A frank and fresh chat with Frances Fisher
by Elizabeth Much
I first met Frances Fisher over a decade ago just after she had recovered from a fire that had started in a home that she was renting. She had been badly burned (fortunately, her young daughter was not hurt) and yet somehow looked amazingly luminous and composed following such a trauma. I was so impressed by her and the inner wisdom she radiated.
An actor’s actor, she has moved effortlessly over the years from theater, film and television. Currently, Frances is starring in the ABC drama series Resurrection.
Before it was hip to get involved with green causes, Frances was on the board of the Environmental Media Association championing their cause of educating the entertainment business to create environmental messaging.
Frances epitomizes the ‘soul of the biz’ because of her deep commitment to making the world a better place whether it’s through her work with the environment, politics (she was committed to getting a new type of candidate in the House of Reps with spiritual guru Marianne Williamson), or animal welfare. I asked her a few key questions that she has probably never heard in the course of myriad interviews over the years:
What inspires your creativity?
Watching other artists express themselves. Nature, inspirational books about life, and there is nothing like a great script.
Who inspires you?
There is a trio of amazing, powerful women: Marianne Williamson, Gloria Steinem and the late Maya Angelou.
Who are your heroes?
Same as above, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My parents were the first, then the ladies above.
What lessons did they teach you?
Too numerous to mention, but the common threads are to be authentic, forgive everyone including myself, be grateful, and to express myself, because playing small serves nobody.
What is your favorite place in the world?
I’ve had the good fortune to live all over the world and there probably is still a place yet to be discovered that may become my next favorite. I really do love my memories of Paris. And I love Serenbe, the sustainable community I will live in again when I go back to Georgia to shoot Season 2 of Resurrection.
What does it signify for you?
Paris: The architecture and art galleries stunned me as a child. Because I didn’t watch television as a kid, when I saw my first movie there, West Side Story, it left an indelible impression on me. Serenbe signifies that it is possible for people today to truly live in community — there is an organic farm, homes are built to the standard of the EarthCraft Home Program, people of all cultures and economic diversity bond over cooking, books, nature, art, ideas and even over their backyard fences. The benefits are too numerous to mention here — if you visit Serenbe.com, you will understand why it is currently my favorite place in the world.
What does success mean for you?
Living one’s passion, and getting paid for it.
What is the best part about being an actor?
Living many lives! I get to walk in another’s shoes, understanding what makes that person tick. I love the camaraderie — there is no place I’d rather be than on a set with people with whom I love to work. And I love the process of the theatre. I long to be back onstage.
The worst part?
What keeps you motivated?
You never know what’s around the corner.
Is there a cause or charity that you are extremely passionate about?
There are a number of organizations that I have been working with for years and reflect my values. I am a co-founder of The Hollywood Food Guild, whose parent is the Center For Food Safety. I am also involved with Peace Over Violence (domestic abuse); on the board of EMA (Environmental Media Association); I support anti-bullying with Stand for the Silent; and lend my time to many organizations helping children and animals.Tags: Center For Food Safety, Environmental Media Association (EMA), Environmental Media Awards, Frances Fisher, Hollywood, Marianne Williamson, Peace Over Violence, Resurrection (TV show)