Thursday, 16 February 2006
See these people here? (I’ve arranged them in strict alphabetical order so that they don’t think I’m being unfair.) What do they have in common?
1) They're all actors
2) Each of them is a louse (read on: a pattern will emerge very soon)
Louse no.1: Charles Dance – I knew him, back in the ‘70s, when he was with the RSC: he was a very nice, very considerate man (I expect he still is). He asked me to look after his underpants once… nah, it’s a long story. Well, he had been married for a very long time to a woman who’d supported him through the lean years when he fell in love/lust with a starlet, less than half his age. As I asked in a previous post, “What does a man of 58 see in a girl of 25?”
Louse no.2: Ralph Fiennes – he was married to the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Alex Kingston is stunning. You have no idea how much. And a real sweetie. Ralph left her for Francesca Annis (can’t stand her as an actress: she adds a little laugh at the end of every line she utters – extremely annoying), who was old enough to be his mother. Strangely enough, they met when he played Hamlet opposite her Gertrude. Duh! I can’t remember whether she was still married at the time, but, who cares, it was unseemly. And now he’s left her – what a surprise! – for a very much younger woman. Yuck!
Louse no.3: Anthony Hopkins – he’s had four wives. I don’t know the details; I just know he left the penultimate one minutes after giving an interview in which he said he was now a reformed character (he used to drink a lot) and happy. How can someone who can express such subtle emotions (that scene in Remains of the Day where Emma Thompson tries to prise the book he’s reading from his hands… oh, it’s so painful!) be such an inconsiderate human being?
Louse no.4: Ben Kingsley, oops, sorry, Sir Ben Kingsley – what’s that nonsense about insisting on being called ‘Sir Ben’?! It’s so ridiculous. Those titles mean absolutely nothing and everyone knows they don’t. The problem with BK is that he takes himself sooooo seriously. Always have. I attended a talk he gave at the Shakespeare Institute, at Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1975. It should have been a ‘talk’; it was a lecture. I can’t remember exactly what it was about, but I remember it as very very boring. I didn’t care at the time because I’d seen his Hamlet the day before and I was still under the spell: I'd been sitting in the aisle in the RSC studio and BK had directed one of the speeches straight at me. He’s got such intense dark eyes; I was completely mesmerized.
I know he can be relaxed: I have on one of my walls a big black and white photo taken during a rehearsal of Nicholas Nickleby (that unforgettable RSC production). It shows BK (who played Squeers) and Edward Petherbridge (who played Newman Noggs) laughing their heads off, while Timothy Spall (who played Wackford Squeers) is pretending to chew on a huge roll of sellotape (who plays a bun). So, BK, lighten up! Anyway, he too left his wife of many years for a floozy, who has to call him ‘Sir’ even in private, they say.
Louse no.5: Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve seen so many articles (in French and British magazines) telling us what a charmed life she had in Paris with her wonderful obstetrician husband and three well-behaved children. It was all a sham. She’s now left her hubby for a young actor. Erm, it won’t last, Kristin; see above, Louse no.3: in time, you will be Francesca Annis to his Ralph Fiennes.
I’m old-fashioned: I believe in loyalty.
Slap, slap, slap, slap, slap!
Update: If you want to read about what it feels like for a woman to be left for someone younger, click here.
Posted by Bela at 11:46 pm