A discussion with Sally Field and writer, director Michael Showalter

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Sally Field, who plays the lead in "My Name is Doris," speaks with director and writer Michael Showalter on Sunday as part of SXSW.

Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Saturday night, the world premiere of Sally Field’s most recent film, “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” impressed the majority its South By Southwest audience. Read our review here.

On Sunday, Field and the film’s director and writer, Michael Showalter, sat down to discuss the movie and Field’s 53-year-long career.

“I’m here because you’re here,” Field said, spreading her arms out toward the audience.

“My Name Is Doris,” is a comedy-drama that follows Field’s character Doris, as she falls in love with a young co-worker played by Max Greenfield. Field said the movie captures Doris’ world as it crumbles and rises simultaneously.

“She has an odd inability to see herself in the world,” Field said. “The character has some borderline personality issues.”

Field said playing a character such as Doris forced her to draw emotion from somewhere inside her.

“How thoroughly you can go into the shoes of another person, it changes who you are,” Field said. “It feels like you have this opportunity to really deeply know someone else.”

In order to stay in tune with her character, Field said in between takes she paced up and down the room while loudly clapping her hands.

“You have to hold on to emotion,” Field said.  “You can’t relax and start up again. Literally from your core out of your mouth out of your eye it’s just stay alive stay alive stay alive. [The crew] gets scared, they think I’m out of my mind at that point.”

When Field agreed to take on the role of Doris, Showalter said it was a dream come true.

“Sally gave one hundred thousand percent of herself and showed us what it’s like to really commit,” Showalter said. “She came to work everyday and it elevated all of us.”

Near the end of the talk, after Field and Showalter opened up the room for discussion, an audience member asked Field what she hoped her legacy would be.

“I don’t care, I’ll be dead by then,” Field said. “I just want to be a good, positive grandmother.”