Only now does it occur to me... that P.J. Soles and her hat practically steal the goddamn movie.
During the filming of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN– a definite 'ensemble' piece, if there ever was one– Steve McQueen (unbeknownst to many of his fellow actors and to their later chagrin) tried his damndest to pull focus and steal the show with ostentatious bits of acting "business" whenever he was on screen, especially in scenes where his character had little or nothing to do. In a similar vein (but certainly less malicious) is P.J. Soles (of HALLOWEEN and ROCK N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL fame) in CARRIE. P.J. Soles is terrific. She always injects her roles with an infectious sense of fun, but in CARRIE, she gets to play a villain. A villain with a big 'ole red rainbow ballcap. And pigtails. And a smirk.
Hell, she's sort of like the proto-Punky Brewster.
Anyway, this hat gets around: when they're making fun of Carrie's lack of menstrual knowledge,
in the classroom,
setting up for prom,
shit– even AT the prom:
I love it! Look at her daring to even steal focus from Betty Buckley
with that hat and her impish grin. It's hard to say if this is De Palma or P.J. herself at work here. I'm leaning toward P.J., possibly because I need to believe that she's as mischievous in real life as the characters she portrays.
Well, now THAT's just ridiculous.
I salute you, P.J. You got a lot of mileage out of that hat, and so did I. I hope that it's kept in a vault at the Smithsonian.