New York Times Magazine and fell in love with her. Now, I must admit that I was already a Linney fan, what with her awesome depiction of Abigail Adams in the HBO mini-series John Adams, her raw performance in The Squid and the Whale, her no-nonsense turn in Kinsey and the crisp desperation of her Mrs. X in The Nanny Diaries.
Getting a tiny glimpse into how she thinks, as I did while reading this particular article, was like taking in a big gulp of fresh air given all the garbage spewed by actresses/celebrities who frequently tell the rest of us peasants how we should live our lives, how we should look, how we should act and how we should eat while they live their own pampered little lives.
Consider what the 46-year-old Linney had to say about “the privilege of aging,” a touchy subject for Hollywood actresses who seem to be largely Botoxed, surgically altered and plumped and generally messed-around-with in order to look as though they’ve discovered the antidote to aging (while the likes of George Clooney gray and wrinkle and still winds up on lists of sexy celebs). Here’s what the Times’ Frank Bruni wrote:
“As we sat in the new Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant ABC Kitchen, [Linney] worked her way through a curious pea-centric line-up of pea soup and pea salad and talked about aging, and about her mystification and frustration with so many people’s rebellion against it. She conceded that sagging skin, waning energy and creaky joints aren’t fun, but said that the early deaths of beloved friends had opened her eyes to the fact that growing old is the greatest of blessings. ‘A lot of people don’t get that privilege,’ she said. ‘And there’s an extreme disrespect toward that that’s cuckoo.’
I asked her how many friends had died, and who, but she waved the question away: I’d crossed into one of those no-fly zones. ‘A lot of people,’ she said. ‘And I miss them.’ She added that whenever she realizes that she’s about to complain about aging, ‘I imagine them taking me by my shoulders and shaking me: ‘Snap out of it!’”
Aging as a blessing. What a wonderfully, down-to-earth way of looking at things. That makes me just want to watch her more, especially as she takes the reins of a new, dark Showtime drama, The Big C, about a high school history teacher with a terminal case of skin cancer who, at least early on, not only refuses to tell her family about it, but decides to stop being so timid and restrained -- so very suburban about everything --and embraces life. Linney’s character, the 42-year-old wife and mother of a teen, is named Cathy (like the Cathy comic) and, based on the previews, seems as though she's going to unleash her true self in interesting ways, kind of like the opposite of the melodramatic story of Izzie Stevens'/Grey’s Anatomy skin cancer.
The Big C premieres on Monday, Aug. 16 at 10:30 after the season premiere of Weeds. Showtime has posted the pilot episode online at its web site. You can watch it here to see if Linney’s turn as a cancer patient has you as intrigued as I am.
Image credit: Hendrik Kerstens/New York Times.