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The Days of Summer

The youngest member of the Phoenix family revisits her Jewish roots in "Esther Kahn" and "The Believer."

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/the_days_of_summer_20020412

Seven minutes into Summer Phoenix's audition for "Esther Kahn" -- about an 1890s Jew who wants to become an actress -- director Arnaud Desplechin hastily left the room. "The casting directors were like, 'OK, thank you,'" recalls the exuberant, almond-eyed Phoenix, sister to actors Joaquin and the late River. "I walked away, but then I just started sobbing and I ran back up the stairs. I cried, 'Esther Kahn' is the role I've been waiting for. This can't be my last chance.'"

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