ONE MAN PRACTICING SPORTSMANSHIP IS FAR BETTER THAN FIFTY PREACHING IT.
20th June 2010
At least this is what I feel, when I listen to the men on the television talking about the World Cup. I thought sportsmanship was camaraderie, humour and fun. Obviously football is far too serious to be regarded as any of these things. The good feeling seems to have gone out of this World Cup completely. What is the matter with human kind - are we all so cynical and jaded that we cannot seem to enjoy an event which is supposed to bring us together? The French have thrown their toys out of the pram and refuse to practice, an England fan has been arrested for breaching Fifa security, (where were they? David Beckham did a better job), when he entered the England team's dressing room, the players are sour, despondent and disappointing (England that is).
I like watching football, soccer if you will - certainly better than American football which after 30 years is still a mystery to me - stop, start, stop, start. I love basketball, which is really fluid poetry, with all those extraordinary tall players. I was in an elevator once with a very famous US player- Larry Bird and dummy that I am, did not recognise him. When I got off into the arms of my family, they saw him and were so thrilled, that I had ridden two or three floors with this hero and then stunned that I didn't know who he was. I once rode with Don Henley (my favourite group after the Beatles, are the Eagles) and he introduced himself, I still didn't know who he was.
As you may have gathered I am back in the UK and enjoying the sunshine that is appearing every afternoon after the overcast start.
I was listening to the great Lewis Gilbert on Desert Island Discs this morning. What a really nice, good down to earth man he is - as I have said before - the further up the scale they are, generally the nicer they are. I was never fortunate enough to work with him, but know him through his wife Hilda. They are great friends of Michael Winner and Michael asked Hilda to choose my wardrobe for the film I was doing for him "The System". She and I had a great time larking around the most expensive stores in London choosing lovely clothes, since I was playing a model. I am not sure what kind of model I was supposed to be, as I certainly was not stick thin. But then the models weren't that thin in the '60's nor indeed all that tall. I do enjoy that part of a film or television, at least a couple of televisions I've done in the States. The Shopping. Like most women I enjoy wearing expensive clothes, especially when a studio is paying for them.
I remember when I did "Magnum", I was playing a Duchess - a rather Hollywood Duchess I may add - and to my mortification, I found after shooting one scene, that I had been wearing a dress back to front. Of course the wardrobe lady should have caught the mistake, but everything was done at break neck speed on the show and she was probably exhausted, as all the crew were, working the long hours they did. Anyway no harm done.
Sometimes in the very old days, we were allowed to keep the clothes, or buy them. But the studios in the States were very strict about hanging on to everything, even the tights (stockings)! I remember I longed to keep a lovely outfit I wore in "Mission Impossible" and the studio said "no". Leonard Nimoy "had a word" and lo and behold the outfit was mine. Star Power. There's another one - Leonard Nimoy - the higher they go, the nicer they are.
Clothes maketh the man or woman or part as they say. I think I am reasonably easy to work with, but I did have one furious row with a designer about a dress I was to wear in
"Adam's Woman", the Australian convict love story I did with Beau Bridges and Sir John Mills. I was playing a convict who falls in love with the man she marries in an arrangement, which went on in the 1830's of convict Australia, when they needed the convicts to develop the land. Beau and I had our first real love scene and I wanted to wear a different prettier dress, than the old raggedy thing I had been wearing so far. The wardrobe designer disagreed and we went at it hammer and tongs, as she hadn't brought the dress to the location about 90 miles from the studio. My reputation as a considerate, co-operative actor went overnight and people sort of creeped around me for a few days after that. These situations are always tricky - the art departments often clash with the Director/actors etc, all believing our creative choices are superior. It happens. Dont want you think I love everyone all the time! I dont and sometimes tempers flare.
The fights between Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor, were spectacular, when we were all doing "Arsenic and Old Lace'. The police and the paramedics were called after Eva learned of Zsa Zsa's latest perfidy, using Eva's credit card all over town (Chicago) and 'collapsed'.