Jewish Journal

Annette Bening at AFI FEST 2013

by Joy Bennett

November 15, 2013 | 7:09 pm

Annette Bening, photo by Joy Bennett

This past week the venerable AFI Fest 2013 has been going on, one of the most important film festivals around. Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to see Annette Bening at a panel discussing her work and life with Arie Posin, the writer and director of one of her latest films, A Face of Love.  Mr. Posin did a very nice job handling the interview, and their rapport and mutual respect was obvious.  For a review of this film, see my article at IFQ Magazine which will be posted soon. 

The Egyptian Theatre, where the event was held, was packed and soon Ms. Bening appeared, looking freshly elegant in a simple black dress and short light brown hair.  She is slender and petite, but has a certain undeniable strength about her.  You don’t want to mess with her.  Yet she was charming and bubbly during the panel discussion, and the audience visibly enjoyed her talk. 

She talked about how she got interested in acting.  In San Diego, where she is from, she studied it in college and performed in student productions during school.  After studying acting in college and a conservatory, she worked in the theater, and moved and still does move back and forth between film and the stage.  Her memorable roles include pivotal roles in American Beauty, Bugsy, The Grifters, and many other notable films. She said she was always from a young age determined to act, and studied extensively which helped her prepare for her impressive career. 

She was asked for some acting tips, and she said it’s important to listen.  She said there is always a battle between having self-confidence and doubting yourself.  She still has doubts to this day, despite her many successes.  She talked amusingly about the difference between stage and screen acting, and also talked about how important it is to always reach deeper, and connect with the emotional impact of a scene or a role above all else.  She is a charming and most engaging actress, and the range of her talent is evident from the variety of her roles.

This excellent film festival AFI Fest 2013 just ended Thursday November 14th in Hollywood, for more information visit afi.com/afifest.  They have lots of film screenings, discussions, parties, and plenty of opportunities to learn about and enjoy films in a very special setting.  The festival is held in the heart of Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre, and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, etc. 

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Joy Bennett lives in Santa Monica, California and is the author of Under a Quarter Moon, a poetry and short story collection; and a novel called Cruise.  She has also been...

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