Roundtable Interview with Vanessa
Star of “Gimme Shelter”
, January 9, 2014
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Presbyterian
When you went down to the chapel, and when Apple met with the Chaplain,
what passage were you reading?
(awkward pause) Uh, you know, I can’t remember.
: He said “Turn to page 71,” but
for those of us who are Bible students, what you read didn’t compute with
what page 71 would have been about…..
It’s a different translation! (everyone
laughs) I honestly don’t remember.
: Did you have any conversations with
the real “Apple” about the nature of her relationship with the chaplain?
I mean, James Earl Jones was only in three scenes.
not necessarily. I feel like the
religion and faith aspect is something I see more so now, after being able to
see what it’s doing to people and the way it’s connecting with people.
But in the present moment, that wasn’t necessarily my focus….during
the birthing scene, that was the moment when I really felt something powerful
and moving, beyond acting, when they placed that baby on my chest, and I
started crying, even though I knew it wasn’t my baby.
: Was that enough to turn you into a
(laughs) I mean, I believe….Oh, man…What I think is irrelevant because
it’s about Apple and about her story and about the women who have been
through this and their story. I’m
simply a vessel to be able to get their story out there.
: You proved that in “High School
Musical,” and you just did it again!
: That scene toward the end, where
you’re driving off with your Dad, and you’re feeling this ambivalence
because you want to go back to the home….
: How did you tap into that kind of
mean, it’s….sisterhood prevails, it really does.
When you find your family, that’s where you’re going to be,
that’s where home is. So even though,
yes, she had a lot sitting there waiting for her at her father’s, it was the
connection that she was searching for her entire life, to be loved….For
Apple, I think it was a clear choice.
: Do you think Apple didn’t trust her
Dad’s change of heart?
think that she did trust him, but she didn’t trust herself.
It’s hard to really put your faith in other people if you don’t
have faith in yourself. So I think her
thing is just giving herself time to figure out who she is, who she wants to
be, and then be able to give that back to her family and build that
relationship there. Because she already
came to her family at the shelter as a broken person, and they already know
her for that, and they accept her for that. And
I feel like, for her father, she wants to live up to a certain expectation;
she wants to be something for him. And
it’s growth, I think; her being comfortable in her own life, in her own
: What do you think of Apple doing with
with the baby?
: She still has no visible means of
support, and now she has a baby.
think she stays at the shelter and just learns how to become a better mother.
At the shelter, they offer so many things—bible study, education, a
safe place to be---and that’s something she never had.
It’s her coming into the world again, in a more normal and regulated
manner. And learning how to love.
That’s why she needs the support of the girls.
: But how would she make a living?
lot of the girls are studying to be nurses at that shelter, and I see her
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister, St.
Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,