Behind the Scenes, Getty Villa, J. Paul Getty Museum

Video: Pamela Reed on Working with Carey Perloff and Olympia Dukakis

Pamela Reed rips into the role of murderous queen Clytemnestra in Sophocles’ Elektra with gusto. She creates a character that reviewers have described as despicable, divalike, suave, snarky, and imperious—in short, a perfect and delicious villain.

In this video, Reed talks about working at the Getty Villa, describes her previous work with director Carey Perloff on Ezra Pound’s version of Elektra (which the disturbed poet produced as a patient at a mental institution), and reflects on the intersections between her career and that of Olympia Dukakis, who plays the Chorus. At 3:43 she also explains why, despite decades of success in film and television, theater is “her very first love.”

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      From you have I been absent in the spring,
      When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
      Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
      That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him,
      Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
      Of different flowers in odor and in hue,
      Could make me any summer’s story tell,
      Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
      Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
      Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
      They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
      Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
      Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
      As with your shadow I with these did play.

      —William Shakespeare, born April 23, 1564

      Vase of Flowers (detail), 1722, Jan van Huysum. The J. Paul Getty Museum

      04/23/14

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