Fort Worth’s Harriet Sansom Harris Plays Eleanor Roosevelt in Netflix’s Hollywood


Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix collection Hollywood creates an alternate post-World War II Hollywood and highlights the unfair methods afflicting folks of various races, genders and sexualities. Many of these methods are nonetheless in place right this moment, however Murphy imagines what Hollywood might have seemed like had they been damaged aside.

Part of Hollywood‘s plot issues an aspiring screenwriter named Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope) who writes a screenplay impressed by the true story of Peg Entwistle, a younger girl who killed herself by leaping off the H of the Hollywood signal. Coleman later decides to rewrite the story, making it a few younger black girl named Meg, and he modifies the ending to be happier. Although studio head Avis Amberg (Patti LuPone) at first refuses to let Coleman change the screenplay, she is persuaded by Eleanor Roosevelt (Harriet Sansom Harris) to take action.

Harris seems solely in the fourth episode of the restricted collection, however she is vital in the shift of the collection’ plot.

The Fort Worth native first performed Eleanor Roosevelt on Broadway in a Paul Rudnick play referred to as Rude Entertainment. Because its opening date coincided with 9/11, the satirical play had a brief life.

“Because it was a satire, I wanted to read a lot about her,” Harris says. “Even though we were doing something different, I wanted to have the foundations of what she stood for or why these things would be funny if Eleanor Roosevelt were behaving this way.”

Harris says she thinks of Eleanor Roosevelt incessantly. She admires her outspokenness and the way she stood for equality.

“I wish we had somebody who was so unafraid to speak her mind right now.” – Harriet Sansom Harris

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In the past, Harris had auditioned for Murphy for a role on Nip/Tuck. She didn’t get the role and wouldn’t work with Murphy again until 2018, when she appeared on an episode of American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Later, Murphy approached her to play Roosevelt.

“I found that flattering because she’s such an incredible woman,” Harris says. “I didn’t think anything I had to offer would be anything like Eleanor. But you know, I guess that’s where acting comes in.”

Harris attended Arlington Heights High School and Fort Worth Country Day School. Her mom was an artwork instructor who inspired her act starting at a younger age. Harris says performing was a approach out of herself.

“The arts are very important in Fort Worth and Dallas,” Harris says. “You might have a child that wants to be a writer or a child that wants to be an actress or a musician. It’s something that you really have to fight for in some places.”

Harris praises DFW for its museums and artwork instruction in colleges, however says there will not be sufficient artwork packages in colleges throughout the nation.

“Fort Worth was a small enough town for me to figure out what I wanted to do,” Harris says. “And it turned out that what I could do took me out of Fort Worth. It didn’t necessarily have to, but it just ended up being that way.”

When she’s away from Texas, Harris says she misses the sounds of the town. Since Fort Worth is comparatively flat, she might all the time get a fantastic view of the sky. She misses the pure components of Texas, and he or she has nice reminiscences of sitting on trails with dinosaur footprints as a toddler.

“Of course, I miss the people, too,” Harris says, “but that can be remedied by a visit.”

Hollywood will not be the final time Harris performs Roosevelt. She can also be set to play her in a brand new collection referred to as Atlantic Crossing, which is scheduled to premiere later this 12 months. She assures followers that she is going to by no means flip down a chance to play Roosevelt.

“I wish we had somebody who was so unafraid to speak her mind right now,” Harris says “She had a way of speaking to power and privilege, and she had the command and respect of so many people.”

Harris may even have a task in Ratched, a Netflix collection impressed by Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Like Hollywood, Ratched was additionally produced by Ryan Murphy.

“He’s such a wonderful writer,” Harris says of Murphy. “The stories are always compelling and they’re always excellently cast. I think he just figures out what certain actors can do and what their range is and then he likes to test the limits of it.”

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