Elizabeth Taylor on Montgomery Clift: He Was My Brother

Hotel Carlyle


What I had with him [Montgomery Clift] was the ideal relationship, the ideal friendship. I worshiped his talent and his humor, and I imitated his rabid loyalty. I was afraid of trying too hard to be an actress, because I am not an artist: I was not born to be an artist, and I did not study--or know how to study--to become one. Monty was a pure artist--an acting giant. Monty was afraid of sets and directors and equipment--lenses, cameras, marks on the floor that he could never see. I could lead him around a set, place him where he could do his magic. He could talk to me and help me to become a character, to redeem the material I had been given.

He was my brother.

Even though I thought of him as a brother, the work I did with him in [A Place in the] Sun was terribly erotic. It was a dance of sex. A minuet of the glands. There was arousal in those tight scenes, but it was acting. Monty was amazed that he was aroused--he was aroused by a woman--in those scenes, and I was amazed that I was good.

Gifts we gave to each other.

Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun (1951).

© 2013 James Grissom

From the forthcoming Elizabeth Taylor: The Complete Divinity


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