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Teresa Wright

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Interview: Excerpt 1

Reminiscences of Teresa Wright

New York, June 1959

On Publicity

Q: Did you ever feel that your publicity was badly handled?

No -- the worse part of its bad handling is that it hasn't been handled. I have at times tried to do something, but I find that I just cannot go along with publicity items. I don't take to it and it just isn't for me. On the other hand, again, I am a product trying to sell myself, and therefore it is an important part of selling. But that's one of the places that I have fallen down, and I find this almost impossible to solve. It's an area that in a way I have failed in. I find it hard to sell myself, and yet, that's what you should do if you're in the business.

With the old system, the studios did it for you -- making stars -- and generally speaking, they did it with some success.

Q: Do you mean selling yourself personally, or getting involved in big campaigns?

Well, there are so many ways to sell, and all of them imply a certain amount of cooking up something, because there isn't that much true stuff about any one person to say. What are you going to say? "So and so's doing a television show next month." Well, so what? So watch it. I've always felt that work has to speak for itself, but that isn't enough if you're going to sell a product. You don't say this car will sell itself on the market; it may be a perfectly good car but it has to be advertised. It's just easier to advertise a car than a person, particularly if that person happens to be yourself. So I find that I fight that element of it, which is in fact, an important part of being an actress.

© 1959 Columbia University and the Oral History Research Office

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