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Friday, May 13, 2011

What do pretty girls do?

In 1985 I was working with a friend of the musician Tim Finn. At the time he was living with the actress Greta Scacchi. She was 24, the coming film beauty.

One day I came back from buying cigarettes to find both of them sitting in my office. The impact of a genuine incandescent screen beauty in three dimensions at close quarters in your basic everyday surroundings is like nothing else. It's almost like Jessica Rabbit materialising to Bob Hoskins. You realise that there are everyday good looks and then there are the kind of good looks that can comfortably occupy a massive screen.

She's now in her 50s and playing Bette Davis in a play in the West End. She gave an interview today in which she said she hadn't turned a head in ten years. In the pictures she looks handsome but unglamorous, as if she can't bear chasing after what's gone. Contrast that with Jane Fonda who appeared at Cannes yesterday looking fit to put Bob Hoskins eyes out on stalks. She's 72 and clearly hasn't given up.

Reminds me of that wonderful old song by Kirsty MacColl called "What Do Pretty Girls Do?" Well, some of them fight it and some don't.