First of all, happy birthday, Sally Hawkins. And what better day to write about her than her birthday!
I always like to remember my personal history with actors and actresses (okay, mainly with actresses, men just don’t fathom much in my life). Ms. Hawkins and I were actually up to a little bit of a bumpy start since I did not like the first movie I watched (at least I remember it as the first) with her: Happy Go Lucky. I know what you’re thinking, a person who hates Happy Go Lucky possibly hates little puppies and baby elephants, not to mention videos of cutesy penguins being tickled. Well, I don’t, I just hate watching movies about overly enthusiastic people (enthusiastic about life, that is). There are moments when I thought, well, the actress is something else but what an annoying character she is portraying.
The next thing you know I recognized her in Tipping the Velvet – by her voice actually. I thought, hey, I know that voice. Zena, the much too small part she played in Tipping the Velvet, was thankfully a rather practical character and I liked her. And I started recognizing Sally Hawkins. And she is in pretty much everything that comes out of Britain, she’s everywhere, or maybe I am just watching things she is in – I don’t know anymore which is the case.
Although, coming across her in Never Let Me Go was quite conincidental. As I said in the post about the movie, I came across it rather unknowingly and then I saw Sally and I was like: “Sally Hawkins, yay!” Her role was so earnest, so close to what the audience was feeling at that point, and she also enlightened us finally on the part of the protagonists, about what was going on. A thankful role and wonderfully acted out by Hawkins.
Her amazingly intense portrait of Sue Trinder in Fingersmith is one of my favorites, naturally. No question, I loved the novel, but the movie I actually watched two times in a row, just because, and Sally Hawkins was one of the reasons it was so compelling (if you haven’t watched yet, make sure you do and soon). She was Anne Elliot in Persuasion, not one of anybody’s favorite Jane Austen heroines but she portrayed her as less neurotic and more persuasive (yes, I know, pun and all) than Austen made her.
She was in An Education, in Layer Cake, and now, most recently, in Jane Eyre. She is wonderful as all the supporting characters you ever loved, or loved to hate but she is absolutely fabulous when leading a cast of talented actresses (and actors) as in We Want Sex.
Cheers to Sally Hawkins.