Olympia Dukakis was a well respected Broadway actor long before the rest of the world caught up with her when she won an Oscar & Golden Globe for playing Cher’s mother in the movie Moonstruck in 1987. She is actually just 15 years older than her movie daughter who she very famously screamed at in the film ‘your life is going down the toilet.’
Two years later Dukakis confirmed her status as a ‘diva’ beloved by the LGBTQ community when she appearesd in the all-female campy classic Steel Magnolias alongside Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts.
However it was Dukakis’ performance as Anna Madrigal the mysterious pot-smoking transgendered landlady in the TV adaption of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City that elevated her to her current ‘iconic’ status. As Mrs Madrigal the matriarch of 28 Barbary Lane she guided the lives of the eclectic group of tenants who so needed her unconventional help.
Now finally there is a new documentary from Harry Mavromichalis called OLYMPIA that pays homage to the actress and gives an unfiltered look at her life today Starting on the day she turns eighty and continuing for three years, we see her navigating between rehearsals, workshops, family life, and finally the journey to her ancestral home in Greece.
Dukakis is nothing less than candid throughout and allows newcomer Mavromichalis’s camera to capture her in moments of vulnerability as she deals with current personal issues and those that haunted her past too.
It’s impossible not to be swept away by the sheer charm of this “octogenarian motherfucker” but more importantly this highly personal profile makes us really appreciate her superb talent even more.
P.S. Later this year Miss Dukakis will be reprising Anna Madrigal for a new series of Tales of the City which Netflix will air in 2019!!!
WORLD PREMIERE SCREENING AT DOC NYC on Sunday, November 11 at 6:30 pm at SVA Theatre (School of Visual Arts) 333 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 (Between 8 and 9 Avenues) To check out future screenings: https://www.olympiathefilm.com