Bankrate: How is it playing Marion this time around?
Karen Allen: Fantastic. They wrote me this beautiful role and we just fell
right back into it. It was so easy to pick up from where we had left off. It was really surprising.
Many people might not realize you've started your
own textile company called Karen Allen Fiber Arts
in Great Barrington, Mass. How has this made you
financially secure given the tenuous nature of
Karen Allen: I wouldn't say so far it has added to my financial security
too much. As you know, when you first start a company -- this is our fourth year -- we're in a startup mode and it's
a big investment.
I'm here right now in a barn I bought in Great Barrington and I have a big beautiful studio. I invested
in all the yarns, and I have 10 Japanese knitting machines in here; I opened a store all on my own in Great Barrington
about two and a half years ago a couple blocks away from the studio, so it hasn't really created much financial stability.
I'm just pouring money into it at this point, but the hope is that eventually it will become financially
sound and it's going well. So I'm pretty much on target for how a young business should be developed.
Bankrate: You also teach at (Bard College at) Simon's Rock?
Karen Allen: I do. I've taken a year off but I'm going back in September
to teach again.
Bankrate: What was the first financial lesson you learned the hard way?
Karen Allen: I have to say, I don't know that I've ever really had a bad
financial situation. I'm one of those people -- I'm not an impulse buyer and I live fairly simply. I don't need a lot
of stuff. I don't buy fancy cars; I don't need that stuff in my life so I've never gotten into overextending myself
financially. Between owning the studio and the store is about as much as I've ever stuck my neck out.
Bankrate: Are you a single working mom?
Yes I am. Although my son has just begun to live
with his dad (actor Kale Browne) for the first
time, who just moved back here from California.
I'm a single working mom, but my son is actually
living full time with his dad. He attends Simon's
Rock college, but is not living on campus this
year. We all live in the same area. And his dad
and I get along great; we're great friends.
Bankrate: So have you saved for a rainy day and putting a teenage son
Karen Allen: Well, I'm in the Screen Actor's Guild and they have quite a
wonderful pension system. And for a big part of my actual career through my 20s, 30s and 40s, a wonderful, smart
business manager forced me to think about creating a pension plan for myself.
I don't have those fears that some
people live with about ending up a bag lady on
the corner. I think all artists, especially who
don't have secure jobs, and when their last one
(job) comes to an end, (they) feel the usual actor's nightmare,
that they're going to end up at the old actor's