which partially explains the allure:
If we were to meet Ms. Saint, we wouldn't just be meeting the actress, we'd feel as if we were meeting Edie Doyle. And, for that matter, Eve Kendall from North by Northwest:
At a certain level, we see movie stars as whoever they've played. It's hard not to conflate the actor with the character. (The stars themselves are not supposed to make that mistake, though, as per the previous post.)
And when the movie the actor starred in is a revered classic, you feel as if you're meeting a part of Americana.
Surprisingly, Saint was already 30 when she played the teenage Edie Doyle in On the Waterfront. Which brings me to how many react to meeting a star: it's always a little shocking to see that an Edie has gotten old, or that an Eve Kendall now has wrinkles.
But onscreen, they're immortal -- and forever young.
My mother asked, "Do you know the most frequently asked question she gets?"
It wasn't hard to guess: What was it like working with Marlon Brando?
Saint's stock answer is evidently, "Why did no one ever ask him what it was like working with Eva Marie Saint?"