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.


  1. The hands though, look at her hands. They are the portrait in the attic. Otherwise, good on her.

  2. No, I don't. In fact I must have stopped around that time.

  3. That's the beauty of cartoon broads - they never age.

  4. Out of curiosity, as an Irishman, do you normally visit the RTE website for news?

  5. I once saw Greta Scacchi in the Croydon branch of Ikea. About 10 years ago. I think she lived somewhere in Surrey at the time. She had to endure that "famous person" thing of knowing that everyone half recognizes her but isn't necessarily sure who she is.
    Christ knows why anyone wants to be "famous". Fame has always struck me as the most almighty pain in the arse.