More’s June coverstory with Madeleine Stowe talks about the TV series Revenge season finale hitting the airways tomorrow night.
Madeleine Stowe Dishes about her Anxiety, Her first Date with Dennis Quaid, her Biggest Fear as a Mom, and MORE - HereNearly two decades ago, Madeleine Stowe abandoned her A-list movie career to live on a Texas ranch and be a wife and a mother. Today, Stowe is back in big style on ABC’s drama, Revenge.
The issue hits newsstands on Tuesday May 22nd.
On Dennis Quaid and her virginity:
There (at the University of Southern California) she met Dennis Quaid, her first date and the first boy she kissed. “I was very shy,” Stowe says. “He told a friend of mine he thought I was a virgin, and he couldn’t take that responsibility. Very sweet!” When the two worked together on 1998’s Playing by Heart, Stowe reminded Quaid that they’d dated. “He said, ‘Did we . . . ?’ I said, ‘No. We didn’t.’ ”
On people being scared of her:
When people recognize her these days, Madeleine notices they tend to whisper and give sidelong glances rather than come up and chat, “I think they are a little scared of my character.” Stowe’s character, Victoria Grayson, East Hampton’s lady of the grandest house is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
On Struggling with Anxiety:
“I always had a recessive quality. I could never come out of the shadows too well,” says Stowe. “When I did and my film career was really going, it would create a certain stress level, and I would sort of disappear. It was as if I didn’t want to be exposed too much.”
On her worst nightmare as a mother:
“As a mother, I was always looking under my daughter’s bed and checking her closet every single night with the idea that somebody might take her from us,” she says. “It was my worst nightmare.”
On Disappearing for more than a decade:
In 1994, at the height of a movie career that included acclaimed films The Last of the Mohicans, Short Cuts, and 12 Monkeys, Madeleine quit Hollywood and moved to a 400-acre cattle ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas. “I’d worked with the best filmmakers on the planet,” Stowe says. “But there were other things I wanted to do, other lives I wanted to live. I just got to the point where I wanted to be somewhere else.”
On her Revenge character:
Much like her TV character, Stowe is notable for her penetrating eyes, erect bearing, deliberate diction and thoughtful speech. She and her character have complexity in common, too. Indeed, before the Revenge role came up, Stowe told her agents she was through with acting. But Grayson’s cunning appealed to her, she says, as did “her capacity to love but to be so damaged that she would in essence annihilate herself and the person that she loved at the same time.”
On turning down $5 million from FOX:
In 2003, Stowe finished a draft of her pet project Unbound Captives, a sprawling Western about a white woman whose children are taken by Comanches in the 1860’s. That year, 20th Century Fox, seeing it as a project for Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott, offered $5 million for the script but no role for Stowe. “Without a moment’s thought,” she says, “I turned it down.”
On being lost in her 40’s:
The now 53 year old says… “It was a lost period for me,” she says. “The pieces weren’t coming together. In your thirties, you’ve come into your own. It’s a glorious era—most women now have children in their thirties. When the forties creep up, unless you’re so crazy driven, they just knock you on your behind.”
On being a “guy’s girl:”
Stowe considers herself a guy’s girl who has even attended one of Director, Paul Haggis (Crash)’s “boys’ night” gatherings on her own with Oliver Stone, Josh Brolin and other men she calls “mega-intelligent.” Stowe attributes her desire to bond with the opposite sex to her incomplete relationship with her father: “I found myself gravitating toward very powerful men. I have a real ease around them, because the need to connect TO them has always been great.”
On Stowe’s terrible marriage Advice and her own marriage:
Even though Stowe has been married to actor, Brian Benben (Private Practice), for 26 years, she considers herself “the worst person” to approach for marriage tips. “I’ve never known a perfect marriage,” she says. “We’ve definitely had peaks and valleys. I hate saying that marriage is work, because I don’t think of it that way, but sometimes you find yourselves on different paths. Then you converge again. I think our convergences are longer in duration than our separate paths.” It no doubt helps that she considers Benben “the funniest human being you’ll ever meet.”
Madeleine’s life traded the Red carpet for Cattle:
She’d been living life as a cowgirl, when she and her husband, actor Brian Benben (Private Practice), moved to Fredericksburg (population at the time: under 7,000), they went Western. The couple rode horses, cleaned stalls and raised cattle. They threw Fourth of July barbecues, set off fireworks at their lake and hiked for miles. After their daughter, Maddy, was born in 1996, “Maddy would put the baby in her pouch and take her along, too,” says Carolyn Kyle, who ran the ranch with her husband, Ted. “Maddy was always in jeans, a flannel shirt, a straw hat and sunglasses.”
On Directing “Unbound Captive” starting Hugh Jackman/Rachel Weisz:
Overtime, different actors and directors showed interest in her screen play, but the movie never lifted off. Then she turned 50 (3 years ago) and had an epiphany: Instead of playing the lead (a woman now much younger than she), Stowe would direct. “I’m visually oriented,” she says. “It seemed like the right thing to do.” Since she made that decision, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz have signed on to star, Oscar winner John Toll (Braveheart) is on board as the cinematographer, and the funding is falling into place. “I’m on fire with this idea of what I want this film to be and bringing together these incredibly gifted people and having a dynamic conversation,” she says.