Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy - A film by Val Kilmer


Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy is a spiritual genius. Fearless, stunning, tenacious, she has achieved fame and fortune as a best-selling author and sought-after healer. Her most outspoken critic and admirer is the sharp-tongued and irreverent Mark Twain who calls her “garrulous, ungrammatical and naively and everlastingly self-contradictory” but concedes that she is “the most daring and masterful woman that ever lived, and the most extraordinary.”

  • Leave a comment to suggest an actor for this role

409 Responses to “Mary Baker Eddy”

  1. Val says:

    +1 Mary Steenburgen

  2. Joanna says:

    Madeleine Stowe would be perfect given the description. She is the woman who played Cora in Last of the Mohicans. The eyes….and the sharp tongue and strength say she could really do something with this role.

  3. Marnie says:

    Tilda Swinton, Carrie-Anne Moss are great actresses and resemble MBE. I also love Sandra Bullock and could see her in the role, too. She is a very dedicated actress and a very sincere, loving, honest person in real life.

  4. Leiza says:

    Emma Thompson. Her intelligence and kindness always shines through the characters she plays. She’s also very graceful and strong.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I agree with Leiza, Emma Thompson would be amazing.

  6. Sally says:

    Meryl Streep
    Helen Mirren
    Jodie Foster
    Kate Blanchett
    Just a few suggestions of actresses who have played staunchly strong, yet gentle and loving, women.

  7. Tom says:

    Jennifer Ehle

  8. Tom says:

    Johnny Depp (he can do anything)

  9. Matt says:

    Frances McDormand,

    Miss Pettygrew lives for a day. Straight as a board charachter, unglamorous, carries a legendary story??

  10. Anne Provost says:

    In a vision I had the thought to ask Mary Baker Eddy who she would like to play her part. Not knowing that much about her life, being born into the Catholic faith, I felt she would know best who would best represent her incredible life story. Yesterday Life’s synchronicity brought Angelina Andria into my awareness. She even looks like Mary and her grandmother was a Christian Scientist. Check her out at Angelina Andria on Google and Yahoo search. I vote for an unknown like Oprah discovered the Oscar Award winning actress from “Precious”.

  11. Ian W says:

    Carrie-Anne Moss

  12. Karisma Wintak says:

    Susan Sarandon

  13. Kip says:

    This is a difficult decision, as I don’t believe anyone could fully understand or comprehend Mrs.Eddy or her mission. The actor would need to thoroughly study the Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as well as grasp its concepts which is no short order for human mind in addition to the entire volume of Prose Works as this answers a great deal of humanities questions regarding Bible mysteries and paradoxes the vitriol from the press and other clergyman as well as the people including her own family that turned against her.

    I agree Carry Ann Moss has a physical likeness to Mrs. Eddy but I am not so concerned about the physical likeness as i am the character of the individual. I would hope careful scrutiny and wisdom would bring the right individual to the role. As we are exploring a woman who loved mankind as Jesus did and healed as he did.

  14. If you want box office go with Streep. It all depends on your motive. The suggestion of Mary Steenburgen is interesting, as she did a great job in a little movie called Cross Creek where she portrayed the author of The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings). She was an author and had that fervor. I suppose you could get Ted Danson as a package deal.:) My heart says MBE should be a Christian Scientist and an unknown, so read me for the part.Put Robert Duvall in this movie and it will make many people so happy. Remember to be humble about this, and watch for unfoldment.

  15. Helen Mirren says:

    Helen Mirren is refined, royal, and meek.

  16. John says:

    How about Patricia Clarkson?

  17. Wally Wethe says:

    Many folks have told me that my mother, Joyce Wethe Robertson, a lifelong Christian Scientist, looks like MBE. Could she act like her? Bet she could!

  18. jan says:

    Amy Irving or Mary Steenburgen,

  19. Tim Drysdale says:

    Emma Thompson would be fantastic!

  20. Dana Gaubaz says:

    I think I might have to agree with Meryl Streep because she has played both strong demanding characters as well as soft tender characters and I feel that the Eddy character will have to be able to portray both almost simultaneously.

  21. Judy P says:

    Sissy Spacek!
    She could present Mrs. Eddy’s natural love for ALL mankind, Mrs. Eddy’s humble grace in metaphysical healing, and Mrs. Eddy’s sure and confident leadership in guiding Science through the many matter based storms to the light of Truth, infinite Mind.

  22. Wendy Ciarci says:

    I understand the need for a known female lead and Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson are tops on my list, but for character actors I would suggest Patricia Clarkson, Joan Allen or Judy Davis. All top notch!

  23. Kathy says:

    I suggest Susan Sarandon. Emma Thompson has a british accent, Meryl Streep (though a fantastic actress) just is too “Meryl” to be Mary Baker Eddy. But, I think Sarandon can pull it off.

  24. Geraldine Stewart says:

    Jennifer Connelly would be perfect

  25. Doris Temme says:

    I am adding someone whose life I believe was based upon Mary Baker Eddy’s philosophy of God and life. I have admired her since I was 12 years old and when I think of Mrs. Eddy, I think she would come closest.

    …Doris Day

    A Christian Scientist for 40 years or more.

  26. Mary says:

    How about Annette Bening? She has such gravity on the screen and such range. (She was unforgettable in “American Beauty” and “Being Julia”.) I love Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren and Cate Blanchett–but it seems like an American actress deserves to play the part. Joan Allen and Glenn Close can also play powerful and compelling characters…

  27. Michelle Guy says:

    How about Susan Sarandon

  28. Mari Horn says:

    Emma Thompson …

  29. Tami says:

    Firstly, the previous post about Emma Thompson’s accent is moot. She can do anything. But Streep! After Julia Child, can anyone doubt she can become her character seamlessly? I do get the other posters remarks about understanding enough of Science, but Val would be there to guide things back if the actress veered off course toward the scent of hokum or nuttiness…

  30. Chermai says:

    Susan Sarandon is a terrific idea. She has the ability to lose herself in a role. Remember her in Dead Man Walking? You never thought of Susan Sarandon once. Meryl is great, but we are always aware we are watching Meryl show her versatility. Another thought…you might think I’m crazy…but how about Betty White? She’s fierce when she’s funny…imagine her strength and timing in this dramatic role! And much closer to the right age.

  31. Andrew says:

    Having read the other postings here, I’ve noticed that few recommendations have taken into account the fact that the two protagonists of the film, Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) and Mark Twain (MT) are an octogenarian and a septuagenarian, respectively. (Recall that the story begins, according to the synopsis, in 1909 when MBE is 88 years old and MT 74. With this in mind, actresses such as Winger, Blanchett, Kidman, and Winslet are out of the question. They simply could not pull off the majesty and grace of MBE in her final years. With filmic realism what it is today, I believe that the appropriate actress to play the part of MBE should herself be of ripe and wise years. Even Streep and Mirren will need lots of makeup and rehearsing to be able to do this successfully. Here is an opportunity, in my opinion, to choose an actress in her late years as a testament to the very message that both Christian Science and its founder convey — namely, that age is not a law and thus need not limit one’s activity. Having founded the Christian Science Monitor newspaper during her last few years when she came out of semi-retirement at Pleasant View, NH and moved to Boston, MBE proved what she preached in spades. Another criterion from a purely external point of view is that the distinguishing facial characteristic of MBE that was immediately noticed and commented upon by numerous interviewers during her lifetime was her deep and intense blue eyes. Of course this was never captured by the photography of her day being only in black and white. Therefore, short of using phony contact lenses, the chosen actress to play MBE must have similar eyes if historical accuracy is to be respected. In conclusion, then, my vote goes to Judi Dench.

    As for playing MT, perhaps Kilmer can do it, but I wonder if here too it would not be better to let an older actor play the part since that would lend more authenticity to the undertaking.

  32. David Ring says:

    Hello Val or whomever reads this,

    Meryl Streep is a consummate actress and has a kind of spiritual depth that she brings to her parts. I also happen to like the work of Annette Bening, but I’m hoping you will work to find that ethereal thing that constitutes spiritual presence as it might be clearly conveyed (if it can be?) in the film medium….it is about Character with a capital “C” and Presence and conveying depth of thought from one world unfamiliar to most to another, this one. It would be wrong to play her as simply someone with an “indomitable will” though that may be the way the world would like to see it.

    MBE was relatively slight of build, but carried herself with authority and also spoke with that kind of loving firmness that is appropriate to “mother authority.” The age of the actress is of less importance than the fact that she is “seasoned,” has some degree of spiritual awareness and will rise to the demands of the part. What a fantastic opportunity for growth on an actor’s part as they work to “get the essence of this character!” Will she be able to discern what it means to ‘reflect’ the One Mind vs merely evoking one exceptional example of minds many or personality? It will also be important to convey the distinction she makes between the spiritual revelation of the ‘way’ of Christian Science as presented in her writings from any sense of it being the mere product of some great creative personal intellectual endeavor, say…as opposed to Twain’s admired and beloved literary works.

  33. Tina says:

    Joan Allen was great in Georgia O’Keefe – so I think she could rock this!

  34. Sue and Suzi says:

    Jessica Lang

  35. Susan Trumble says:

    Diane Lane

  36. Susan says:

    Patricia Clarkson, Joan Allen, or Cate Blanchett are good suggestions for Mary Baker Eddy. They are all extraordinary actors and strike me as highly intelligent as well.

  37. Sue says:

    Meryl Streep is the best actress for Mary Baker Eddy.

  38. Mari Horn says:

    Ok … yea … Judi Dench … or Emma Thompson …Can’t wait for the film to be available …

  39. mary says:

    yep the more I think about it….Judy Dench

  40. I was stunned at the convincing character Val created in Tombstone, as Doc Holiday. It was a unique and personal. Val as Mark Twain will turn out perfect.

    As to Mary Baker Eddy I have to say Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Mary Steenburgen or Helen Mirren. They have pure talent to wrap her character around them. I couldn’t choose one of them but I do know that Mary Baker Eddy will assist what ever actress is chosen, maybe she will pick the right one!

  41. Bethany Hanna says:

    Tricia Paoluccio.

  42. Kay says:

    Susan Sarandon

  43. Tacyann says:

    This photo of Mary reminds me of an older version of Holly Hunter when she played Ada in “The Piano”.

  44. Melinda says:

    Meryl Streep would be perfect for the role of MBE. She has a natural “gentle presence” about her. It must be someone who can make her real, honor the person, her work and her life.

  45. Jen says:

    Yes, I, like the person wrote above, think emma thompson would be fantastic. So versatile. Also, Meryl Streep of course. Just throwing this out there, but Angelica Houston might work as well.

  46. Jobie says:

    A few months ago another “blogger” mentioned, in so many words, that since nobody can reach Mary Baker Eddy’s waistbelt, scenes with Mrs. Eddy in them should be filmed from her point of view.
    I agree, and would add that actual photos of Mary Baker Eddy could be inserted effectually at key points of the film, and a voice over actress could portray the humanity of Mrs. Eddy through dialogue.
    This would set a good precedent for these reasons:
    1. Comparing an actresses’ portrayal to Mrs. Eddy’s character would draw focus from a central purpose of Mrs. Eddy’s work – to take the focus off the human concept of man to the divine Christly ideal of man, which is beyond human portrayal.
    2. What Mrs. Eddy wrote about Jesus may also “silence” “his Science, the curative agent of God” these days – if viewers get focused on the human portrayal of Mary Baker Eddy, rather than on her real role – as
    Discoverer and Founder of Christ’s Science. (Please see her book Science & Health, p.146, lines 15-18)

  47. April Dawn says:

    Val’s project is inspiring and I’d love to give my vote to Julia Louis Dreyfus.
    I saw her on a interview with James Lipton and she was wonderful. She opened up and shared about her experiences with; attending an all girls Catholic high-school,her career,and her convictions.
    She earned a Golden Globe,two Emmy’s,14 other awards, including 27 nominations. As well as, has had a lasting career, possesses a strong voice with good pronunciation, great facial expressions and body language,she captivates her audiences attention, has good timing and great energy, a great inner strength and probably a good following.
    God be with Val, as he directs and portrays Mark Twain and whoever gets the Mary Baker Eddy role.

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