"If there is a dark side of the industry that fans are not aware of, I think it better continue to stay that way" : Ally Sheedy

Hallmark is continuing along the path of showing real life stories with an edge. The latest one will be The Interrogation Of Michael Crowe, which airs on 15 January at 9:30 pm.

It deals with how the 14-year- old title character is forced to endure an excruciating police interrogation into the murder of his 12-year-old sister. The cops are trying to find out whether he is truly responsible for her vicious death. Through a series of lies and deceit police paint a portrait of him and his two close friends as being cold-blooded murderers.

Among others the film stars is Ally Sheedy as the mother trying to hold the family together. Sheedy stared in several films in the 1980s including Short Circuit and the romantic comedy Maid To Order. She disappeared from the public spotlight in the early 1990's before resurfacing in 1998 with High Art. Indiantelevision.com's correspondent Ashwin Pinto got in touch with the star, though e-mail, and spoke about the juvenile justice system, her critically acclaimed role in High Art.


What aspects of the story of The Interrogation of Michael Crowe were you drawn towards?

The Interrogation of Michael Crowe is a true-life story and a movie with a mission. A mission to get people to know of the horror the Crowe family faced and how the same thing could happen to anyone. The film's interrogation scenes were taken word-for-word from the police transcripts and it is really amazing to hear the dialogues in the movie.

I was completely moved when I read the story. I thought it would be a challenge to portray what the Crowe's went through.


Is the trauma, anxiety and depression that your character and her family goes through something you can identify with?

I think I can identify with it to the extent that I can understand what the family went through. I fear to think of the anxiety and the torture that the family must have gone through.

Since it was definitely not something I would want to happen in real life, I thought enacting it and making the unfortunate incident known to the world would be a better bet.


Do you think that the juvenile justice system needs to be overhauled or at least be reviewed?

I hope what happened with Michael is something that does not happen too often. I think the cops were trying to do their best. I sternly believe however that the juvenile justice system should be more careful when interrogating.

They need to remember that they are dealing with kids and youngsters. Treating them wrongly could leave a lasting impression on their little minds.


What message are you hoping the audience will take away with them?

I think they will all leave praying that something like this never happens to them ever.


Do you feel that acting is the art of lying, selling the audience on something that need not be true?

I think that acting involves doing your job so well that you are able to help the viewer identify with the character. At the end of the day the audience knows that it is…after all… acting.


You appeared in a lot of movies in the 1980's and then disappeared. What happened?

I got busy. I never really disappeared. The situation could have been that the movies were not so well publicised. I've been around and have been trying hard to manage both work and home.

"I think that acting involves doing your job so well that you are able to help the viewer identify with the character"

Is there a dark side to the film industry that fans are unaware of?

If there is a dark side of the industry that fans are not aware of, I think it better continue to stay that way! I think there is a dark side to every industry but I don't think it is something to get people to worry about.

I think our fans just need to continue to provide support to the actors who only get motivated by the love from the fans.


You once said that you considered yourself an outsider when you came to Hollywood? How long did it take for you to integrate yourself into the system?

It took me a long time. No honestly! this industry can take a long time to accept you into the system. I was a newcomer and I met with the regular resistance. After some time though, everything fell in place.


When you won critical acclaim for your comeback role in High Art, did you find any change in the way in which people started perceiving you?

A lot more people recognised me and started to take me seriously as an actress. I was happy that they liked my work and I finally got the acclaim and recognition that I thought I deserved.


What are the other performances that you are proud of?

I never answer this question for fear that I might sound too bloated. The list is pretty long. At the same time I'm always afraid I'll miss out on mentioning an important movie and will offend someone in the process.


Why are there more high quality roles for women in independent film as opposed to what is happening in the mainstream arena?

I think that's because a woman is able to dominate the film most often in an independent film.

See, if you look at mainstream films it is the usual set of characters who need to be there. The director needs to do justice to all and can't focus solely on the woman in the movie. I do see the trend changing though. Women are in the forefront in most fields. We can't exclude them from movies, can we!


Are there any films that you regret getting involved with? What went wrong?

I'd rather not pinpoint my mistakes. Although they are all very fresh in my mind, I must say. I have regretted a lot of things I've done in life but then should they not have happened.

I would have definitely been a 'less wiser' person. My experiences have taught me a lot and I'm happy with my learning's, if not with what I went through to learn.


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