Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Discuss the latest Avonlea actor, actress, and crew related news.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by belgrade-boy » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:36 pm

O my, I don't know what to say about all this. I just read that Polley is ashamed of RTA and she thinks its horrible, and honestly I was a bit sad to hear that :cry:
Ok, I get that she is old now, and that she has all rights to have her opinions and share them in public, but I think she shouldn't say this for RTA. I don't know any people who thought RTA was horrible (even those who didn't watch it on TV never said it's horrible, just they're not interested).
And Sarah Polley surely hurt RTA fans and people working on that project. I think she was awsome in RTA, especialy in first and second season where we saw how talented she is, and how young, and I think that it helped her in her acting career after it, eventhough she thinks the series themselves were bad and horrible, she doesn't have anything to feel embarrassed with since she didn't make storylines, and she had the great chance to show us her acting talent.
I really can't understand her :(

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by hannikan » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:13 pm

All right I have not weighed in on this yet because I have had mixed feelings about it and Sarah Polley for awhile. Mostly I feel badly for her since I think she was robbed of her childhood, not by RTA so much as all her previous work. She was working in the film/TV industry since she was 4. She has a long resume of work before RTA which she started when she was 11. That is just really not a healthy thing for a child. I'm guessing that she didn't have much of a family life either, which is even sadder. Her parents were both in the industry and then her mother died. In a way, her role as Sara Stanley just came at a terrible time since she was playing a character who lost her mother at the same time she was grieving this happening to her in real life. While it provided some very moving moments on screen, that had to take a toll on her. This was a show that focused on family and community I almost wonder if she could even relate to that all. I mean she was close to her mother, I think, but how much did she get to see her parents. Did she have a happy relationship with her father? I don't know but I am just speculating . To her RTA seemed cheesy and unrealistic but none of us and most of the cast did not feel that it was. Everyone has different tastes in TV and movies. Hers may have always been more raw, edgy, contemporary. But some of us here like those types of pieces in addition to RTA. Maybe she just couldn't feel a connection to if she had a limited experience with a loving family spending time together. Since she is really the only one of the children to complain about the show I do not think they worked under unhealthy conditions on set, I think she was just unhappy. She was unhappy in general, and she probably would have been mad about whatever she had been obligated to do at that time. I think she felt isolated and alone and that is why she wanted a normal life, including school.

She was a unconventional person even as a child so she probably would have rebelled against most types of conventional structure in society. She was politically active from a young age, protesting things she felt were unjust. I admire her for that. Honestly, she might have hated traditional school, too. She was bright and creative and wanted to change the world of the 1990's. The setting of RTA is the early 1900's, a time when there were a lot of restrictions on people (esp women). I think the show does a wonderful job of exploring what ppl did despite these restrictions and helps us connect with a time we never lived in but I could see where the premise of the show would be the opposite of what she was interested in by the time she was 14/15/16. It's clear that Gema and Zachary Bennett enjoyed playing Felicity and Felix so it's good the show could change gears to focus on them. Sarah had wanted out of her contract by the end of the 2nd season and she was obligated under contract to stay for 3 more years. That's a long time when you're a teenager and want to pursue other things. And reflecting back now, she's only really going to remember how she felt then. So she asked to be written down or that her character be given less focus so she would be freer to do other stuff. One thing it did though was make Sara kind of boring and lack direction. I wouldn't have wanted to play Sara btwn S3-4 at all. I think it may have made her feel even more trapped that she wasn't being challenged in the role. And sometimes they seemed to kind of tack on things that they thought might bring her interest in but that didn't make sense for her character. Basically it was unfortunate and it's unfortunate that she still has animosity about her time on the show. Hopefully she will heal from whatever happened in the past and maybe if she builds her own family (she is married but doesn't have children yet AFAIK) she will start to see what the rest of us do in this show that we love.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by weatherman15 » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:31 pm

I agree that she was probably unhappy in the role by season 3 and beyond, but from what I've read, I'm not sure she dislikes RTA as a whole. I think she dislikes her performance and character, mostly. Adolescence is an awkward phase for a lot of teens and I'm sure it was even tougher for her being in the public eye in a well known television role and the death of her mother. It's really too bad that she wasn't really in the position to flourish in the role of Sara Stanley...

I digress a little here, so I apologize in advance for moving slightly off topic...

I think the writers on RTA did a great job of naturally shifting the story line from Sara to the King family. Although, it's a bit disappointing to get to season 5 (Sarah Polley's last as a regular) and not see Sara Stanley much. Even though she's billed at the top of each episode, she barely appears in half of the episodes that season. At the very start of the season it's more understandable that she's visiting Nanny Louisa in Montreal for summer vacation. But later in the season in the midst of winter (and the school year) she's visiting Nanny Louisa yet again... out of town quite a bit for someone who should be in school... Aunt Hetty wouldn't be one to let her just skip out of town at the expense of missing school...

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by hannikan » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:55 pm

weatherman15 wrote:I agree that she was probably unhappy in the role by season 3 and beyond, but from what I've read, I'm not sure she dislikes RTA as a whole. I think she dislikes her performance and character, mostly. Adolescence is an awkward phase for a lot of teens and I'm sure it was even tougher for her being in the public eye in a well known television role and the death of her mother. It's really too bad that she wasn't really in the position to flourish in the role of Sara Stanley...

I digress a little here, so I apologize in advance for moving slightly off topic...

I think the writers on RTA did a great job of naturally shifting the story line from Sara to the King family. Although, it's a bit disappointing to get to season 5 (Sarah Polley's last as a regular) and not see Sara Stanley much. Even though she's billed at the top of each episode, she barely appears in half of the episodes that season. At the very start of the season it's more understandable that she's visiting Nanny Louisa in Montreal for summer vacation. But later in the season in the midst of winter (and the school year) she's visiting Nanny Louisa yet again... out of town quite a bit for someone who should be in school... Aunt Hetty wouldn't be one to let her just skip out of town at the expense of missing school...
She has mentioned the show was not something she would watch. That is a diplomatic way of saying she did not think it was good. I know there's more overt examples of her dislike for the show but she did like her castmates a lot and thought of much of the adult cast (and probably some of the crew) as mentors so I think that means she did find some value in the experience.

The fact that Sara is gone in the latter half of the 5th season makes sense to me because she was supposed to be finishing up at Avonlea School. She was looking into different avenues for her future and I think she was probably sending in school work by correspondence. This is the time she would have decided she wanted to write professionally and go to L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts de Cluny in Paris which she announces early in season 6.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by weatherman15 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:42 am

She has mentioned the show was not something she would watch. That is a diplomatic way of saying she did not think it was good. I know there's more overt examples of her dislike for the show but she did like her castmates a lot and thought of much of the adult cast (and probably some of the crew) as mentors so I think that means she did find some value in the experience.
I do some television, and if she's anything like me, she probably hates watching herself. That may be another reason why she wouldn't watch the show. I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, because it's not like I can ask Sarah Polley personally. :wink:
The fact that Sara is gone in the latter half of the 5th season makes sense to me because she was supposed to be finishing up at Avonlea School. She was looking into different avenues for her future and I think she was probably sending in school work by correspondence. This is the time she would have decided she wanted to write professionally and go to L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts de Cluny in Paris which she announces early in season 6.
That does make sense. I guess Hetty would let Sarah do her work by correspondence knowing her special circumstances of managing the fortune that she will eventually inherit. Plus, I'm sure Hetty's not disappointed to find she wants to write (following in the footsteps of her and Olivia).

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Timothy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:42 am

weatherman15 wrote:
She has mentioned the show was not something she would watch. That is a diplomatic way of saying she did not think it was good. I know there's more overt examples of her dislike for the show but she did like her castmates a lot and thought of much of the adult cast (and probably some of the crew) as mentors so I think that means she did find some value in the experience.
I do some television, and if she's anything like me, she probably hates watching herself. That may be another reason why she wouldn't watch the show. I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, because it's not like I can ask Sarah Polley personally. :wink:
Not only does she think the show is embarrassing, but she also thinks it's "horrible." During an interview with Daniel Robert Epstein, Sarah Polley was asked how she was perceived in Canada. This was her response (Overt reference in 3-2-1):

Polley: I think it's a complicated relationship because when I was little I was on that sugary sweet horrible kid's show called Road to Avonlea. So a lot of people watched the show growing up. On the one hand they wanted me to stay that way but then I got political which isn't frowned upon there. Sometimes I think people just want me to shut up.

By calling the entire series horrible, she insults eveyone who worked on the show.

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by belgrade-boy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:06 pm

Yes, that sounds quite bad. I think a TV person shouldn't say something like that, especialy if he/she speaks about show he/she worked in, so many people got to know them through the show, and so many of them actually like it. But anyway, she has her opinion. I'm sad to hear that she thinks it was bad.
Sugary sweet kid's show ? Well we may say the same for Disney cassics like "Cinderella" and "Little Mermaid" aren't we ? There must be some ''sugary sweet'' things to watch on TV, or miss Polley thinks kids should watch "Sex and the City" ?

Why I like RTA is that it has no bad and vulgar sceenes and happenings, no violence, ... and there are not many series like that now. Even old people could learn something from this show, and it was not just for kids IMO.

About Sara Stanley - I think it was not wise that series starts with her being the main character and Avonlea saw from Sara's 'eyes' at bigining. Because when I watched it first time, I loved Sara, and then she started to dissapear more and more, turning to a boring character doing nothing in later seasons, and finally dissapears at all. And loosing a main character is always hard in series - no matter they really made a cool stories about others (Hetty, Felicity-Gus story etc).

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Shelly » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:41 pm

hannikan wrote:All right I have not weighed in on this yet because I have had mixed feelings about it and Sarah Polley for awhile. Mostly I feel badly for her since I think she was robbed of her childhood, not by RTA so much as all her previous work. She was working in the film/TV industry since she was 4. She has a long resume of work before RTA which she started when she was 11. That is just really not a healthy thing for a child. I'm guessing that she didn't have much of a family life either, which is even sadder. Her parents were both in the industry and then her mother died. In a way, her role as Sara Stanley just came at a terrible time since she was playing a character who lost her mother at the same time she was grieving this happening to her in real life. While it provided some very moving moments on screen, that had to take a toll on her. This was a show that focused on family and community I almost wonder if she could even relate to that all. I mean she was close to her mother, I think, but how much did she get to see her parents. Did she have a happy relationship with her father? I don't know but I am just speculating . To her RTA seemed cheesy and unrealistic but none of us and most of the cast did not feel that it was. Everyone has different tastes in TV and movies. Hers may have always been more raw, edgy, contemporary. But some of us here like those types of pieces in addition to RTA. Maybe she just couldn't feel a connection to if she had a limited experience with a loving family spending time together. Since she is really the only one of the children to complain about the show I do not think they worked under unhealthy conditions on set, I think she was just unhappy. She was unhappy in general, and she probably would have been mad about whatever she had been obligated to do at that time. I think she felt isolated and alone and that is why she wanted a normal life, including school.
THIS.

The following was transcribed from a radio interview Sarah did in 2001 (CBC Radio One's This Morning, hosted by Shelagh Rogers)...
Sarah Polley: ....I was sort of, like, a cutesy little child actor until I was about eleven. And then my mum died; and then my acting got really, really good. And I think, there's something wrong with that, actually; you know, that's not acting. And all of a sudden, there's all these crying scenes on Road to Avonlea that I'm fantastic at; and it's sort of like, you know, there's something really, really wrong with that; and I'd sort of think that probably wasn't really the best way for me to be dealing with those emotions at that time.

Shelagh Rogers: But at the same time, just thinking about what you said earlier about how your activism allows you to express something, and your acting allows you to express something, that all, sort of, points toward being a full human being.

Sarah: Mmm-hmmm.

Shelagh: Maybe it's not such a bad thing.

Sarah: Well, I think the problem is, though, it's like, you can't have, like, a catharsis with those kinds of emotions if they're provoked by someone else. If there's thirty adults standing around, waiting to get on with their day and wrap up and making you cry, and there's pressure on you to cry, then it's kind of...like a forced experience and not necessarily a good one; and it's done under a kind of pressure. And even if it's a nice environment in the world, you can't take away the fact that, you know, you're a little kid, and you're looking for thirty adults' approval, and you'll kind of do anything to get it. And...there's also this thing of, you know, from a very early age, being congratulated and getting approval by being somebody else while you're still forming your sense of, like, identity, and growing up, and all that other crap....And often, you know, with young girls...whenever I see kids on set, it's like, young girls looking at directors, like men, older men,...and getting approval for becoming someone else. There's... something a little bit off about that, I think....
hannikan also wrote:She was a unconventional person even as a child so she probably would have rebelled against most types of conventional structure in society. She was politically active from a young age, protesting things she felt were unjust. I admire her for that. Honestly, she might have hated traditional school, too.
Post-RTA she went to an "alternative school" in Toronto. Need I say more? ;)
hannikan also wrote:She was bright and creative and wanted to change the world of the 1990's. The setting of RTA is the early 1900's, a time when there were a lot of restrictions on people (esp women). I think the show does a wonderful job of exploring what ppl did despite these restrictions and helps us connect with a time we never lived in but I could see where the premise of the show would be the opposite of what she was interested in by the time she was 14/15/16. It's clear that Gema and Zachary Bennett enjoyed playing Felicity and Felix so it's good the show could change gears to focus on them. Sarah had wanted out of her contract by the end of the 2nd season and she was obligated under contract to stay for 3 more years. That's a long time when you're a teenager and want to pursue other things. And reflecting back now, she's only really going to remember how she felt then. So she asked to be written down or that her character be given less focus so she would be freer to do other stuff. One thing it did though was make Sara kind of boring and lack direction. I wouldn't have wanted to play Sara btwn S3-4 at all. I think it may have made her feel even more trapped that she wasn't being challenged in the role. And sometimes they seemed to kind of tack on things that they thought might bring her interest in but that didn't make sense for her character. Basically it was unfortunate and it's unfortunate that she still has animosity about her time on the show. Hopefully she will heal from whatever happened in the past and maybe if she builds her own family (she is married but doesn't have children yet AFAIK) she will start to see what the rest of us do in this show that we love.
Yeah; no kids yet, but she does want kids.
belgrade-boy wrote:I think a TV person shouldn't say something like that, especialy if he/she speaks about show he/she worked in, so many people got to know them through the show, and so many of them actually like it. But anyway, she has her opinion.
Would you rather she lie, then? I'd rather have her tell the truth about what she felt, even if it's not a rosy picture, than lie and say it was the best experience she ever had when it wasn't.

Look, I don't think RTA sucks, either. However, I'm also not "hurt" by the fact Sarah found it "horrible"; again, I'd rather she be upfront about it. You don't expect other actors to be proud of every project they do (even if you liked it), do you? Why should it be any different for RTA?
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by StoryJan » Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:08 pm

Has Sarah made any recent public comments about RTA? Recent meaning in the last year or two? It seems most of her negative RTA comments are now dated, and I've often wondered if her feelings about the show would change as she grew older. Semi-recently, she has presented Jackie Burroughs with several awards, and from what I've seen, they appear to have a respectable friendship. I also thought it was interesting KS mentioned Sarah Polley's name when asked about a RTA reunion. I don't see her participating, but the mere fact that KS would include her name with the others speaks volumes.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by hannikan » Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:45 pm

StoryJan wrote:Has Sarah made any recent public comments about RTA? Recent meaning in the last year or two? It seems most of her negative RTA comments are now dated, and I've often wondered if her feelings about the show would change as she grew older. Semi-recently, she has presented Jackie Burroughs with several awards, and from what I've seen, they appear to have a respectable friendship. I also thought it was interested KS mentioned Sarah Polley's name when asked about a RTA reunion. I don't see her participating, but the mere fact that KS would include her name with the others speaks volumes.
I think she has recently but she also always seemed to greatly respect her castmates and really looked up to the adult women on set, like Lally, Mag and Jackie. So I don't think that's surprising at all she would be happy to present an award with her. We have to remember that all the cast (esp the older generation) has a huge body of work outside of RTA for Sara to admire them for, as well. As for KS mentioning her, I'm sure that although she's made negative comments about the show and at least indirectly at him, he admires her for her talent as an actor and director.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Shelly » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:59 pm

StoryJan wrote:Has Sarah made any recent public comments about RTA? Recent meaning in the last year or two? It seems most of her negative RTA comments are now dated, and I've often wondered if her feelings about the show would change as she grew older.
The quote at the start of the thread was from a SuicideGirls interview from 2003. Every negative comment she's made about the show I've found is from between 2001 and 2003. I don't think it's come up in the last few years, actually.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Timothy » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:10 pm

Shelly wrote:The quote at the start of the thread was from a SuicideGirls interview from 2003. Every negative comment she's made about the show I've found is from between 2001 and 2003. I don't think it's come up in the last few years, actually.
The "embarrassing" quote at the start of this particular thread was from September 2006 shortly after completing 'Away From Her.'

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Shelly » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:05 pm

Aaah! I was thinking of the original "Polley calls Avonlea 'horrible' thread"; and that one did start with the quote from a SuicideGirls interview. Methinks I merged the two in my head.

My bad.

Still, though, it's been quite a while.
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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by GreenTree » Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:46 pm

I think the quote may have been misinterpreted. I think she was just making a joke that it was embarrissing that she had to go through puberty in period clothing. I don't think she was necesarily saying the whole series was an embarrassment.

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Re: Polley embarrassed by Avonlea

Post by Felixthecat50 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:32 pm

Now now...we all think we WANT to do something when we are waiting incessantly just to do it. Sarah Polley wanted to be an actress and wanted to do Road to Avonlea possibly very badly. Wen she finally did it, she realized she didn't enjoy it. Then all she wanted to do was go to school, when she finally got that, she found out she didn't want it nearly as bad as something else.

We're all like that, we're no one to judge her. I'm a good example...all I wanted to do growing up was music. So I started college as a music major, the first semester I quit and switched to history...then I dropped out of college altogether and went to another one. I finished majoring in film, now all I want to do is go back to music again! Ahh!

Life itself is a conundrum, I will never figure out why we do the things we do. Only that we are human and make mistakes constantly because we're all bumbling through life.

She is also entitled to her own opinion of Road to Avonlea, just like many other audiences were at the time. I personally disagree with her if she thinks Avonlea was a poor family or kids' show, but I understand that not everyone is going to love the things I do.

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