Sally Field proudly cougars out in her new, Hello My Name Is Doris. The 69-year-old acting legend plays the title character, an eccentric, vintage-wearing singleton who starts up a little something-something with a much younger, handsome co-worker, John (Max Greenfield). We spoke to Field by phone about the endearing indie that opens Friday.
This movie looks as if it were fun to make.
Yes, absolutely. We all had such a good time on set. [Writer director] Michael Showalter is so inclusive of everyone’s thoughts and instincts. The supporting cast was so generous and helped make everything work. The whole office atmosphere was electric.
How did you enjoy playing this character?
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I loved how unique she is, and how unique her story is. I do believe that there’s a little Doris in all of us. One of our tasks as human beings is to allow each stage of our lives to take us to a new place. You’re a toddler, a child, a young adult, middle aged. But Doris did not go through all those stages. She got repressed and allowed herself to sort of cave in on herself. Then something happens that changes her circumstances and she begins to flower for the first time. She feels brand new, except she’s old.
What were the love scenes like with Max, someone roughly 30 years your junior?
He is so divine and wonderful. In the beginning of course I had those moments: ‘Gosh, is he going to be repulsed by this older person coming at him?’ But it was my job, a good job, and I just had to dive in! The challenge for me was that Doris didn’t see herself as older. She kind of lives in this fantasy world.
Your outfits are endearingly wacky.
We had a fabulous costume designer [Rebecca Gregg]. She went through racks at the old wardrobe department at Universal Studios. She also got stuff from Goodwill, thrift shops. We began slowly trying on things and Doris began to emerge out of pile of clothes. I knew what the hair should be. I found a picture of Brigitte Bardot from 1961. She had this up-do piled on top of her head and a big scarf. That was it.
You look great. What’s your secret?
I believe I look my age, a healthy version of it. I don’t have any secrets, just that it’s OK to look what you are. Allow yourself to be. We’re all the same people that we were when were young, even though chronologically we may not be young anymore.