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‘It’s not easy,’ she tells me over lunch at a Manhattan hotel.‘But I have been very lucky and have kept close friendships with my children’s fathers.‘I came from a family of working-class actors and it was a really hard life.There was terrible insecurity.’ Her stepfather was a volatile man who had the capacity to be ‘both cruel and kind’.When they were growing up, we’d all go on vacations together and we were one great big extended family.’ She must have drawn on her experiences for classic 1993 comedy Mrs Doubtfire, also starring Robin Williams.
That happened to my family and it does something to you inside.’ Field remains passionate about acting.
My generation was wearing miniskirts – I was wearing a nun’s habit, I was a walking sight gag.
It was an insipid, stupid situation comedy.’ Despite her subsequent success in both critically acclaimed and mainstream films (Field played Tom Hanks’s mother in Forrest Gump and Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man), that feeling has never left her.
When she was offered the lead in TV show The Flying Nun, aged 19, he bullied her into accepting it. ‘He said I probably wouldn’t work again if I didn’t take it.
Everyone was taking acid, dropping out and protesting Vietnam.
‘It’s about families being torn apart when their parents split up and how much that hurts children.