December 01, 2012
She was always concerned about the question of integrity, and would bring it up whenever we saw each other. It was, she pointed out, the central theme of “Golden Boy”: Odets “wrote it after he got back to New York from a scriptwriting job in Hollywood, when a lot of his friends on the left were criticizing him for ‘selling out.’ I think he was torn between the Hollywood movie scene and the New York theater scene in the same way Joe” — the lead in “Golden Boy” — “is torn between boxing for big money and becoming a great violinist.” Stella always grilled me to make sure I hadn’t lost my integrity; she considered this a major problem for the American artist. I wonder what she would have said about the almost total materialism of our current era? Stella Adler was a grande dame of the theater. I never met anyone remotely like her. With her mid-Atlantic accent, she was once mistaken by a London shopkeeper for English. “No,” she replied, “just affected.” And at a New York cocktail party, she once made a sweeping entrance that brought a hush to the room. A little girl turned to her mother and asked in an awed whisper, “Mommy, is that God?” I understand how the little girl felt. All Stella’s students would.more from Peter Bogdanovitch at the NY Times here.
Posted by Morgan Meis at 09:54 AM | Permalink