Frances McDormand Explains Why She Turned Down Press Requests for 10 Years

Nomadland's Frances McDormand took part in a rare interview and shared why she said no to media opportunities for a decade amid the prime of her career.

By Ryan Gajewski Feb 23, 2021 9:16 AMTags
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Frances McDormand's career is as hot as ever, and she's proud to not have relied on the media to get to that point. 

The two-time Oscar winner, who rarely grants interviews, spoke to the New York Times in a piece published on Monday, Feb. 22, and she explained why she spent a decade actively eschewing the normal spotlight that typically comes with stardom. 

Frances' breakout Hollywood moment came with 1996's Fargo, produced and co-written by her husband Ethan Coen. After her role as Marge Gunderson in the darkly comedic crime flick earned the performer her first Academy Award, she hired a publicist and instructed him to decline nearly all press opportunities that would come her way. 

"I made a very conscious effort not to do press and publicity for 10 years in what other people would think would be a very dangerous moment in a female actor's career, but it paid off for exactly the reasons I wanted it to," said the 63-year-old actress. "It gave me a mystery back to who I was, and then in the roles I performed, I could take an audience to a place where someone who sold watches or perfume and magazines couldn't."

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Frances, who won her second Oscar for 2017's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, said she believes that her success with director Chloé Zhao's Nomadland stems from her own efforts to keep her private life to herself. In Nomadland, which is currently at the forefront of the 2021 Oscar conversation, the actress plays a woman seeking out a transitory life in a van after losing her financial standing.

Craig Sjodin/ABC

"That's why it works," Frances continued. "That's why Chloé could bear to even think of doing this with me, because of what I've created for years not just as an actor, but in my personal life."

At one point in the interview, while walking along the small coastal town where she lives but that she declined to publicly identify, the star gestured to a few people enjoying the beach with their dogs.

"I don't mind being their movie star," Frances told the reporter. "I'm just not going to be yours."

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