In her first role, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio shot at Al Pacino’s character in Scarface, Tony Montana. Elizabeth only had a minor role as Tony’s sister Gina Montana, but she couldn’t have hoped for a grander stage to launch an acting career. Three years later, Mary Elizabeth earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her role in The Color of Money.
Elizabeth went on to appear in several big-money productions, including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, before giving up on her film career. Mary’s last film role came in the 2003 short film Standing Room Only. Let’s look at what the Gina Montana actress is up to now.
Mary Elizabeth gave up film roles for less demanding television roles
Mary Elizabeth left film to dedicate time to her family. Elizabeth married Pat O’Connor in 1990, and the couple later welcomed two sons, Jack and Declan.
She then relocated with her family to London, where she sought projects that didn’t affect her family life. “My dream is that my kids will think, ‘Golly, my parents stay home every day for a living, why can’t I?’” Elizabeth told The Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2000.
As she raised her boys, Elizabeth wished to replicate her father’s availability for his family. “My dad went out to work every day and he’d walk through the door every day at a quarter to five, except for the nights he got a haircut, then he came in at half-past,” she added.
Another minor reason she turned her back on film is that she opposed Hollywood’s increased focus on profit rather than quality acting, stories, and characters.
“There’s no art form in cinema anymore,” she said. “There’s no ‘isn’t that interesting?’ or ‘didn’t that make you think?’ after you watch a film.”
Twenty years after her move to London, Mary returned to the United States. She told Dispatch that being a mom was still her favorite job. She explained:
“Let’s face it: I invited them [her son] to join me on this journey and I should be around for most of it. I quite enjoy it, actually. I like doing that job – mother. I think parenting is the most humbling experience.”
Mary’s latest roles have been in television productions. From 2018 to 2020, she played Madeline Burke in Blindspot.
Mastrantonio has no intention of branching out and becoming a producer or director. “That’s never been something I wanted to do,” she told News.com.au. “When I was making films in my early career I looked around and thought, ‘Really, the only job on this set that I like and want to do is the acting.”
Mary doesn’t watch the films and shows she stars in
Mary has close to 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry, but she still can’t watch the productions she’s starred in. She told News.com.au that she enjoys watching other actors, but not herself.
“My children [sons Jack and Declan with husband director Pat O’Connor] watch it [Limitless],” Mary Elizabeth said. “I just pop in every now and again. I find it very interesting actually, I enjoy watching the other actors I must say.”
If there’s a film that Mary won’t want to watch is her 1989 flick, The Abyss. “The Abyss was a lot of things; fun was not one of them,” Mary Elizabeth said. Her co-star, Ed Harris, talked to Entertainment Weekly about Mary’s torrid experience on set:
“I was slapping her across the face and I see that they’ve run out of film in the camera – there’s a light on the camera – and nobody had said anything. And Mary Elizabeth stood up and said, ‘We are not animals!’ and walked off the set. They were going to let me just keep slapping her around!”