Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Monday, January 25, 2010

Edna Purviance first week at Essanay

Niles, California - During this week of January 24, 1915, Edna Purviance was spending her first full week at Essanay Studios. Her first film was called "A Night Out" and was Chaplin's second film with Essanay. As part of her assignment, Edna watched the film being made.

Charlie was spending a great deal of time with all his players, especially Edna. He had to know his actors well, to direct them.

It was during this period Chaplin, and company, had a little party or get together, during one of the breaks in filming.

As everyone enjoyed their meals, Chaplin started making claims he could put anyone asleep. A bet was made and Edna took him right up on it.

Chaplin placed Edna in position for his trick. His made dramatic movements in front of Edna as he was "hypnotizing" her for the crowd. At one of the passes, he whispered to Edna to "fake" it.

Chaplin was taking a chance with his new leading lady, knowing full well she could have made a fool of him.

Edna had only seconds to think, but made her decision as smooth as silk sliding off a table.

She 'passed right out' in front of everyone, frighting the crowd.

Charlie quickly asked for assistance, as he grabbed her. As Edna was being revived, he had a smile to himself in being pleased with his new leading lady. She could have easily grabbed the money from the bet, but instead, played along for the joke.

Chaplin was very impressed and would learn more about his leading lady in the weeks to come.

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