Actor's Studio Interview of Ellen Barkin

Barkin grew up in a tough working class neighborhood of the Bronx. Getting into fights was a usual event and her brother often came to her defense. She ended up with a couple of broken front teeth. Since she did not want to attend the regular high school, she applied at a magnet school for the performing arts. She went but they were not the least impressed with her and gave her the clear message that she was not good enough and not pretty enough to be an actress.

She then went to Hunter College and studied Ancient History. She took some acting courses, but graduated in History. She then took more acting courses and finally found a teacher that helped her heal the wounds of earlier teachers and gave her the confidence that she needed to pursue a career in acting. She got a couple of parts in stage plays and then took an ongoing role in a TV soap. This lead, in time, to her becoming a major movie actor. She is often put into roles where she plays a tough and sexy woman. She has acted with DeNiro, Paul Newman, Pacino, Dennis Quaid and others. Her credits include: Diner, Tender Mercies, Harry & Son, Desert Bloom, The Big Easy, Sea of Love, Switch, and This Boy's Life. She has been making movies since 1981 and you can't help but wonder what those high school teachers who said she couldn't make it are doing with their lives?!

Favorite word: "Serendipity."

Least favorite word: "Ambition."

What turns you on: "A good laugh."

What turns you off: "Tenseness."

Sound or noise you like: "Garbage trucks……hey, I'm a New Yorker."

Sound or noise you don't like: "A door closing."

Favorite curse word: "I like them all."

Another profession she would like to pursue: "Judge and jury."

A profession she would not like to have: "Sales."

What she wants to hear at the Pearly Gates: "Come in, have a drink, smoke a cigarette."