On a scale of badassery, there is mild to moderate badassness on one end, and Frances McDormand on the other. After her second Best Actress Oscar win in 2018 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDormand proves that time and again, whether onscreen or off, she is a force with which to be reckoned. Her film career has spanned dark comedies like Fargo and Wonder Boys, slapstick farces like The Hudsucker Proxy and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and serious dramas like North Country and Mississippi Burning. She's been influential off the screen as well, speaking up on topics like gender equality, inclusion, and diversity. And if after all this you still doubt McDormand's power, she is also the inspiration for countless memes and GIFs.
Frances McDormand was born in Gibson City, Illinois, on June 23, 1957. She was raised throughout the Midwest and southern states before her family settled in Pennsylvania. After graduating from Bethany College with a bachelor's degree in theater, she received her master's from the Yale School of Drama. Since 1982, she has maintained a busy career on stage, screen, and television.
But these facts just scratch the surface of this fascinating actress. Read on to discover some things you didn't know about Frances McDormand.
She And Her Husband Adopted Their Son From Paraguay
In 1995, McDormand and Coen adopted a son, Pedro, from Paraguay. When Pedro was a child, McDormand did her best to shield him from the massive publicity and attention her career brought the family. "I was taking him to preschool on the bus… and people would interrupt us as if he weren't part of the equation," she told The New York Times in 2003. "I really don't like that." Pedro is currently a personal trainer and massage therapist.
She Hates Awards Shows
Take a look at any of the McDormand memes circulating the internet, or just tune into any awards show, and you will see something quite obvious: McDormand hates the pageantry of awards. "I don't like award shows," she once said.
"At our house we call this time of year 'the convention.' It's too bad we haven't figured out how to stop it. But I think it will come around because of the internet — I think it will naturally go away. We'll have other ways to gather; it's not going to be this stuff. The shoes hurt too much."
Though McDormand may be anticipating a world without awards shows, the rest of us are hoping that never happens. Who else could elevate the stink eye to such an art form?
She Is An Outspoken Opponent Of Plastic Surgery
Unlike practically everyone else in Hollywood, McDormand is no fan of plastic surgery. "I have not mutated myself in any way," she told The New York Times.
"Joel and I have this conversation a lot. He literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people — to friends who've had work. I'm so full of fear and rage about what they've done."
It's probably her aversion to plastic that draws audiences and directors alike to McDormand's authenticity.
She Used To Be Holly Hunter's Roommate
When they were both students at the Yale School of Drama, Hunter and McDormand were selected at random to be roommates. Their friendship grew so strong that they decided to room together after college as well. Eventually, they moved to a house in Hollywood with Joel and Ethan Coen, Sam Raimi, and Scott Spiegel. "Fran’s as fabulous as she seems," Hunter once said. "We had a blast." Hunter won the Best Actress Oscar in 1993 for The Piano, and McDormand won that same award for the first time in 1996 for Fargo.