The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'I wanted to be Fred Astaire'

The Guardian has published an interview with Alex online, before the opening of "Present Laughter". Just a few bits and pieces:

Everything about him, from his buoyant curls to his crisp jeans, exudes youthfulness. No wonder, turning 50, he went into "a big sulk. I just don't feel it - none of us do. My kids are doing GCSEs and A-levels this year. Where did it go?"

Even so, Hytner is unstinting in his praise. "There are actors," says the director, "who are immediately accessible and attractive because they show you everything, and actors who are fascinating because they have secrets. Alex can do both." That's what Jennings is like in interview, too: charming, amusing, yet a touch evasive. There always seems to be something more, hidden behind his penetrating blue eyes.


Unfortunately, the thing he covets more than anything is a world that no longer exists: the debonair glamour of cinema's romantic/screwball comedy heyday. "Growing up, I loved golden-age Hollywood. British films of that period, too. Those are my desert island movies. You can still learn from those actors: James Stewart, the passion of his acting, never stops astonishing me. I wanted that. I wanted to be Fred Astaire, that's what I wanted."


Jennings recognises that he can be "a bit of a nightmare" when he's building up to a press night or chasing screen work, though his family are no longer so willing to humour him. They won't help with learning lines, for instance: "They're bored to sobs." And they won't tolerate any hint of false modesty. Flicking channels on TV recently, he came across The Queen and "put my head in my hands - and my family just
thought that was pathetic".


The full interview in the Guardian

1 comment:

Champagne Sparkles said...

Great find, Jolande! and what a picture!!!!

Poor Alex...his family won't humour him anymore...."All those who are willing to sacrifice their evenings at home assisting Alex to learn his lines, please raise your hands...."

*surveys crowd of women* "Wow, he should be all set for the rest of his life"