Anne Heche Onscreen: Wily and Funny but Also Unnerving

Long before the car crash that prompted actress Anne Heche to be declared brain dead at age 53, her on-screen work was always on the verge of being overshadowed by the tabloids’ interest in her life. .

In 1997, she became best known as the girlfriend of comedian Ellen DeGeneres, appearing alongside her on the red carpet at a time when open same-sex relationships were still rare in Hollywood. “20/20” Interview with Barbara Walters In 2001, she revealed that she created an alternate world for herself called “Fourth Dimension” and a persona called “Celestia”. She doesn’t mind the fact that she also told Walters about the horrific sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her father. faced ridicule.

But for moviegoers, Heche was an idiosyncrasy that could never fit into an unconventional blockbuster. Instead, she’s brilliantly nervy and often very funny, and her angular face is a disarming combination of intelligence and wit, the perfect choice to play a capable woman in extreme situations. did.

In some ways, she worked in the most mainstream areas of the entertainment industry. and in sitcoms such as ‘The Michael J. Fox Show’. Yet it was Heche with her destructive power that pierced her best performances and her ability to laugh at herself undermining her reputation across her culture.

Early in her career, director Nicole Holofcener identified Heche’s competence for honesty in 1996’s Walking and Talking (available for rent). prime video). Heche plays Laura, a therapist-in-training and longtime best friend of Catherine Keener’s Amelia. Laura is, in theory, the better of these two to be together. While Amelia struggles, Laura is on the straight track and she promises to marry her sweet jewelry designer boyfriend (Toddfield).

But doubt creeps into Laura’s mind as Amelia grows jealous of the certainty of Laura’s life. In Heche, we see Laura standing on end in the bondage that comes with the comforts of close friendships and good relationships. Her heche skin flushes in layers of tulle as she tries on her wedding dress. Laura struggles with the dough when Amelia steps lightly on her feet, but she doesn’t help much. She doesn’t say Laura, but you can tell she’s completely overwhelmed. She grabs her rear end. “I’m farting,” she says resignedly. With that small gesture, Heche admits that her body is betraying her before her mind allows her to say so.

Holofcener’s script makes it easy for women who’ve known each other for decades to get intimate, but in Heche’s hands, Laura’s self-exploration becomes hilariously explicit. When she and Amelia finally get it, Heche never lets her character’s anger fade into bitterness, instead she captures all the wonderful nuances of disagreement with her best friend. Find out, love is still the dominant emotion.

The following year, Hollywood worked on how to fit Heche into its formula. She appeared in her four films in 1997, from The Frustrated Wife of an Undercover Agent in “Donny Brasco” opposite Johnny Depp to “Wag the Dog” opposite Robert De Niro. He has played a variety of roles, from being an aide to the president trying to bury the . In the teenage slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer, she is the sister of a murder victim. You’re caught in the goofy thrills of the disaster movie Volcano, where you play a seismologist. Yet even the most ridiculous blockbusters spew ludicrous accounts of how this geological event is taking place in big American cities, and she easily falls into situations that most performers struggle to achieve. (“Donnie Brasco” Available on Netflix. “i know what you did‘ is on HBO Max. When “Wag” When “volcano” It’s on most major platforms. )

She didn’t stop working, but Anne Heche’s offscreen soon began to overshadow Anne Heche. Still, there were artists who recognized what she could bring to the project, like Jonathan Glazer, who made her surreal 2004 film Birth (HBO Max), Nicole Kidman plays a bride on the Upper East Side who is visited by a boy who claims her dead husband has been reborn. Barking, trying to bury gifts in the woods instead, rushing to the store to exchange what she hid, eyes brimming with guilt. But until she refocuses, the true purpose of her existence floats in her intense gaze.

“Birth” is an otherworldly piece, and it’s as if Glazer is using Heche to sway the audience even more, and she’s working tirelessly on it. Over a decade later, Onur Tukel capitalized on Heche’s wrath in a “catfight” (netflix), a comedy that casts her as an artist who gets into a vicious punch match with a college friend (Sandra Oh) over grudges and class conflicts.

It was possible that Heche was on the verge of yet another career comeback. She was finishing up her role in the upcoming HBO series ‘Idol’, created by musicians The Weeknd, ‘Euphoria’ Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim.For all questions about opportunities she might not have gotten because of homophobia or ridicule or mental health stigma Interview with Los Angeles Magazine Around the release of “Birth,” she explained:

It’s easy for the circumstances of her crash to cloud memories of her artistry, but you can easily imagine her as Laura in “Walking and Talking.” her best friend.

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