Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Anjelica Huston

February 27, 2012 12:01 am
  • Anjelica Huston as Eileen Rand.
    Anjelica Huston as Eileen Rand.
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Anjelica Huston, Oscar winner for "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), is not only known her talent but also for the powerful men in her life. Among them was her father, Oscar-winning director John Huston, and Jack Nicholson, the Oscar-winning actor with whom she had a 17-year relationship. She was born in California in 1951, and soon afterward her father moved the family to Ireland, where they lived in a country estate in Galway until her parents separated. Her mother moved them to London but was killed in a car accident when Ms. Huston was 17. In 1992, she married sculptor Robert Graham Jr. He died in 2008.

The actress, 60, is working on her memoirs. You can see her at 10 p.m. Mondays on NBC's "Smash," in which she plays a Broadway producer going through a contentious divorce and trying to get financing for "Marilyn the Musical."

You don't have to say if you will or will not, but do you want to sing on "Smash"?

Well, um, wow. Yeah, I guess I want to sing. You know, I think it's just a matter of whether or not I think people want to hear me sing [laughs].

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Hear more of this interview with Anjelica Huston.

Did your lineage ever feel like a burden?

When I was in my teens and I wanted it to all be about me, I think it got in my way a little bit. I wanted a sort of autonomy on my life, and it seemed to me that, you know, I was being expected to live up to something that I didn't necessarily feel should be part of my life.

You felt like you had no choice but to be in the family business.

Yes, I did feel that way. I was also kind of reluctant to accept what I thought were handouts, you know, charity because I was a Huston, when it came to parts and stuff like that. I wanted to earn my own way. I wanted to do it my way.

Your life has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. Did you find work to be a kind of sanctuary through the sad times?

Yes, and I think it became very clear to me, even in my 20s, that work is something that really is all about you. It's all about what you have to put out in the world. It's the one thing that nobody else really has a right to criticize. I mean, obviously my work is criticized, but the right to work and the impulse behind it always seemed to me that was a very individual choice as to what you did and the way that you did it. ... You know, as soon as I walk onto a set, it can be about the other actors and obviously everyone who is involved in a production, but what I bring to it is uniquely mine.

First Published 2012-02-26 23:22:36

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