Hollywood notebook

17 December 2005

I was never really a Bill Clinton fan — it could have something to do with the fact that the late French director, Louis Malle, called me a raunchy moralist. Yes, I confess, that’s exactly what I am, and I do feel that the President of the United States has certain moral standards he should live up to. Oh yes, yes, yes, I know you’re all going to say, ‘Well, look at the previous presidents, they all had a little bit on the side.’ Yes, but they didn’t have a little bit in the office giving them oral sex while they conducted world business on the telephone. Nope, I did not approve of old Bill, although a lot of my girlfriends in California certainly did. They creamed over him when he came to town. According to them he was charming to the max, and they couldn’t wait to be in his company — the closer the better!

Anyway, having recently observed George W. Bush in action, I’m starting to look more fondly towards Bill. Since he had the heart attack and lost weight, he does not seem to be such a skirt chaser. In fact, this month he’s on the cover of Esquire, and inside there is a very telling interview titled ‘The Third Term’ by Joe Conason, where Clinton talks about Aids in a most revealing and caring way. I’m starting to think the man is really smart. When George W. Bush was elected I sent him a letter of congratulations, and all I got back was a signed 10×8 photograph — not even signed to me! Sorry, George, you’ve lost a fan and yeah, Bill, if you can manage to keep it zipped up, I’ll be your fervent supporter.

The other night I had dinner with friends, a famous couple in their forties. At first the conversation was all about movies, politics and who’s screwing whom, metaphorically speaking of course. Then they got to discussing their sex life — always an alarming subject because these kinds of details should be kept private, unless you’re reading a Jackie Collins novel — ha ha! Anyway, the husband and wife exchanged secretive looks and the wife said, ‘Can I tell Jackie what we did the other night?’ The man looked proud and said, ‘Yeah, go for it, baby.’ Well, apparently a few nights earlier he’d popped a Viagra and they’d had sex for three hours. Hmm…. I think, however good it might have been, what does it say for their future? Surely every time they have sex now it could be a big disappointment if he hasn’t popped that little blue pill. Here’s a thought — the research on Viagra is not complete, so proceed with caution.

Coming up soon in Hollywood are all the award ceremonies — the People’s Choice, the Emmys and the Oscars. It’s a never-ending parade. It’s also a constant scrutiny of who is the fittest and the most beautiful — and that’s just the men! It’s a crazy time in Hollywood, with everyone hiring overly expensive stylists, borrowing clothes and the most extravagant jewels. Before that they are all rushing for the latest body wraps, facial treatments and ever so subtle nips and tucks, not to mention the perfect escort. Should I take Mom or Sis? they wonder. Or that waitress in Cabo who wants to be an actor/actress? Usually Mom/Sis wins out. Nothing like a good family image when you’re starring in a sex-drenched movie.

Every year just for fun I record a few choice awards ceremonies, store them away and view them a few years later. Wow! What happened to everyone? Believe me, there are very few survivors. The red carpet should be called the swinging doors. One year you’re in, the next you’re a distant memory. Whatever became of Sigourney Weaver and Kim Basinger? Once elegant and talented queens of the red carpet, they have been replaced by younger, hotter babes in dresses cut down to Cuba with plenty of borrowed bling. Boobs and lips are the major asset now. Forget about accomplished performances, it’s all about the cleavage and the lip-plumping — and the more the better. You want headlines for your next awards event, invite Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton — that will get you noticed.

The other day I got to interview three major superstars. It wasn’t easy! Getting their publicists to agree to have their precious clients sit down with me was a major feat. So, helped by my trusty publicist, Nigel Stoneman, the two of us plotted and planned, and finally we got the green light to interview Shirley MacLaine, Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone. Sly arrived first. He owed me a favour because I wrote a piece on what men want for his new magazine, cleverly called Sly. He is actually a very smart guy, self-deprecating with a great sense of humour. Sly was followed a couple of hours later by Shirley MacLaine, who bounced into my house — almost ready for her interview, but not quite, because first she decided to raid my kitchen, whereupon she ate her way through four tubs of ice cream. Two hours later we were still waiting to do the interview. Shirley is great, a talented woman with a terrific sense of humour and a very firm sense of self. My third star, Al Pacino, does not like doing interviews. He arrived with the most formidable publicist in Hollywood and seemed slightly edgy. However, since we’re neighbours, he owed me a cup of sugar, so there he was, sitting around my pool at eight o’clock at night surrounded by candles and hovering minions. Actually, once we got going the interview turned out fine. Al is an extraordinarily interesting man, recently called one of the greatest actors in modern cinema. At the end of the interview he leaned towards me and said, ‘Hey, that was great. Can we talk some more?’ Boy, that really made my night.

The piece I wrote for Stallone’s new magazine was called ‘What do men really want?’ Here are a few of my thoughts. 1. Married sex can and should be great. Imagination rules. Role-playing rules. Taking chances, especially in a car, definitely rules. 2. Compliments rock. What man doesn’t like to hear that he’s the biggest and the best? 3. Very handsome men don’t try harder, nor do very beautiful women. 4. Famous men get off on discreet call girls. They don’t have to take them to dinner, escort them to the Oscars, buy them gifts, or be photographed with them. They pay the money and get exactly what they want. Perhaps this could be why the once notorious Heidi Fleiss is starting a call-boy service for women. Will it be profitable? I doubt it — the day Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson have to pay for it will be a sad day.

Finally a few random thoughts: Why do people on cell phones think we all want to hear what they’re saying? If you are visiting America catch the Jon Stewart Show on the Comedy Central channel. He tells you more about what’s going on in politics than you’ll ever learn on the news. And do not miss Walk The Line — the movie based on Johnny Cash’s life. Oh, and Happy New Year everyone — yes, Bill Clinton — including you.

Jackie Collins’s new book, Lovers and Players, is out now (Simon and Schuster, £17.99).

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