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Sarah Polley tells how Terry Gilliam scared her into indie films

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Sarah Polley
Will McGarry/Miramax Films

Move over Parker Posey. Sarah Polley — ”Go,” ”The Sweet Hereafter,” and the just-opened ”Guinevere” — is the new Indie Queen. Sure, it’s partly because of her taste for complex scripts. But the 20-year-old actress says she was first scared off big budget films 12 years ago, while starring in Terry Gilliam’s chaotic ”Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”

One day Polley was shooting a scene in a rowboat with a horse aboard. On cue, the animal leaped into the water and kicked up an explosive from the bottom of the pool. ”Terry kept saying to me, ‘Lean over the edge a bit more, a bit more,’ and then the explosive surfaced and went off in my face,” she remembers. ”I had to go to the hospital because I lost my hearing for two days.”

But that wasn’t the end of it. ”There were explosives all the time, every single day, and even when a car door slams today I’ll have a bit of a shellshock reaction,” says the Toronto native, who in ”Guinevere” plays an insecure college grad having an affair with a much older photographer. ”I vowed at age 8 never to do another movie with special effects in it.” Guess you’ll have to find another leading lady, Jean Claude.

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