Before she portrayed “the little girl with big ideas” on the 1960s television series “Gidget,” Sally Field began her acting career auditioning for a role with her mother.
In an interview with Hailee Steinfeld for Variety's “Actors on Actors,” Field discussed her transition from being the child of working-class actors, to becoming a thesp herself. Her experiences were not always picture-perfect and there was a time when her step-father, actor Jock Mahoney’s show — the Western series “Yancy Derringer” — was “ripped out from under” him.
“Certainly the part of acting that I knew was not fun, it was not a glamorous world,” Field said. “It was where you had a life one day and then the next day literally it was all repossessed.”
Field’s mother, actress Margaret Field, performed a scene with her daughter that yielded more interviews and auditions, which eventually landed Sally her first major role.
“When I did an audition scene with my mother, to get into [a workshop], I did a scene from ‘Toys in the Attic’ by Lillian Hellman and I had not a clue what I was saying about sexual repression … I had no notion,” Field said. “I got into the workshop and they were a lot of casting people who were watching the audition scenes, and the casting man came out the next day and asked me if I wanted to come on an interview … so I went on that interview … and at the end of the summer it was for a television series called ‘Gidget,’ and I got it.”
The interview will air on Variety's “Actors on Actors” on PBS SoCal, which debuts its fifth season on Jan. 3.