Unknown Magazine - December 1985

Mary Stuart Masterson: Dying To Act
Written by Margy Rochlin


Despite her tender years, red-headed actress Masterson is clearly a pro. "When you're an actor," she says, "you have to accept that there are always going to be about a million people around you doing things like rigging a bag of blood to your chest or shoving a powder puff up your nose."

The daughter of actor-writer-director Peter Masterson and actress Carlin Glynn, Masterson made her feature-film debut at the age of eight in The Stepford Wives. She didn't come to public attention, though, until her appearance in Heaven Help Us, in which she stole scene after scene as Andrew McCarthy's streetwise girlfriend.

Earlier this year, the 19-year-old won critical acclaim for her portrayal of a young girl dying of cancer in the ABC-TV movie Love Lives On, co-starring Christine Lahti and Sam Waterston. In her latest film, At Close Range (to be released in February), Masterson will once again be forced to confront the Grim Reaper. Based upon a true story, she is cast as the teenage lover of a small-town hood (played by Sean Penn) whose involvement with a burglary-and-smuggling ring led by his father (played by Christopher Walken) leads to her tragic demise. Does she mind her tendency toward playing short-lived characters? "I just hope I'm not like a cat," she says. "It would limit my deaths."