Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
The scenes in The Miracle Worker where Annie Sullivan struggles to teach blind, deaf Helen Keller sign language required a surprising amount of sheer physicality. "We were comparing bruises every day," says Elliott, 30, who plays Sullivan, a teacher, to costar Hallie Kate Eisenberg's Keller. "I didn't mean to, but once I popped her in the face."
Elliott and Eisenberg, 8, best known as the sweet-faced Pepsi spokesgirl, endured a few bumps but learned sign language in the process. "It felt like having a secret code," says Elliott, who starred in 1997's Wings of the Dove. "Plus it was nice to talk behind people's backs in front of them."
This version of The Miracle Worker, an ABC movie scheduled to air Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. ET, is the third to chronicle the struggles of Sullivan and her student. Elliott watched the 1962 original starring Oscar-winners Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke ("I was impressed") and suspects the world will see many more Miracles in years to come. "It's one of the best roles a person can play," says the San Francisco native. "I hope they remake it again 10 more times."