Even though Sally Field is one of Hollywood’s most respected actresses, landing her favorite roles was no easy feat. In fact, the iconic Mrs. Doubtfire star recently opened up about receiving roles in Hollywood and what an uphill battle some of the special ones were to get.

“The roles I cared about deeply I had to fight for,” Sally, 73, told the library audience at the recent event, according to The Washington Post. “They never really came to me.”

sally field

The beloved actress — who has starred in hit movies like Smokey and the Bandit and Steel Magnolias as well as shows like The Flying Nun and Brothers & Sisters, among many more — explained she was overlooked by directors and producers because industry expectations of her were stuck on “adorable,” rather than powerful and passionate.

“They were so not interested in me because they were so sure they knew everything that I was. Part of me had to chose optimism over defeat,” the Oscar winner continued. “I had to say to myself that when I was good enough something would happen, that it would simply change.”

Sally even recalled the time when Hollywood director Steven Spielberg nearly dropped her from the cast of Lincoln. Although she ended up playing the role of Mary Todd Lincoln in the 2012 film, Sally explained that she was told another actress would replace her after Liam Neeson dropped out of the film and Daniel Day-Lewis stepped in.

The In Pieces author, who was determined to portray Abraham Lincoln’s wife, said she had no doubt in proving the director wrong after he chose not to replace her in the film. “Steven, I’m telling you right now, this is mine and if you disagree, then, with all due respect, you’re wrong,” she reminisced.

The Olivier Awards, Arrivals, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK - 07 Apr 2019
Richard Young/Shutterstock

Although fans have adored Sally throughout her decades-long career, many wondered if the brunette beauty would ever hang up her acting shoes. While chatting about her memoir at an event last December, Sally explained why she’ll never put acting in the back of her mind.

“I’m finding it harder and harder for projects to pull me out of my place to want to go be in that world again. Acting will always be, always be my lifeline,” Sally gushed. “I’m profoundly attached to something that I found when I was a kid that allowed me to live. I wouldn’t have survived without this something.”

We couldn’t imagine Hollywood without Sally!