Don't be surprised if Mariel Hemingway kicks off her shoes Sunday in the Statler Hotel Ballroom.
Not to dance. But to talk with those in attendance about her holistic health passions. And, of course, to answer questions about her acting and modeling career and her famous family.
Hemingway, the 57-year-old granddaughter of novelist Ernest Hemingway, is the first celebrity guest for Movies at The Statler, which kicks off a three-movie series presented by promoter Tommy Habeeb.
First up is Personal Best, a 1982 movie that starred Hemingway as one of several female athletes vying for spots on the U.S. Olympic track team. Directed by Robert Towne, the film bucked the conventions of the sports movie genre. It tackled intimate relationships between teammates and coaches as well as the politics of the day (the U.S. team's 1980 Olympic boycott).
Hemingway was 17 when the movie came out, but she was already a veteran actress. At 14, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in Lipstick (1976). Three years later, she received an Oscar nomination for Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979).
"I think I've done movies way before their time -- pretty consistently," Hemingway said. "I had a lot of different kinds of experiences that a lot of people didn't have. My feeling was that I didn't look for things that were cutting edge. It just seemed to happen."
She believes Personal Best -- with its deep dive into athletes, schools and relationships -- still "holds up" 37 years later.
Lately, Hemingway has been involved with the documentary Down to Earth: The Remarkable Science of Grounding. The film looks at the movement for better health by primarily walking barefoot outside to make direct connections to the ground's natural energy.
In 2015, Hemingway wrote in a memoir that Allen unsuccessfully tried to lure her to Paris once she turned 18. In a prelude to the #MeToo movement, she described that relationship in the book, Out Came the Sun.
Hemingway touched on the relationship -- along with other topics -- in a Q-and-A before her Dallas appearance. Here are excerpts from that interview:
Your 2015 memoir touched on Allen's interest after completing Manhattan. What can you say about it now?
This is not a subject I'm actually embroiled in. All I can say is that Woody Allen was nothing but a very kind gentleman -- at the time -- to me. I did not have a relationship with him despite the rumors going around at the time. Did he like me? Yes. He was great to me. It was one of the great experiences of my career. Do I know what happened with him and his other relationships? I don't. I just know Woody the way that I knew him at the time. The #MeToo movement is an important stepping stone for women -- and men -- to speak out against sexual misconduct. I think it's been going on for generations. It was especially a part of Hollywood, and a given.
Your acting found momentum early. What made it so easy so fast?
I've been very fortunate to try different things in different ways so early on. And I worked with great, great people. Robert Townes ... was one of the great writers of film to this day. I made Manhattan with Woody Allen. And I worked with Bob Fosse on Star 80. So, I had such an opportunity to work with incredible talent at an early age.
What makes Personal Best special even though you've been recognized for more memorable roles?
It was a transformative time for me, and a cool project. It's athletes, school and relationships. It was definitely pretty intense for the time to come out with a lesbian relationship, and yes, it was more about a young girl discovering who she was. I think that's why it will translate well for this generation.
You've been a big advocate of suicide prevention. Your family has experienced numerous suicides. Has this experience caused you to speak out more?
It comes from my family, and that's probably part of the root. I've also spoken all over the country and Canada about suicide prevention and addiction, and it's something that needs to be talked about. One of my biggest focuses in life is to help people not feel alone. I think the pressure of being a teenager is tough these days, and it's tougher than it's ever been.
Tell us more about grounding, or Earthing.
When I was doing the documentary, I told myself I was going to dedicate myself to this in a very serious way. I'm going to get grounding mats to sleep on. And I'm going to dedicate at least an hour a day where I'm barefoot outside. And since doing it, it's been unbelievably transformative for my health. I wasn't an unhealthy person at all, but I have so much energy, and I sleep better. I always knew nature was a big part of my life because I grew up in the mountains (in Idaho). I didn't realize the electromagnetic field that comes off the Earth is so important for good health.
Tommy Cummings is a Mansfield-based freelance writer.
Movies at The Statler will show Personal Best from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday in the Statler Hotel Ballroom. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $125 for the VIP package.
OTHER MOVIES SCHEDULED:
May 26: The Expendables (Eric Roberts)
June 9: Grease (Lorenzo Lamas)