by HFPA August 19, 2012

For  forty  years  the  HFPA  has  audio-taped celebrated  actors  and  actresses.  The  world's  largest collection  of  its  kind is  now in  the  Academy  of  Motion  Pictures  Arts  & Sciences  Library.  The  audios  are  fascinating.  To  veteran  stars,  our HFPA  journalists  are  family;  they  banter  with  them and  speak  openly and frankly about  themselves and  their  artistry.



Few  people  wake up one  morning  and  find  they're  Famous; most  wake  up  and  find  they're  late  for  work. Then there are those  who, for  whatever  reasons, attract the attention  of  local  television. They  think  they're  famous  when, in  fact, it's  just  a  slow  day  for  hard  news.

       Everyone  who's  been  in  a  movie  five  minutes  thinks  they're famous.  I  went  into  a  restaurant  where  a  waitress  kept  staring  at  me. She  finally  came  over  to  me  and  asked,"Haven't  I  seen  you  before.?" I said, "You  might  have seen me  in  the  movies."

"Maybe,"  she  replied. "Where do  you  usually  sit?"

When  I  told  her  who  I  was,  she  asked  me  what's  it  like to  be  on  the  top.  Exactly, I said, like before.  Except I have  to  be  in  hair  and  makeup  longer.  You  still  have  to  pay your  taxes,  sweep  the  floor, clean  the  dishes,  wash  your  underwear.

Sure, you  have more help, but  you  have  to  order  the  maid to  mop  the  floor. Maybe  it's  worse. You  don't  have  any privacy,  and  you  can't go  out  without  hair  and  makeup, which is  really  boring.

The studios  manufacture  this  idea  that  there's  paradise here  in  Hollywood.  People  come  streaming  in  here  because they  believe  it.  Actually  the  work  is  mostly  drudgery,  but they  never  talk  about  that.

I'm  sitting  in  a  trailer  for  two  hours  saying,  "This  is  soboring, I  think  I'm  gonna  kill  myself," and  then  I  come  out and  have  to  eat  the  same  wilted,  tired  lettuce  sandwich."

When you're  a  star  people  are  nice  to  you. But you can't escape  rudeness.  I remember  growing up  in  the  Forties and  Fifties.  It  was  so  polite. There  was  so  much  politeness. Then  suddenly  in  the Sixties  there  was  no  politeness, a complete  breakdown  in  civility. People questioned all kinds of authority.  I  was fascinated  by  that.

 -----Researched by Jack Tewksbury