Friday, November 12, 2010

Joan Collins: Straight Up. The legendary actress previews her new One Night With Joan, and shares her thoughts on Dynasty

By: Brian Scott Lipton · Nov 12, 2010  · New York
Joan Collins<br>
(© Fadil Berisha)
Joan Collins
(© Fadil Berisha)
Joan Collins has been a working actress for over six decades, first gaining mainstream attention for her role as Evelyn Nesbit in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. She has since conquered the stage and television in a variety of projects, most notably as Alexis Carrington Colby on ABC's hit drama Dynasty. She's also no stranger to the gossip columns, for her frank opinions, many marriages (including one to the late Anthony Newley), fashion sense, and her relationship with her sister, best-selling author, Jackie Collins.
The celebrated star is now making her first foray into New York's cabaret world -- albeit without doing any singing -- with her one-woman show,One Night With Joan, which will play the Ballroom at Feinstein's at Loews Regency, November 16-27. TheaterMania recently had the pleasure of briefly chatting with Collins about the show, her career, and her life.
THEATERMANIA: You've done a version of this show in many cities, including London. What do you expect the Feinstein's audience to be like?
JOAN COLLINS: I think New York audiences are very sophisticated and expect something special when they go see a show. And they like to have something to talk about after they see it!
TM: So what will they be talking about? Tell us about the show.
JC: It's mostly a monologue, with some clips from my movies andDynasty. I talk a lot about the great people I've worked with, from Paul Newman to Bette Davis, and I do a little talking about my parents and my sister. I like to say I have a great supporting cast behind me. Still, it is quite exhausting to be alone on stage the whole time.
TM: Speaking of stage, did you enjoy doing Private Lives on Broadway?
JC: I did enjoy it; I had a wonderful time. I had done it in London and toured it in America, but Broadway is every actor's dream.
TM: What do you consider the hardest role you ever did?
JC: I am never one of those actors that has to struggle with characterizations, but I had to play this dowager gorgon in a movie with Nigel Hawthorne called The Clandestine Marriage and that was probably the hardest one for me.
TM: You just played David Spade's mom on the sitcom Rules of Engagement. How would you describe that experience?
JC: It was very different for me, because it gave me a chance to do something very comedic.
TM: What was your first reaction when you were offered the role of Alexis Carrington on Dynasty?
JC: I thought I had the potential for a steady six-month gig. It wasn't meant to be a long-term job. So I thought, it's a gig, I like the role, I'll do it. That's what actors do. I was living in Europe at the time and I had never heard of the show or seen it.
TM: And in the end -- after more than 200 episodes -- what was that experience like for you?
I think people lost track of Joan Collins, especially the media, who wrote about all these things that didn't happen, like me throwing mink coats on the floor. But all the press helped the show.
TM: Did you watch the show while it was on?
JC: Never. I only watched it for the first time this summer when I was in the South of France and England, and it was on in reruns. Actually, I found it quite fascinating to watch and I finally understood why people liked this show.
TM: Is acting still the most important thing in your life?
JC: I always want to work, but motherhood has always been much more important to me than acting. I just don't like to talk about my children; they're private people.
TM: How do you keep finding work?
JC: It is so competitive now. So many actors and actresses are out of work; and most of the roles in movies and TV are for men. There are not many jobs for women -- and especially for women over 35. So I am creating a show for myself; I'm in the middle of meetings about it. But I don't want to say anything else yet..
TM: When you're out and about, either by yourself or with your husband, Percy Gibson, are you constantly recognized?
JC: 75 percent of time I'm ignored, about 10 percent of the time, it's "Oh My God, it's Joan Collins" and the rest of the time, I think people recognize me but just don't say anything. And that's okay. I like to be ignored. 

1 comment:

French said...

Great interview - thank you! I enjoyed these fresh insights. - John French