People: Mar. 17, 1997

FAR, FAR FROM FARGO

"I have a low sap threshold," says FRANCES MCDORMAND, who was worried that Paradise Road, a wrenching tale of a women's prisoner of war camp, might cross it. But McDormand's character is so nonsappy she's almost surly. "It was really gratifying to me that after 15 years of work they thought, 'If she can do a Minnesotan police chief, she can do a German Jew,'" says McDormand of the difference between this role and her Oscar-nominated performance in Fargo. Right now life is nothing like a prison camp. "I'm picking out shoes and dresses for all these...

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