New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 16, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
Z e i t u n gAttractionsThe Unsinkable Debbie Reynolds
By Joey Berlin and Jeff Shore Copley Newt Smite
Over the course of her illustrious 48-year career, including such classic films as “Singing in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Debbie Reynolds never once auditioned for a part. But that didn't keep her from flying to Los
though. Brooks seriously considered such other mature stars as Doris Day, Esther Williams and. even former first lady Nancy Reagan.
However, after seeing “Mother” and talking with Reynolds during a scries of promotional interviews in Austin, Texas, it is impossible to imagine anyone else in the part. Self-described as “bossy by
nature,” the unsinkable Reynolds
into his old room at home.
Playing a subtle, passive-aggressive parent who lives a supposedly quiet life in her small. Northern California town was quite a stretch.
“I tried very hard not to be Debbie Reynolds,” she says. “I didn’t want the audience to see me, I wanted them to see a character. Of course, as a real mother I’m very outgoing and expressive. I had to hold a lot back to be the mother in the film."
In person, Reynolds holds little back, even when discussing her love life, or current lack of one. Reynolds isn’t romantically involved with anyone at the moment - and she intends to keep it that way.
While her father and mother, working-class folks from Texas, were married for more than 50 years, Reynolds hasn’t been quite as successful in her relationships.
In fact, at one time she was most famous as the wronged woman left behind as a single mother to raise two small children when husband Eddie Fisher ran off with violet-eyed temptress Elizabeth Taylor.
Debbie Reynolds stere In the new Albert Brooks Olm “Mother”, her first film role In 25 yers
Angeles to read for the title role in writer/director Albert Brooks’ new comedy, “Mother.
Of course, Reynolds did it her way. After struggling to find his office on what used to be the old MGM lot (“They moved the building!” she exclaims), Reynolds met with Brooks and read one scene. “That’s fine,” he told her. “You’ve got the part.”
Not good enough, Reynolds thought.
“Albert, why would you give me the part after just reading one scene," she blurted out. “Don’t you think I should read at least two r
Brooks was completely sold “See,” he responded, “You’re already bossing me around. You’re just like my mother."
A year later, Reynolds is getting rave reviews in what is invariably being referred to as her “comeback” role.
It very nearly wasn’t hers.
is an awesome force to reckon with. Simple conversation with this Hollywood legend seems like a performance itself. She is a delightful raconteur equally concerned with giving the public what it wants and perfecting her craft. Ifs easy to sec where her daughter, actress/writer Carrie Fisher, gets her lively wit.
“Mother" is Reynolds’ first screen acting job in 25 years, but she wasn’t sitting at home crocheting all that time. After her most recent divorce, she invested all her money and energy into her own Las Vegas casino. She's up on stage - every night - singing arid dancing.
But "Mother" is a far cry from her nightclub act. Brooks plays a twice-divorced sci-fi writer who realizes that he’ll never get his relationships with women straightened out until he resolves the one with his mother. So he packs up his stuff and moves back
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of failed marriages to “bad taste” in men. .
She’s done better with her kids. Unlike her character in “Mother,” Reynolds has raised strong, independent children. They have veto power over the men she dates. She runs her casino with son Todd. And while her relationship with Carrie can be quite contentious (“She’s as strong as I am and just as bossy”), the two obviously have great love for each other.
Carrie sent her the script to “Mother” and insisted she go and read for Brooks, Carrie’s former boyfriend. When Brooks chose Reynolds for the role, Carrie stepped in to broker the deal for her agentless mom.
Reynolds professes to be unfazed by Carrie's book "Postcards from the Edge,” a confessional story about a drug-dependent actress and her domineering alcoholic mother -despite the fact that many who read it or saw the movie (with Reynolds’ old friend Shirley MacLaine as the mother) consider it to be autobiographical.
“That was a character, dear,"
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EVERY My V
she insists. “That couldn’t have been me. I couldn't have done the things I did and keep the schedule I keep if I had an alcohol addiction.”
Nor does Reynolds have a difficult time dealing with her daughter's success and fame.
“After all those years of her being Debbie Reynolds' daughter," laughs Reynolds, “I’m
quite happy to be Princess Leia's mother.”
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