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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Euthanize Yourself First

"We didn't name him Satchel." Mia corrects me in my first question. "He did. I didn't know who Satchel Paige was, really. I mean I sort of got it, and thought, 'Okay. Your wish, whatever.' It's a shame Ronan doesn't like the name, but I understand."

I'm in Farrow's undisclosed apartment somewhere in the northeast United States. These days, we'd all like to think she is in the Dakota, hanging out with her fictional counterpart Rosemary Woodhouse, and her implied counterpart Yoko Ono. Like Rosemary, the character she played so ably in the 1968 film "Rosemary's Baby," Farrow seems to have given up one of her children to the Hollywood gods to secure a husband's career. And like Yoko Ono, Farrow has seen the hatred of fans blaming her for the tarnished and neglected reputation of a Hollywood institution.

Unlike Rosemary and Yoko, Farrow has never lived at the Dakota. Also like Rosemary and Yoko, Farrow never married Woody Allen. She did, however, marry Andre Previn and Frank Sinatra.

Not bad!

"I live a life. It's not like I think much about the show-business stuff anymore." Farrow sits across from me, barefoot and bright-faced, a cup of hot tea steaming beneath her unadorned nose left untouched by surgery. "I had my moments of fame. But I'm comfortable in my infamy."

One can't help but notice the photos in Mia's home. Or at least in her living room, as she does not let people wander about her home. In her living room, one can spy the pictures of her life: a framed photo of an empty frame; a cropped picture of a frame with Dean Martin; Roman Polanski giving her direction, with a hot tub in the background.

"My life has been rich," she replies when I ask about these pictures.

"What was it like to be served with divorce papers by Sinatra while on set?"

"Well. When I finished off that movie screaming 'What have you done with his eyes' I wasn't actually asking about the damned baby. Sinatra was--"

"Known for his eyes." I nodded. Noted.

Asked the question I'd wanted to ask: "So you defend Roman Polanski. You gave a deposition defending a child-molester, right?"

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