Getting There: Sally Field
By ANDREA DRUSCH, POLITICO – Over the past five decades, two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field has managed to take on show business from just about every angle, rising from small-screen queen to behind-the-scenes force. Recently, Field, 67, spoke with POLITICO in Washington, where she headlined an event for the mentoring-focused global nonprofit Vital Voices, about the large role mentoring played in her rise — and how another Oscar-winning actress once helped pull her out of her shell and into the boardroom.
Has there ever been a time when you didn’t have a mentor and wished someone had been there to push you in the right direction?
Every day of my life! When you’re in a big business — and show business is a big business — it’s highly competitive. There a lot of different avenues of it, and it takes a lot of skill, and a lot of miles in the saddle. I really think you could say that about any endeavor — when you get in it you think: Oh my god, could someone please tell me where to put my feet? Every now and again you have somebody who you can emulate or somebody you can talk to, and the other three-fourths of the time it’s a hunt and peck, trial and error — and then you look back and realize, I’ve been doing this for 50 years, I know some things!
So did you ever have a mentor step in and guide you?
When I started out — not as an actor, but when I had the opportunity to become a producer — I was given this position at Fox Studios. Here you are, here’s your office, and we will back you. I had not a clue what I was doing. It was horrifying. I had this room, and I sat there.