On the Town

A Question For…

Estelle Parsons

By Steve Wiecking September 22, 2009 Published in the October 2009 issue of Seattle Met

BEWARE OF VIOLET WESTON, the pill–popping grandmother who terrorizes an already fraught family reunion in Tracy Letts’s furious, hysterical August: Osage County. But don’t dismiss Estelle Parsons, either: The 81–year–old—Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for Bonnie and Clyde—powered the brutal, three–and–a–half–hour August as Violet for a year on Broadway and tours it for about 40 weeks.

Violet’s a punishing role. Didn’t you injure yourself during a performance?

Yeah, but it was right at the very ending. I go barreling up two flights of stairs. I smashed into the stairwell. I broke my metacarpal bone on my little finger. I got a huge black–and–blue on my knee. But this is my fault: I take the dangerous way. It isn’t that the part would do that to everyone. It’s just the way I like to work. I like to challenge myself. And sometimes my legs just want to take two stairs at a time. It’s just terrible what happens to you out there. Your whole being just wants to go. It’s an exciting play to do—and watch.

To hear Parsons discuss her role in greater length, click HERE.

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