Don't Mess With Joan Collins, Seriously

Guest-starring this week on TV Land’s Happily Divorced, the legendary actress talks to us about catfights and Bette Davis, but definitely not the election.



I have a Dynasty question. Before the show, were you ever involved in a physical fight?
No, I’m very, very anti-violence. I don’t believe in physical violence at all. I would say Alexis fights battles with her tongue, not her fists. I was always very pleased to have my double do the heavy stuff.

You’re a pretty prolific Tweeter. What’s your take on the Twitterverse?
I find it a lot of fun. But I find it becoming slightly dangerous because you can tweet something with an English sense of humor—which I have—and it can be taken totally, totally, totally the wrong way. So I’m being more careful about what I write. Particularly during the storm--I was very sympathetic to everything that happened, but I made a couple of light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek jokes, which some people took  offense to.

It’s hard to hear inflection in a tweet. Since this is a gay interview, I have to ask: what was Bette Davis like?
Terrifying. I was one of her six ladies-in-waiting [in 1955's The Virgin Queen] and all of us were between 18 and 21, and we were all terrified of her. She was very much playing the diva queen and in a bad mood most of the time because she was wearing this really tight corset, this huge thing, and her head was shaved and she was wearing this rather scratchy orange wig. She would stalk about the set, smoking heavily. We used to cluster in corners, terrified of her. We didn’t really have much to say; we were of a different generation. She’s a great actress, but we would make jokes about how frightened we were (laughs).

Besides some of the questions I asked, what are some of the most annoying questions you routinely get asked in interviews?
“Are you really like Alexis?” (laughs)

Would you ever consider going back to TV full-time?
Yes, absolutely. I would like to. But I’m kind of lazy. Even though I’m written 14 books and write [newspaper] articles. I’m doing a movie in December in England; a very funny movie. But I really need my three or four months in the south of France every summer.

Sure. Are you a New Yorker now?
I’m an Angeleno, I’m a Londoner.

You’re a woman of the world.
What? Yeah, I’m lucky. I have a few properties, which I like. 

Tags: television