Arthur Penn on Kim Stanley: She Was The Sun

Photograph by Arnold Newman/1963

Arthur Penn
Interviewed by James Grissom
New York

Everything was always on the line with Kim. That's very broad, I realize, but it is so rare--was so rare--that it was astounding. I understand that Kim would announce her intention to fully examine and understand her character, the play, the situation, the intentions of everyone involved, and it became increasingly difficult to find sufficiently brave and talented directors and actors who could withstand all of this work. I found it infuriating that after seeing the brilliance of Kim's work--time after time, in play after play, no matter the merit of the script--that her work opportunities remained limited. And why? Fear and laziness, the two killers of most art. So many people have--and had--the desire to act, to be an artist, but so few had the courage and the genius that Kim had, and so she burned them: She was the sun to which they had come too close.

© 2014 James Grissom


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