Tenn on Elizabeth Taylor: Back Lots

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

I never dreamed too fervently of being locked in a candy store, but I did want to wander the back lots of studios. Rummage through wardrobe departments. Read old scripts with the smell of pancake makeup in the air. I wanted to be lost in a movie. My life as a writer has afforded me  some of the sensations I wanted....My favorite anecdote from someone who did get lost in a movie--who did wander the back lots--was when I was looking out over a vast and glorious ocean with Elizabeth [Taylor] and I marveled at how fortunate we were to see this, to know this. Yes, she replied, but that cliff over there is out of proportion to that one. L.B. would have fixed that. In short, Elizabeth Taylor was never fully satisfied with the world she traveled, the countries she conquered, because they were better on the back lot of MGM. Louis B. Mayer had a cleaner Eiffel Tower, and it was only twenty yards or so from the Tower of London. That is an adaptation of reality I can envy.

©  2014  James Grissom


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