If I cold have any feature of any actress it wouldn’t be Angelina Jolie’s lips or Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes. It wouldn’t be Catherine Deneuve’s impossibly perfect nose or Audrey Hepburn’s neck. It wouldn’t even be Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark. It would be Bette Davis’ imperial glare.
I’m constantly surprised by how many big girls skip over her name when mentioning their screen icons. It’s always Audrey Hepburn. Y’all are clearly drunk. There’s nothing wrong with Audrey Hepburn although I DO eye with suspicion anyone who is too devoted to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The helpless “hooker with a heart of gold (and matching shovel)” riles every wild feminist instinct in me. I really and truly got BOOED when, during the final stupid rain scene I accidentally shouted out “HE’S GAAAY”.
Some people have no respect for the finer points of art criticism.
Anyhoodle Bette Davis shouldn’t have been as beautiful as she was. Her lips managed to be thin and a smear at the same time, her nose drooped, her eyes were heavy lidded and sagging when Hollywood yearned only for doe-eyed damsels.
She wasn’t an ugly duckling who became a swan. She was an ugly duckling who made people realize that swans were kind of bastards. That’s my kind of duckling.
Also I’ve got a soft spot for what Shakespeare called “a plain-dealing villain” because Bette? Kind of a bitch.
and yet she famously said:
“I’m the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived!”
I kind of believe her. In my experience, people who have no problems expressing their wants and desires tend to be pretty darn generous of spirit. I think it comes from not being resentful. If you demand to be treated a certain way, most likely you will be. Contrast that with the long-suffering martyrdom of the Good Girl Who Never Gets Anything. Maybe I’m just a cold-hearted shrew (ha ha ha, see how I used the word “maybe” in there? Like it meant something? Damn I’m good.) but when I get what I want, I’m a lot more likely to give people what they want.
Well, you know, unless I forgot to wax.
“Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism.”
“Psychoanalysis. Almost went three times – almost. Then I decided what was peculiar about me was probably what made me successful. I’ve seen some very talented actors go into analysis and really lose it. “
“I do not regret one professional enemy I have made. Any actor who doesn’t dare to make an enemy should get out of the business.”
She’s also had a subtle but enduring influence on fashion. Witness the hand-tinted publicity shot from early in her career and the deeply misunderstood Lanvin gown as worn by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Galliano referenced her early Warner Brothers Jezebel days, although in dolly way in his collection in his Sprin2008 RTW
and hardly a season goes by without some variation of her iconic look from “Of Human Bondage”.
It’s actually a great look and if you’ve got naturally curly hair, dead easy to do at home.
So I’m off for the weekend, I leave you in the inimitable arms of Twistie (who will probably try to convince to you buy crushed velvet and bell sleeves. Don’t do it! Stay strong!) and will see you all next week with a fresh Monday Hotness, answers about “my eyelash gal, hijinks from the week and the long-awaited “topless Plumcake” (don’t panic Manolo) edition of You Asked for It. Now let’s have some more quotes:
“I survived because I was tougher than anybody else”
“I will NEVER be below the title”
and finally, from me to you the best blow off line in the history of ever:
“I’d love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair”