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Jacqueline Bisset

Jacqueline Bisset

Welcome To New York

Harper's Bazaar

October 2014

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MY CULTURAL LIFE: Jacqueline Bisset

First record bought
‘Topsy Part 1 & 2. It was a drum solo. I love drums; I love rhythm. God, I can remember it now.’

Book that changed your life
‘The Mirror Of Light by Rodney Collin. It’s about shedding the ego, and it was mind-blowing. It gave me a semi-religious experience. I was not myself for three months, it affected me so much. I saw light.’

Recurring dream
‘Amorphous shapes, terrifying and un-understandable.’

Tech must-have
‘A garlic press. I love spicy pasta.’

Most loved fairy tales
‘The Coloured Fairy Books by Andrew Lang. They are so magnificent and so beautifully illustrated. I read fairy tales for a long time. I think it messed up my life, waiting for the happy ending.’

Most overrated
‘Pubs, and the drinking of beer within.’

Most underrated

Favourite hour of day
‘When I’ve done what I needed to do and I feel lively. That can be any hour of the day, but it’s usually the afternoon.’

Would sing a duet with
‘I’d love to hum along with Nina Simone.’

Favourite film
‘David Lean’s Brief Encounter. Deeply romantic.’

What makes you laugh
‘Silly things. Fart jokes. They are remnants of school, during prayers in the morning, I think.’

Irrational fear of
‘All my fears are rational.’

Dream lunch date
‘Dr. Albert Schweitzer.’

Worth fighting for…
‘Giving a sense of purpose to others and finding a sense of purpose for yourself.’

Brains or beauty
‘If you had brains, you could figure out a lot of life but you might be very isolated. If you’ve just got beauty, you’d fade, like a dead flower. I’ll go with brains.’

Money or sex

Laurel or Hardy
‘I liked the fat one.’ [Oliver Hardy]

Dylan or Hendrix
‘God, I loved Dylan. I rode on the back of a motorcycle listening to Dylan – it was paradise. This is going way, way back so it must have been a transistor radio.’

James Dean or James Stewart
‘James Stewart. James Dean was overrated. He was Mr. Cool and very attractive, but James Stewart was a true gentleman. I used to see him in Hollywood with his beautiful, elegant wife. He radiated this quality.’

Lennon or McCartney
‘Lennon, as a presence. I was more into soul music; I wasn’t ever into white pop.’

Optimist or pessimist
‘Both. I’m a realist.’

Minimalist or maximalist
‘At this stage in my life, minimalist.’

Style icon
‘Kate Moss. She reminds me of the Sixties, when we started to dress differently. She has an ease, as though she’s just thrown stuff on.’

Personal motto
‘The Winston Churchill line: “Never give in – never, never, never, never.”’

Which artwork would you appear in?
‘Something by Cezanne. But I’ve never wanted to be painted. I did enjoy being photographed by Helmut Newton. He made women look sexy.’

Favourite tipple
‘Scotch. One rock or neat.’

Most proud of
‘I’m proud that I feel clean relative to my business. I don’t feel sullied in terms of my behaviour. I feel like a survivor.’

Film you wish you’d been in
‘The last Visconti film [The Innocent], which was offered to me. I had been filming in Italy with Marcello Mastroianni and I was so homesick and unhappy that I turned down one of my biggest dreams.’

“People are surprised that I…”
‘Haven’t done plastic surgery. They just assume I have.’

“Success is…”
‘Keeping your personal integrity. To thine own self be true, and lie like hell to everyone else.’

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