Ellen Burstyn: 'I can no longer make a living in Hollywood'

Ellen Burstyn feels she can no longer make a living in Hollywood, as big budget drama films aren't as popular anymore.

Screen legend Ellen Burstyn feels she can no longer make a living in Hollywood.

The Exorcist star, 83, was one of the most acclaimed stars of the of the 1970s, earning four Oscar nominations that decade and six in total, winning for her role as widowed mother Alice Wyatt in Martin Scorsese's 1974 road movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More.

However, the actress says she now cannot earn enough money in movies as she feels Hollywood studios are no longer prepared to take a risk and fund the realistic dramas that have marked her stellar career.

"I can no longer make a living as an actor doing these kinds of movies," she tells Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper. "With all the awards I've won you'd think that I'd at least be able to make a living. It's a really terrible situation."

Ellen, who was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar as recently as 2001 for her role as drug addicted widow Sara Goldfarb in Requiem For A Dream, is scathing about the state of filmmaking today, as she says there's only a mass audience and major funding for special effects laden blockbusters.

She explains, "Young boy jumps out of a window, goes through an explosion and is saved by a dragon, or something. And they make a million, million dollars. Then you have the indie movies that need you to work for a scaled down fee."

Instead she has increasingly begun taking on TV roles, most notably starring as Elizabeth Hale in U.S. political TV drama House of Cards.

The role saw her play the mother of Robin Wright's character Claire Underwood, the scheming wife of Kevin Spacey's Machiavellian U.S. President Frank Underwood.

Of her role in House of Cards she says, "I felt that my job was to explain Claire," she says. "So that you knew where she got her steely grit from, and her coolness, and reserve, and toughness."

But Ellen has not entirely abandoned the silver screen, and leads a cast including Danny DeVito and Greta Gerwig in her latest film Wiener-Dog.

The comedy-drama, written and directed by independent filmmaker Todd Solondz, follows a series of characters who come to own a Dachshund, or wiener-dog.

And the actress is full of praise for Todd's quirky style of filmmaking, saying, "He's absolutely an individual voice. As I read the script, I went 'Oh, this guy is just so weird, so adorably weird.'"

Wiener-Dog is released in the U.K. on 12 August (16). It debuted in U.S. cinemas in June (16), where it earned generally positive reviews from critics.

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