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Sissy Spacek: 'I even met one young girl who had a picture of Carrie tattooed on her arm!'

By Keeley Bolger

The Oscar-winning American star of hit horror film Carrie is currently appearing in new TV series Bloodline. She is married to art director Jack Fisk, with whom she has two daughters, Schuyler (32) and Madison (26).

What's Bloodline about?

It's about a self-made family who run an inn on the beach and everything is idyllic and lovely and then their eldest son Danny, played by Ben Mendelsohn, comes back to town.

He's really the embodiment of all of their family wounds.

Of course Sally's thrilled to see him because she adores all of her children and she is quite hopeful that he will finally reach his potential, but that is unfortunately not the case.

She has a lot of guilt about how his life has turned out because she had him so young.

It's kind of like the first pancake, you know; you're supposed to throw it out. She made all her mistakes on this child (Danny).

Is Sally the one her children turn to when they need help?

Even in easygoing households, the mother is the one we all dump on, that's just tradition.

The most difficult job we have as women is raising a family. I used to, if I needed a break, go and make a movie because parenting is difficult and I think it's hard when you're still trying to parent adult children.

The children in this show are in their forties, it's not like they're going through their teenage years.

What do you look for in roles these days?

I have to connect to the story and character and think I could bring something to it, but it's a director's medium, so the people I'm working with are so important. This project is a whole new animal for me. I'm a kind of beginner when it comes to serialised film and I think that's what this feels like to me; it feels like a 13-hour film.

How does serialised film feel different?

With film it's finite, there's a beginning, middle and an end, so you know going in, what it's going to be and you can plan. With serialised film, it's rather unwieldy. We don't really know where it's going to end up. We have an idea, but one of the things I love about the creatives on this show is they watch the footage and they think, 'Let's take that direction'.

I call this 'the year of not knowing', because we don't know where it's going. It's frightening but it's more like life as you don't know where real life is going, so there are going to be some surprises. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it all means something when we've finished the season. I'm just happy to still be around.

What's the biggest risk you've made that has paid off?

Probably Carrie. I remember my parents read the script and went, 'Sissy, we're not sure this is such a good idea', but that terror I felt about it possibly not working was highly motivating.

You're synonymous with Carrie. How do you feel about the film now?

I'm just grateful to have been part of it. I love Brian De Palma (who directed it) and thanks to him, the cast and crew he put together and, of course, Stephen King, it all gelled.

I'd say to Brian, '(Carrie) is about this artist' and he'd say, 'Sissy no, it's about teenage revenge' and I'd be like, 'Oh okay!' I think all teenagers, myself included, felt put upon and tortured even if we were the homecoming queen and it's been wonderful to see it remade so many times. It must really appeal to teenagers I think.

What sort of reaction do you have from teenage fans?

Teenagers come up to me and go, 'You used to be Carrie!' 'Yes, I used to be Carrie!'

I met a beautiful, young girl, in a mall in the town where I live and she came running up to me and lifted up her sleeve. She had Carrie in the prom dress and bouquet, no blood, tattooed in colour on her arm. I said, 'Oh my gosh, do your parents know? And do they blame me?' When she's 80, she's probably going to regret that tattoo.

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