Okay, so why do I have a picture up of Theresa Russell as Marilyn Monroe? Well, I'm thinking this blog is going to be about FEMALE ARCHETYPES. Like Marilyn is certainly one of those. So is Theresa, I think. You know, she's always sort of puzzled/fascinated me. I can't and never have been able to figure her out. It's like, what was she up to? She was never a household name. Never a huge star. There's only one movie of hers that I recall vividly: Black Widow. And I think it was because this enigma of an actress was playing a character that was an enigma. She was kind of the whole puzzle, wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma with a side of cheesecake. Joseph once said to me, as we were watching one of her movies: "I can't tell if she is like, the worst actress I've ever seen; or one of the best actresses I've ever seen." And I knew exactly what he was talking about. She seemed to search out somber roles that she would then underact, to the point of poker-facedness. Her speaking voice was a bit on the inelegant side. Almost masculine. The rest of her couldn't have been more feminine. Or should I say, womanly. Tall, blonde, shapely, pretty, great pair of breasts (set of breasts? Boobs? What do women prefer when referencing their chests? Boobs maybe?) and an actress!
I might go on some tangents here...
That picture of Theresa is from a movie she filmed for her husband, Nicholas Roeg, in 1985: Insignificance. I know of it, but I've never seen it. But it's gotten stuck in my head. I was recently in Boston, helping to relocate my parents, and my sister, myself, and my niece, and her chocolate lab, Ellie were there. My sister, Kate, had a Google music player so I said, "Hey Google, play New Wave favorites." The songs started playing and one of them, which I hadn't heard in years, came up. I knew it was Big Audio Dynamite but I didn't know the name of the song. So, I did a little research. It's called E=MC2. I watched the video, which I'd never seen before. It was peppered with clips from Nicholas Roeg movies. In fact, the entire song (which I'd never listened to (more on that later) was about Nicholas Roeg movies. Who knew that Joe Strummer would've been so moved by Roeg's oeuvre to write and record a song about it?
In our youth, Kate gave me two nuggets of wisdom that I have never forgotten.
"Girls never get bored because they can always find something to do."
When I pressed further on this, she explained: "...you know; like, we can do our nails...take a magazine quiz...do needlepoint...practice our cheers..." Kate was not a cheerleader. She tried out once in high school and didn't make the cut. She was in tears when my mother picked her up. My mother said: "Oh, you never wanted to be a cheerleader anyways!" Kate stopped crying and said, "Yeah, you're right!"
The second was regarding how to clean a bedroom: "You make the bed, then put everything like dirty clothes, etc. on the bed and then you work from there. When you're finished, the bed is made!"
I still use this method to this day.
Kate is also really good at recalling film plots. She once explained the entire mini-series Sins to me, with such thoroughness that I felt I had seen it. It starred Joan Collins. She was running from the Nazis of something...
Speaking of archetypes and icons: MOM. Here's mine:
That's me in the front. Get a load of that car seat. The height of mid 60's infant safety!
My mind wanders...
What is this about?
Oh yeah, FEMALE ARCHETYPES.
I mentioned Miss Hathaway from the Beverly Hillbillies. She was definitely a TYPE. The epitome of the gangly, tom-boyish spinster. But damn she was funny! Here's the episode I mentioned:
So, I'll leave you with another clip. It's from Insignificance. "The Actress" (Theresa Russell doing Marilyn Monroe) explaining the theory of relativity to Einstein. I think it's an amazing piece of acting. Ahh Theresa...we hardly know ye!
You know, I was in her presence once. Within a couple of feet. I was working the BAFTA awards at Universal. There was a live feed from England for all the Brits in Los Angeles. She arrived with Nicholas Roeg and they walked by me as the photogs phlashed. She was wearing pants and heels and a sort of backless halter top (I think it was beaded) with a plunging neckline. Her hair was up. Her top was entirely inappropriate for an awards show...which I admired. But then, British women (she's American, but Brit by marriage) seem to really enjoy showing off their...pairings. And they were spectacular! And 100% real. You just can't fake that. I also recall Dennis Christopher being there, smoking a cigarillo and smirking for some indecipherable reason.