Ptown Film Fest 2018: Molly Shannon Honored with Excellence in Acting Award

Molly Shannon received this year’s Ptown Film Fest Excellence in Acting Award.  Shannon starred as Emily Dickinson in opening-night film Wild Nights With Emily, directed by Madeleine Olnek.

The Saturday Night Live alum raised up her award in the trademark lunge of her beloved comedic creation Mary Catherine Gallagher, and responded to an audience member’s comment about the subversive sexuality of her characters by wildly gyrating.

Shannon follows other honorees who have received Provincetown’s Excellence in Acting Award including Tilda Swinton, Parker Posey, Lili Taylor, Cynthia Nixon, Patricia Clarkson, Vera Farmiga, Gael Garcia Bernal and Alan Cumming.

She described feeling like she was in over her head during her early days among the more seasoned sketch writers on SNL in the mid-’90s, and then talked about the reinvigorating effect of being handed a string of rewarding roles in her fifties — on the HBO series Divorce and in indies such as Other People, The Little Hours and Wild Nights With Emily, in which she appears onscreen for the first time with her daughter, Stella Chestnut.

Shannon was candid and funny about her upbringing in Cleveland, Ohio, paying warm tribute to the influence on her comedy of her father, who raised her single-handedly following the tragic death of her mother, younger sister and cousin in an auto accident when she was just four.

She got a funny response from the crowd with a hilariously detailed account of a childhood adventure when she and her best friend, both aged 12, dressed in ballet tutus and snuck onto a flight for New York in the pre-9/11 days of airport security. They took a subway into Manhattan, ending up at Rockefeller Center years before it would become a formative career destination for her.  They then spent the day dining-and-dashing, and shoplifting souvenirs.

Chloe Grace Moretz received the event’s Next Wave Award after a screening of Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, in which Moretz stars with Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck as teenagers sent to a Christian conversion camp that aims to deprogram them of their same-sex attractions.