Meredith Salenger went to college with me. This was before Natalie Portman and the guy from Weezer came to town, and Meredith, who starred in The Journey of Natty Gann as a kid and moved up to leading young lady in a couple of teen movies, was as big a star as we had. She lived in the same building as I did but we never exchanged a word, and to be honest I remember her as stuck-up and clubby.
So the other day I was Googling her name (because I routinely Google starlets of the ’80s? No — because I was looking for commentary about the Orioles trade of Oscar Salazar for Cla Meredith, and when I started typing “meredith salazar” her name came up on the autocomplete) and I discovered an enjoyable series of posts by Scott Venci, who blogs about high school sports for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Venci, a Meredith Salenger fan from way back, somehow got hold of her e-mail address and decided to see if he could get her to do a phone interview for his blog. His secondary goal was to propose marriage.
Especially interesting: what she gave up to go to Harvard, which for most people is a career enhancer.
“I thought, ‘OK. I’ll go to Harvard for four years, and when I get back I’ll keep having movies offered to me,” Salenger said. “I was young, and I didn’t know. Nobody in my family is in this business. It was never a question of whether I was going to go to college. But when I graduated, it was like, ‘Oh, wait. You’re not a name anymore.’ It was only four years, but it definitely affected my career.”
She comes off throughout as smart, reflective, and funny, and I’m sorry I thought she was stuck-up and clubby — unless of course she actually was stuck-up and clubby at the time, in which case I’m glad she isn’t any more.
If that’s not enough Meredith Salenger for you, here’s her twitter feed.