How Christine Baranski remade herself, in her 60s, into a TV heroine: ‘It was a long wait’
Christine Baranski, who has just released her new movie The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, is a self-professed rebel — a ‘fringe type,’ she says. And she is not alone. In a recent piece for the New York Times, writer Rachel Martin tells us she feels like an outsider, too. But in the film she has made with her friend Rachel Weisz, Christine is a strong, strong actress. She even looks better than she did in The Tale of the Princess Kaguya in 1999, when she was 59. But it took time for her to embrace the part of a rebel who would take no prisoners and be fiercely independent. She wasn’t always a brave woman, but now she’s one who can get the job done.
Rachel Weisz and I have known each other for many years. Our first meeting happened in London, not too long after my first movie (My One and Only Mama) came out. But we weren’t very good friends at first, and at the time we didn’t talk about her in my movie. Later she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The King’s Speech.
I had gone to New York to do a piece, and one day I saw her doing a press conference. She was terrific — no one had heard of her and I wondered who she was. I found out, and she invited me to one of her screenings, which happens to be in her neighborhood. I went to see it. It was great.
And so I got to know the actress who was then going by Christine Baranski. We did a couple of short films together in the late ’90s, and even though we didn’t have time to talk about the movie we were shooting, we often saw each other at the theater, especially once we started shooting The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
She told me: “I was never even sure what I’d be doing. So once I got here and saw these people I didn’t know, I thought it would be good to do something like that. I didn’t know what I was gonna do or what I