By Bob Hicks
One of the lasting impressions of Ragtime, director Milos Forman‘s 1981 version of the E.L. Doctorow novel, is of the ravishing freshness and physical innocence of the young actress Elizabeth McGovern, playing Evelyn Nesbit. Her beauty was dreamlike, the beauty of a creature only just discovering self-awareness.
Beauty fades, of course, or rather, it changes. Now, at 49, McGovern is still beautiful, but in a fully mature, more experienced, less unnerving way — which, from some vantages, makes her even more beautiful: It’s a beauty anchored by reality.
McGovern has lived in England for the past 18 years, and has recently co-starred in a hit period television series, Downton Abbey, which will be broadcast in the United States beginning Sunday on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic. Sarah Lyall has a good interview with her in this morning’s editions of the New York Times.