Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/25/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 08/25/2014 12:58 PM | Updates
WHY would an American acting icon interrupt shooting of his new Netflix series, co-starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, to chat about a 14-year-old Winnipeg singer who's about to release her debut single?
It's the first question put to Martin Sheen, known for his standout roles in the film Apocalypse Now and as the American president on TV's The West Wing. It turns out that he is a long-distance fan of Maria Aragon.
"If you've seen this 14-year-old girl from Winnipeg, you would understand why I'd do this," he says over the telephone from Los Angeles. "I think she's got a big career in front of her. She's in the same genre as a young Michael Jackson. I'm delighted to show my support at this point in her development."
Sheen is prepared to issue his presidential seal of approval after seeing her perform twice, the first time being when Aragon was barely 12, at a Toronto children's hospital fundraiser for which the 73-year-old Sheen was a host.
"I was quite overwhelmed by her performance," says Sheen, who plays Fonda's husband in the new Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie. "It was equally stunning to witness her poise and her ability to sing in front of a huge audience. I was quite taken with her. I couldn't believe she was 12 years old."
Sheen was in Winnipeg about a year ago for We Day, and again got to watch Aragon entertain -- this time in front of 15,000 young people.
"You see all these kids coming up on America's Got Talent or The Voice, and they are all amateurs -- a word I use loosely, but they are," he says. "She comes off like a true professional. She's already seasoned. It seems the bigger the crowd, the more comfortable she is."
While in Winnipeg, he had an audience with Maria and her parents, and advised them to move slowly in developing her career. He told her to enjoy her youth, because she is not going to lose her talent, voice or opportunities.
"When you talk to her, please give her my love," Sheen says. "Tell her we're thinking of her and keeping her in our heart."
-- Kevin Prokosh
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 25, 2014 D6
Updated on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM CDT: Audio added.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Famed violinist to play again at DC metro station
'Partners' top album on iTunes in Canada
Nick Cave submits to doc, with a twist
Sadies at WECC Nov. 1
Theory of a Deadman at the Burt Nov. 20
NYC photo show looks back at Debbie Harry's career
'Popular Problems' among new CD releases
The band Tennis bats about a classic pop sound
Stars to pay tribute to Mavis Staples
Christine Fellows' latest work evolved from album to multimedia art project
Tagaq wins Polaris, hurls expletive at PETA