Holly Hunter called the recent uproar over Donald Trump’s lewd video recording “a good thing” when she spoke before a live audience on Long Island on Saturday afternoon.
Hunter, who won an Oscar for her role as a mute woman in Jane Campion’s “The Piano” (1993) and also appeared in such hit films as “Broadcast News” and “The Firm,” was interviewed by film critic Thelma Adams as part of the series “A Conversation With . . . ,” which continues today with actor Edward Norton. The series is a signature program of the ongoing 24th Hamptons International Film Festival.
Hunter spoke at length about her career, the difficultly of persuading directors that her 5-foot-2-inch frame could radiate tremendous energy and the challenges of finding work as an actress — even one with an Oscar and two other Academy Award nominations — at the age of 58. She called her latest film, “Strange Weather,” a drama about a grieving mother traveling through the Deep South, a rare opportunity to land a lead role.
“There were so many lead roles that were offered to me, that were available, when I was in my 30s,” Hunter said. “Once I got to be like, 45, there was a real downturn.”
Hunter expressed deep gratitude for “Saving Grace,” the TNT television series in which she played a hard-drinking Oklahoma City police detective abetted by a tough-talking guardian angel named Earl. “Saving Grace” ran from 2007 to 2010, while Hunter was entering her 50s.
“I loved the character, loved the whole experience of playing her. Then that ended, and I was thrust back into the reality of feature films, which was a harsh one for me,” Hunter said. “And I was back into playing wives and older moms, really very much supporting parts.”
Hunter said the value of women in society is a topic worth discussing as Trump’s decade-old video, in which he brags about using his fame as an excuse to grope women, continues to make headlines.
“It’s a really good thing for women and it’s really good for men,” she said. “It brings up a conversation about respect, mutual respect, and what women are worth.”