That was' one time when my technique absolutely deserted me, I must admit. There was a wax face that he had created himself to cover his own ugliness. I was in his clutches and I had to hit him in the face.
He was just trying to tease me - I knew that later - but he said he'd have to leave because it wasn't fair to have anyone in the room who was going to make fun of what he had to say. He had a good sense of humor, really.
I would say the secret is to be enthusiastic about everything that comes into your life. To care, to care about people. To be excited about everything that comes close to you. I love to read. And I love to write, mostly.
Cary Grant and I were doing a play in New York. He had a crush on me. Whenever we went to a party, he would always sit on the floor beside me. I thought that was kind of beautiful, like that's where he wanted to be.
Well, the Empire State was about 40' high in the studio. King Kong was a little model about 2' high, and the scenery that he worked in was in proportion to his size.
When it was over my daughter said, 'Oh, I felt so sorry for him - he didn't want to hurt you, he liked you.' That was Victoria. When you visualize him up there on top of the Empire State Building, you do feel sorry for him.
It was so satisfying for me - a great reward, just to see it done well. And it was beautifully directed by my daughter Susan Riskin. Imagine, a play about my mother directed by my daughter?!
When the picture was finished, they took me into the sound room and then I screamed more for about five minutes just steady screaming, and then they'd cut that in and add it.
They were very considerate, I must say. Every time I felt I was about to slip out of these fingers and would yell for help, they'd let me down and re-organize things.
The producers who wanted me to do it liked me and trusted me, and more than one scene was only one take, because I'd plan ahead what I thought would be appropriate for that scene-so one take was enough.
It was good for us, I suppose. Those kinds of times produce qualities in us that make us better for having had them. My parents were not getting along. My mother was quite intolerant of friendships that were being developed.
As far as advice, that will be in my next book, my next collection. I certainly never like to instruct anyone, but just say as I feel. That's the same as advice, isn't it?
I thought I saw him for what he was-or what I thought he was. And he was talented, no doubt about that. But, he thought his talent was based on misery and that if he became happy it would just go. He believed that.
For the purposes of the play, it was perfect to be able to use that and the stresses and strains that there were. At the end of the play, the mother realizes the terrible things she had done.
I don't know why Sinclair Lewis fell in love with me. He didn't get even the slightest response from me. But his letters were lovely. And the poems he wrote me were lovely. I used some of them in my book.
My children didn't when they were little because I thought that they had to be of a certain age. I hoped they liked me well enough not to want to see me in that sort of a spot.
Cary Grant was wonderful to work with on stage. He would move downstage, so that as he looked at me the audience had to look at me, too. He knew a lot about the theater and how to move around. He was very secure.
Crawford washed her hands a lot. She washed her arms all the way up past her elbows. She just couldn't get enough done in that direction. She was compulsive about being clean, clean, clean!
I think to have done 'Titanic' would have been a tortuous experience altogether. I feel good about where my life is, now. I feel free and joyous and happy and more liberated than I have ever been.
I think the studio gave me that series on purpose, because they knew perfectly well that Robert Riskin was ill and that I needed to go to work. They gave me that series to do.