People Weekly '86
Ent. Weekly '92
Ent. Tonight '94
WUNC Radio '94
Woman's Day '96
Visiones Macabre '02
March 29, 1994
Meg Tilly: Actress/Writer/Mother - BY BRIDGET BYRNE
LOS ANGELES -- Meg Tilly's conversation runs like a mountain stream, through shadows and sunlight, sometimes babbling, sometimes crystal clear, quick and slow, through quiet depths and surface tumult. It's easy to see Tilly as some sort of poetic enchantress even when she's just having breakfast in a Los Angeles hangout, after having dropped her kids off at school.
There's just a strand of two of grey in the almond-eyed actress's dark hair, but, in her plaid, babydoll top worn over jeans, her face free of all make-up, she still looks very girlish to be the mother of three -- 9 year old Emily and 7 year old David, from her marriage to Tim Zinnemann, son of the director, Fred, and 3 year old Will, from her relationship with the British actor, Colin Firth, with whom she starred in the l989 movie, "Valmont."
Now living alone in Los Angeles with the children, Tilly says, "I think it is important to say that though, of course, it is wonderful to have children, it is a disservice to others not to also say how hard it is to do it alone." Tilly has often placed priority on staying home rather than accepting a role, but she's content with that choice. "Acting has never been my whole life. It's just part of my life and yet my career is every housewife's dream. Someone drives you to work, when you get there they make you look beautiful, they feed you, they ask all the time, 'May I get you something' and they bring you anything you want. And you get to finish sentences, something it's simply not possible to do around three children. I'm so lucky" she laughs.
Currently Tilly can be seen in, "Winnetka Road", the drama series from Spelling Television which airs on Saturdays, (10-11 p.m.ET) on NBC. "I wasn't really interested in doing television" admits Tilly, who has primarily worked in movies, where her credits include a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1985 as the novice accused of murdering her baby in, "Agnes of God" and who says "I don't have that much ambition. My agent, Eileen Feldman, has all the ambition for me." However the quality of the, "Winnetka Road" scripts, created by John Byrum, appealed to her, as did the opportunity she was given to become creatively involved. She has written the fourth episode of the show, which airs April l6th, in which, Byrum laughingly pointed out to her, she's made her part really small and given big scenes to everyone else.
In this crosscurrent of Midwestern suburban life, Tilly plays George Grace, a young woman married to an older, well-off man, but falling in love with her young lodger. "She's a possession. She's in a cocoon. For her time is just passing, she's just existing. I see her as a butterfly pinned to a board, still alive, trembling" she says, explaining how, as the series moves along, this enigmatic woman begins to break free and take steps on her own.
Tilly enjoyed writing this TV script, but she's passionate about the satisfaction she found in writing, "Singing Songs" her first novel, to be published by Dutton in June. "One's popcorn. It's fun. I like eating popcorn, but the other is a carefully prepared gourmet meal. Or one's a one-night- stand, the other a long, passionate love affair. Both are fun, or what I would imagine is fun . . ." she says, sweetly, hesitating a moment over the one-night-stand reference, before admitting she had made that "mistake" once.
The novel is about the way a young girl sees the world. "It's about family and joy, but it also deals with abuse," she explains, talking about the excitement she felt, "grabbing hold of little windows of time" when the children were in school or asleep, to work on the novel.
Born in Long Beach, California, on Valentine's Day, 1960, but raised near Vancouver, Canada, where she still keeps a home, Tilly aimed to be a ballet dancer, but was sidelined in her late teens by a back injury. She joined her actress sister, Jennifer, in Los Angeles and as she'd, "failed typing in high school" she turned to acting. Her first film was, "Tex" and since then her movies include, "The Big Chill", "Invasion of The Body Snatchers" and "The Two Jakes." Upcoming she's in, "Sleep With Me" with Eric Stoltz, an independent feature about relationships between a group of friends in Los Angeles."
She's not anti-LA living and even managed to find something positive in the experience of the earthquake. "It brought me close to my neighbors. Now we have bake-offs and they've helped me make curtains for my house" she says, describing a home life which includes a large dog and a cat, but no television set.