Thursday, September 01, 2016

Mae West: Hundred or So

In 1974, MAE WEST gave a long interview to Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. This is Part 4. 
• • Mae West: the Queen at Home in Hollywood • •
• • Written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester  (Interview Magazine) • •
• • ANJELICA HUSTON AND PETER LESTER: For how long [have you lived here]?
• • MAE WEST: Since 1932.  
• • HUSTON AND LESTER:  Do you feel that people working then in Hollywood were more talented than now?
• • WEST: Talent...  But then, you see, there was so much of an outlet for it. Every studio made a hundred or so movies a year...  now they're down to 10 or 12.
• • WEST:  There was always testing...  there were talent scouts everywhere. All over the country going to small towns, looking for girls for movies. They never had enough talent then. Now, you see, it is all television. Small scale. We had great artists...  great writers working here. It's not the way it used to be. The young crowd... they watch my movies on TV.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: Would you work for TV now?
• • WEST: Too many people seein' you for nothing.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: To what do you attribute your success?
• • WEST: I wasn't aware of what I was doin', see. I was innocent. I couldn't help my personality. It was the way I was. (The eyelids lower. The negligee is rearranged to conceal more.) It was my success... From the time I was a headliner in vaudeville at 17 years old, until then I'd played child's parts, but I came out to Hollywood and started to write my own pictures. In order to show them what I wanted, I had to write it.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: Did your mother encourage you to work as a child?
• • WEST: Yeah. My father was an athlete, you know. So I got used to that kind of thing, seeing barbells around and all.
• • HUSTON AND LESTER: And muscles?  . . .
• • This has been Part 4 of the interview written by Anjelica Huston and Peter Lester. Part 5 will continue tomorrow on Friday.
• • On Tuesday, 1 September 1931 • •
• • After "The Constant Sinner" (set in Harlem) opened, Variety made its feelings known in their issue dated for Tuesday, 1 September 1931.  Variety noted:  "Diamond Lil" was a Mother Goose story compared to this one.
• • On Friday, 1 September 1939 • •
• • It was on Friday, 1 September 1939 in Great Britain when English viewers saw Mae West featured in a splashy cameo in “Mickey’s Gala Premiere” on television.
• • On Wednesday, 1 September 1948 • •
• • An article focused on the "Catherine Was Great" plagiarism suit carried this title: "Mae West Changes Her Role in Court."  It ran in The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, 1 September 1948 on the front page.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • "Sextette" wasn't supposed to be made at Paramount. MGM and Warner Bros., both wanted it but balked over Mae West's script, which she refused to change.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I speak two languages: English and body."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Canadian paper mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West — She still more than measures up" • •
• • Edith Head said, "Mae West is in her 80s now, but she stands for costume fittings for hours and never complains. Some of our young actresses on the way up should take lessons from her!"  . . .
• • Source:  Interview in Ottawa Journal (Canada); published on Tuesday, 30 August 1977
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3521st blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:


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• • Mae West • in 1931

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