One of the many surprising charms of “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” is the warm performance from Lesley Stahl, who plays herself to interview the eponymous seashell. Marcel’s love of “60 Minutes” is a key element of the story, and in many ways the film turns into a tribute to journalists like Stahl.
That was news to her. The legendary “60 Minutes” reporter thought she was just making a cameo and didn’t realize what an important role she played until she saw the finished movie. She recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about her surprise at seeing such a positive portrayal of herself.
“You know, I did my part and went and interviewed Marcel, which was peculiar to say the least as it was interviewing an inanimate object, a little half-inch plastic object,” Stahl said. “That was one thing, and then come to find out how I was being portrayed, which I had no idea was coming.”
When the time came to watch the film with some of her co-workers, Stahl found herself embarrassed that she invited colleagues to see a movie that heaps so much praise on her.
“The first time I saw the film was in a little studio with other people. I had no idea what was coming or that I was being described as ‘fearless’ and ‘heroic,’” she said. “I was stunned and a little embarrassed. I blushed. No one saw it because we were in the dark. Shari [Finkelstein of ’60 Minutes’] was there, and I had invited some of our colleagues to come and see it with me, but then I was embarrassed that I’d asked them to come see such a love letter to me. I was really surprised.”
Despite the surprise and slight embarrassment about the way the film flatters her, Stahl had nothing but positive things to say about the experience of working on and watching the movie.
“But when I saw the movie — I’ve seen it twice now and am going a third time soon with my grandchildren, who haven’t seen it yet — I wondered if anybody else had made the connection that you have. The whole experience of seeing it has been out-of-body. There were these waves of connections within my body about being presented the way I was. It’s thrilling.”
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” is now playing in theaters.
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