PHOTO: Drive, She Said ... Independent actor Moira Kelly. -- Chris Wahl, SUN

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Wednesday, September 10, 1997

Who needs Hollywood? Not Moira Kelly

Toronto Sun

 Moira Kelly saw the bright side of Hollywood glamor and she was blinded by the light.
 She was Dustin Hoffman's girlfriend in Billy Bathgate, the spoiled figure skater in The Cutting Edge, Laura Palmer's girlfriend in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and then Chaplin's wife in that movie profile.
 It was right about then that Kelly was positioned perfectly as the next cinema sweetheart. Then something happened -- nothing.
 She took a hike out of Hollywood, and moved back to New York, where they talk at you, not about you.
 Yesterday, four years after her escape from L.A., Kelly is sitting in a Sheraton Hotel room, professing to be happy about the creative ties that don't bind her.
 "They mold you," she said of the studios, "and then they destroy you. But I wouldn't let them."
 Instead, the 29-year-old Irish-American New Yorker has been living off the independent film industry since 1993.
 Drive, She Said, a Perspective Canada festival entry, is an example. In the Mina Shum movie -- the Vancouver filmmaker's second -- Kelly plays a bank teller who gets caught up in some bankrobbing shenanigans.
 It's a simple yarn, but Kelly liked it because the movie has "humor and heart."
 In fact, within a week of reading the script, Kelly was on a plane from New York to Vancouver to shoot the low-budget production.
 Kelly has two more "small films" ready for release, a period piece called Venice and a 1930s recollection, Love Walked In. Next month, she's set to film Henry Hill, a sort-of love story,
 Not one sweetheart role among them, however.
 "I moved on," Kelly said of her brief studio fling. "It wasn't me."
 And just in case she reverts to the high-maintenance individual that Hollywood actors can be, she surrounds herself with non-movie-industry New Yorkers.
 "They are my humble tribe," she confirmed. "They hold me back, and hold me down, if I need it."
 P.I. P.O.-ed: Former Magnum P.I. TV star Tom Selleck, scheduled to be in town today to promote In And Out, has made it clear where he stands on the paparazzi issue. He wants the intrusive and confrontational media gone. Selleck, who ironically plays a TV tabloid reporter in the Gala festival movie, is one of many actors who have voiced their paparazzi concern after the Aug. 31 accident that killed Princess Diana. Looks like he has a huge public forum to speak his mind in the next few days.

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