Personal Best February 1982: Mariel Hemingway looks back on her iconic role as a young track star in love with a female teammate in this athletic coming-of-age tale. (Justifying our love).
Hemingway's journey clearly brought her to a very hip place: She has since played gay several times, famously planting a lesbian smooch on Roseanne in prime time. And she was hilarious as a married woman who goes gaga for lesbian sex in the indie film The Sex Monster. But for Hemingway, Personal Best remains a personal landmark.
"The beautiful part of the film is that it really strikes a chord with so many," she says. "I can't really say that there's anything specific; there was so much about the movie that colored my life. But what I've loved about it is that over the many years that have gone by since then, there's not a few months that go by that someone doesn't say to me, `I just have to tell you that that movie helped me. It made me feel OK that I was a girl and that I was gay.' So that's nice. It's like [having been on] the cutting edge of something. I mean, now you could make that movie and it wouldn't mean so much. But it meant a lot then, and I think that's cool."