Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek effortlessly slips into parts as varied as a psycho high-schooler (“Carrie”), country singer Loretta Lynn (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”) and a mother of a troubled boxer in crime drama “Deadfall,” which opened at the Tribeca Film Festival last month. But it’s her role as a mother to two daughters that spurred her to write a memoir, “My Extraordinary Ordinary Life” ($27, Hyperion). The Blue Ridge Mountains resident will be at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on May 6 at 3 p.m.
Your memoir is so detailed. How did you decide what to include?
I’m from a family of storytellers, and so I was happiest to get my childhood stories down and stories of my grandparents for my girls. Our childhoods are the foundations of our life. I wanted to put all that down while I still remember so vividly.
What will fans be most surprised to learn about you?
Maybe that I’m just like them.
Looking forward, what would the next chapter look like?
I’d hope that I would be just continuing to live my life, making movies and enjoying my children, my husband and my animals.
You were 6 years old when a show of baton twirlers inspired you to go into show business. What did you want to do?
It was just the excitement of the theater. I remember looking at my little girlfriends up on stage twirling their batons and thinking, “I could do that. I should be up there.” The irony is that I did learn to twirl a baton, and then that became an important part of one of my first characters, Holly from “Badlands.” Who knew that that was a talent I would use years later?
Do you have a favorite role?
Yes, of course — “Badlands” and “Carrie” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Help,” “Raggedy Man,” “Missing.” There are more than that as well. The film I did with [director] Bob Altman, “3 Women,” and “The Straight Story” with [director] David Lynch. It’s kind of like your children. You love them all. You love the same but differently.
You’re a Texas native who’s lived in California and New York. How did you come to live in Virginia?
My husband grew up in Virginia and he brought me here. I remember stepping out of the plane many years ago in Washington, D.C. I think it was in August. We came from California and the heat and humidity hit me as I walked off the plane, and I thought, “Why would anyone live here?”
But you stayed?
Yes, years later, here I am and it’s the greatest place in the world. You just have to stay off the tarmac and find a shade tree. It’s really a lovely place because the land is so beautiful. The topography, the history and the people are so lovely.