Part of “Old Info And News”
Elizabeth Mitchell is lounging in bed at home, watching cartoons and basically having good ol’ time. “The older ones make me really happy,” she says over the phone from Los Angeles, “Like Roadrunner or Scooby Doo – although not when Scrappy joined the show.” Not usually much of a couch potato, the 30-year-old actor feels she’s earned a respite after completing back-to-back projects. Best known for her role opposite Angelina Jolie in HBO’s 1998 biopic Gia, Mitchell is currently appearing in the time-warping thriller Frequency with Dennis Quaid, and this fall she’ll be see in Neil LaBute’s (in the Company of Men) latest, Nurse Betty. But Sunday 21 on CBS, she has her first starring role in the latest in a string of music-related TV movie, The Linda McCartney Story.
The film follows the 30-year marriage of the former Beatle and the aspiring American photographer. “I didn’t have any idea they’d spent only 11 nights apart,” says Mitchell of the McCartneys. “I didn’t know what a love story it was, and that’s what our movie focuses on.”
According to Mitchell, the film, which comes only two years after McCartney’s death from breast cancer, was a real labour of love for all involved. “There’s nothing in the film that hasn’t been printed,” says Mitchell. “We worked our tails off to make everything accurate and respectful as possible.”
Mitchell admits she had reservation about playing the role, but she accepted the part after she was assured the film would not be a sensationalist Behind the Music-style portraits. She was also aware of McCartney’s many living relatives who might see the film – Paul included. “We tried to keep it so that if he happened to see it,” she says, “or if other family members happen to see it, it would be something that they would be proud of than horrified by.” Plus according to Mitchell “You don’t often get to play this span of a life and this charming of a person. I just had to.”
Mitchell ahs been an actor since she was seven years old. She performed at Dallas Theatre Center in her hometown, and subsequently studied acting both at Stephens College and the British American Drama Academy. Although she has numerous theatre credits, Mitchell’s previous forays into television have included two quickly cancelled series (L.A. Firefighters and Significant Others). At this point, she’s just “searching for the right part” – on either stage or screen. “I really want to do a comedy. I think I’ve found one that’s really dark – it’s bitchy and kind of wonderful,” she says with giggles. If all else fails, maybe a voice-over gig for one those beloved cartoons? “I would love to do that, “Mitchell says, sounding surprisingly sincere. “I could be Scooby – and I got Donal Duck Down.”