Joan Collins: ‘I’m completely a feminist however I’ll let someone carry my luggage’ – The Guardian

Joan Collins: ‘I’m completely a feminist however I’ll let someone carry my luggage’ – The Guardian

Observer New Review Q&A

The unique vamp on 70 years of showbiz life, having Boris Johnson as a boss and why partying is a dying artwork

Solar 17 Oct 2021 09.30 BST

Dame Joan Collins, 88, was born in Paddington and educated at Rada. She started showing in movies whereas nonetheless in her teenagers, with greater than 70 credit together with Our Woman Friday, Land of the Pharaohs, The Virgin Queen, The Stud and The Bitch. In the course of the 80s, she discovered fame as Alexis Colby within the US cleaning soap Dynasty, a task that gained her a Golden Globe. Lately she returned to TV with the likes of The Royals, Benidorm and American Horror Story. Her new memoir, My Unapologetic Diaries, is out now.

Did returning to your 90s diaries whisk you again in time?
Completely. They weren’t written within the regular manner. I by no means put pen to paper. Between 1989 and 2006, I talked right into a Dictaphone virtually each evening once I bought house, then put it away and forgot about it for years. After I talked about these tapes to my agent, he thought it’d make an attention-grabbing e book. As a result of it was all spoken, individuals say it appears like they have been there.

You start the e book by saying you’ve been known as “Britain’s unhealthy lady, England’s reply to Ava Gardner, a bitch, a pouting panther and a coffee-bar vixen”. Did you secretly like all of these descriptions?
[Laughs] Probably not. I used to be a teen showing in British movies once I was known as most of them. Some have been a bit upsetting, however you may’t let issues get to you. To remain on this enterprise, you need to develop a thick pores and skin and robust character. I bought my first critiques once I was 17. Some have been very nasty and made me cry. So much. However I bought over it.

Opinions don’t make you cry any extra, I’m guessing?
God no.

Roger Moore is a recurring presence within the diaries. Who would you prefer to see grow to be the brand new James Bond?
Both James Norton or Tom Hardy can be good. I’ve identified Roger since I used to be 15. We met at a theatrical agent’s workplace and have been buddies ever since.

You run into Donald Trump a number of instances within the e book however don’t appear enamoured of him…
Inform me somebody who is enamoured of Donald Trump.

You as soon as advised John Main to put on smaller spectacles. Did he take your recommendation?
He did get higher glasses ultimately, so maybe he listened. I preferred him very a lot. I used to be with Shirley Bassey at an occasion at Downing Road and proper off the cuff, he made top-of-the-line speeches I’ve ever heard. Shirley and I have been gobsmacked. We couldn’t work out why he was so disliked as prime minister.

You additionally say Boris Johnson “appears to be like like he brushes his hair with an eggbeater”…
Properly, he was my boss for some time. He was editor of the Spectator once I was a visitor diarist.

You appeared terribly upset by the dying of Diana, Princess of Wales. Why did it have an effect on you a lot?
I simply thought she was an iconic determine and a really candy girl each time I met her. At one charity occasion, she was overawed by the paparazzi and screaming crowds, so she requested me how I stand all the eye. She appeared very weak. I’d additionally been advised 10 days earlier than her dying, once I was at this little restaurant in Saint-Tropez, that Diana had simply been there along with her boyfriend Dodi and her two boys. They have been laughing and dancing round, like all younger household. Listening to how completely happy she’d been made it all of the extra tragic.

You’re celebrating your 70th yr in showbiz. What was probably the most gratifying decade?
If I needed to decide one, it could be the 60s. I had two younger youngsters and solely labored once I wished. I used to be beneath no stress to be the breadwinner as a result of I used to be married to Tony [her second husband, Anthony Newley]. We have been residing in Hollywood and had numerous nice buddies – the English contingent like Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers and Diana Dors. It was a enjoyable time, freed from stress. In all probability the one decade that was.

Do you miss the golden age of Hollywood glamour?
What I miss is the glamour of events. That tradition doesn’t appear to exist any extra. What they’ve now could be the pink carpet, which is all faux. All people will get dressed up in borrowed clothes and jewels, they pose for Instagram, then they go house. There’s probably not a celebration scene. Or if there may be, it’s very top-secret.

There’s numerous what you name “boozing and schmoozing” within the e book. What’s your tipple these days?
I’ll have a glass of wine with dinner. Generally a martini, however I don’t drink excessively. Virtually everybody I do know doesn’t drink any extra. It’s a dying artwork.

You’ve written 18 books now. What would your late novelist sister Jackie make of that?
She’d be very proud. She wrote 36, so I’ve bought some catching as much as do, however that was her major career. Sony are supposedly doing a biopic about us known as Joan & Jackie. I’m ready eagerly for a gathering with the scriptwriter subsequent week, truly.

Joan along with her sister Jackie in 1966. Photograph: Reg Burkett/Getty Photographs

You as soon as known as your self a “born survivor”. Does that also apply?
I hope so. I don’t know if I used to be born that manner, however I definitely turned one. I’m fortunate in that I’m very wholesome – I’m touching wooden as I say this – and have all my colleges, an awesome household and nice buddies.

What’s within the pipeline for you?
The BBC is making a documentary about my life, which is thrilling. I’ve bought a few different massive initiatives developing however it’s unfortunate to speak about them. Within the e book, I point out how I used to be going to play Cruella de Vil, then I didn’t. That occurs for those who communicate too quickly. Now I by no means discuss something till the clapperboard goes clap. Cruella and Cleopatra are the one two roles I remorse lacking out on.

You fought for pay parity along with your male co-stars on Dynasty. Had been you forward of your time in that respect?
I’d been outspoken about equal pay since I used to be 20. I simply don’t see why males ought to be paid extra. In the event that they’re an even bigger star, possibly. If it’s Tom Cruise and Jane Whoever, then he ought to get extra money. If it’s Meryl Streep and Sam Nothing, after all she ought to get extra money. When that doesn’t apply, pay ought to be the identical.

Would you describe your self as a feminist?
Completely. I did lengthy earlier than that phrase was extensively used. I’ve all the time believed in equality. Ladies can do no matter males do and so they have the suitable to take action. The one potential space the place girls aren’t equal is bodily energy. That’s why I’ll let someone carry my luggage. And, properly, there’s plenty of luggage.

The diaries grow to be a captivating love story in direction of the top when, at 66, you meet Percy Gibson, your fifth and present husband…
Thanks, that’s candy of you to say. And better of all, the love story nonetheless continues.

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