Photo: 20th Century Fox
Plucked from acting obscurity at age 19, Millie Perkins landed the role of a lifetime, starring as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. In celebration of the Oscar®-winning film's 50th anniversary, Millie reflects on her experience making the movie and what it means to the world today.
Erin J. Shea: You were chosen to play the role of Anne over thousands of other girls. What drew you to such an intense role at such an early age?
Millie Perkins: I always looked younger than I was. I had just started modeling in New York City, and I wasn't even interested in acting. I never even saw the play. (Director) George Stevens saw my photos and asked the people from 20th Century in New York to give me an interview test. Afterward, I left for London and Paris for some modeling assignments, and while I was gone they called me and asked me to come to California. I was reluctant. It seemed silly to be an actress! I turned them down at first, and they couldn't understand why I wasn't mad for Hollywood. Two months later, George offered me the part. Once I got involved in the movie, and understood the story, I understood Anne Frank and I knew who she was. Her story hit me in my heart and soul, and there was no question in my mind that I would do it and do it right.
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