By BERNICE FOX
Special to Circling the News
It was Palisadians honoring a Palisadian at the Kennedy Center last weekend.
Tom Hanks gushed over his two-time co-star Sally Field as he moved down the red carpet at the Kennedy Center for the Honors program. Steven Spielberg, who directed Field in “Lincoln,” was there to honor her as well. All three – Field, Hanks and Spielberg – live in Pacific Palisades.
Longtime Malibu resident Pierce Brosnan, and Field’s “ER” co-star Maura Tierney, also were part of the Kennedy Center Honors in praise of Field.
Field, who has won two Oscars and three Emmys, seemed in awe of the honor she was about to receive. On the red carpet she noted “I think everybody feels this kind of is the real pinnacle achievement award.”
As Rita Wilson stood next to her husband, Hanks explained what it was like acting side-by-side with Field in “Punchline” in 1988 and “Forrest Gump” in 1994.
“I feel that the two times I’ve worked with her, there was absolutely no nonsense. There was no maintenance. There was just the purity of just shared and respective work between the two of us.”
Hanks added, “I’m in love with her. I think she’s an extraordinary artist.”
Hanks and Field actually worked together a third time, but he wasn’t acting. He was host of the 1998 HBO mini-series, “From the Earth to the Moon.” Field directed and acted in an episode, the same episode Wilson acted in.
Brosnan and Field starred opposite Robin Williams in the 1993 dramedy “Mrs. Doubtfire.” On the red carpet for the Kennedy Center Honors, Brosnan laughed when he said he’s “always loved Sally” and that’s why he was there.
He had real praise for Field’s acting skills, saying “you feel the person. You believe in her. It’s as simple as that. You believe her performances. They come with such heart, such intensity and sincerity, clarity of character.”
Hanks recalled that Field’s acting career began front and center with the TV version of “Gidget.” “It was the first job she ever had. She had no anonymity. She was just Sally from the get-go.
“As the years rolled by, her body of work grew in the most impressive way than any actor in Hollywood.” And Hanks respects “the way she sort of like demanded to be taken seriously.”
On her way to entering the Kennedy Center event, Field said “I’ve just been on an emotional flood of overload. I didn’t expect to feel this way. I didn’t know what I’d feel.
“Buckle up kids; it’s going to be some night!”
The festivities of that night have been edited into a two-hour special, with honors also going to Earth, Wind & Fire, Linda Ronstadt, “Sesame Street” and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. The “Kennedy Center Honors” airs Sunday evening, December 15 on CBS.