Jennifer Ehle Hits the Mother Lode
Life is just a bowl of cherries for actress Jennifer Ehle
these days. She recently picked up a Tony Award for her riveting performance in The Real Thing
, and her turn in the film Sunshine
has "Oscar nomination" written all over it. Who knows? Maybe she'll compete with her own mother, Rosemary Harris
, again. Ehle and Harris competed against each other at the Tonys and share the same role in the Ralph Fiennes
drama ? but, Ehle tells TV Guide Online, she's not stalking her mother.
"Istvan Szabo [the director] said to the casting director, 'I might want Jennifer Ehle [to play young Valerie],' and he said to Ralph, 'Do you have any ideas for the older Valerie?' And he said, 'What about Rosemary Harris?' Neither of them knew that we were mother and daughter at that point. The casting director said, 'You do realize they are somewhat related?' "
How do they deal with their complicated professional relationship? "We might be massively in denial but it does seem to work very well," Ehle says. "It did cross my mind ? my God, what would a shrink say about all of this? She'd say, 'Where's your sense of identity?' But it doesn't seem to be a [problem] for either of us. It's lovely and wonderful."
Ehle, who was born in North Carolina but raised in England, has resisted acting in America to save face, literally. "I've always been slightly weary of trying my hand here as an actress. I don't want to put myself in a position where I resent the years passing and aging and [then] cut my face open and inject."
A Tony winner shouldn't have to do that!