Patricia Clarkson

At 47, with a half dozen movies in the works, Patricia Clarkson is on top ofthe world.

By Sara Vilkomerson; Photographed by Fabrizio Ferri

Keeps Getting Better

The sun is hanging low in the Southampton sky, and Clarkson has a ton to do. She’s about to fly to Barcelona to be directed by Woody Allen, and there’s the ongoing process of organizing and moving into her new apartment. She jokes about the big-money job she would be happy to take to pay the mortgage — "Please god, let there be a superhero movie in my future!" — but it’s clear that she’s living her life exactly the way she wants to. "I have more power than I used to," she says, citing the fact that she can insist on being lit to her best advantage on the set. "When a woman is in her 40s, she’s at the mercy of the director of photography, and I take that very seriously now. Especially if I’m playing a hot character, I need to look hot!"

"There are a lot of pretty women in Hollywood, and Patti is one of them. But few, if any, are as good as she is," Tucci says. "For this reason, she will outlast them all. She just keeps getting better."

As she closes in on 50, Clarkson says, "I think I’ve found peace. I am best in chaos, but I’ve found a kind of acceptance and joy in who and where I am and what I’ve been able to accomplish — and what I will never be able to accomplish. I think I have been a good friend, a good daughter, a good sister, a good girlfriend. But, you know, I’ve also failed at all these things at points in my life." She smiles and shrugs. "All I can do is hope that the failures are fewer and farther between." Then she laughs once more, throwing her head back. "Is it too early for wine?"

Originally published in MORE magazine, November 2007.

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