All the World

I fell in love with her watching her try to balance two boyfriends, all the while trying to convince her parents she was dating a third guy.

If you think that sounds like a plot to a zany rom com, you are half right. I fell in love with her watching her play a character that was trying to balance two guys…

There’s a lot of joy to be found in being married to an actress (the angst I’ll save for another blog). Not the least of which is getting to see them working hard at play.

Each character my wife takes on is an act of creation. She played a sculptress once; and that is an apt description of being an actress, using her own frame and psyche as her clay.

To her most empathetic characters, she always seems to take a part of herself – a better part of herself – and give it to the role. So I get to see the best of her – her humor, compassion, wit, vulnerability – played out in another character.

And I get to fall in love with her all over again.

I try to think of which role is my favorite – a lost cause really. I just get lost in memories of being made to laugh (Essie), or moved with the painful beauty of a moment (Bella), or forced to think deeper (Kathleen), or just plain transported in pleasure (June).

I had the privilege of seeing her in a short film recently.

Ah.

She was playing a woman older that her age – she actually auditioned for a different part, but was so compelling to the director that she was cast as the lead.

Playing older in Hollywood is a tricky thing for most actors. So many are sensitive to their age, they won’t play older – in fact, most actresses over thirty will resist playing their own age!

And those that do can often be seen to “act” – either pushing to appear so much older, as if to say to the audience “I’m young, but talented enough to play old!”

Or they try to play younger than both the character and themselves, hoping, I suppose, that casting directors view the film thinking, “Why did they miscast that sweet young thing as a fifty year old? She can’t be a day over fifteen!”

Catherine’s approach wasn’t about how old she appeared to be. She didn’t push older, or younger. She just-

Was.

As an actress she brought a comfort in her own skin that was shockingly inspiring. It allowed the discomfort that her character felt to bubble to the surface, and dribble out like tears.

The trait of Catherine’s that she gifted this creation: vulnerability.

There is a moment in the action, when the character – a mother staid in her ways, views and years – opens herself up to an intimate audience: her daughter. And there is a close-up of Catherine’s face in that moment –

Exposed.

Defenseless.

Fragile.

And heart breaking.

And I fell in love with her all over again.

Tomorrow, my wife who is already so beautiful, becomes one year more so. And seeing where she is with her craft right now, I can’t begin to describe how excited I am at getting to be by her side as the future unfolds.

Just my thoughts,

Sean

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