By Louis Virtel
Originally published on Advocate.com June 06 2008 12:00 AM ET
Jackie Collins makes us blush, and she’s damn proud of it. The 70-year-old romance novelist, who still produces a best seller with her every release, explores the lush sex adventures of Sunset Strip-savvy heroines. Candor -- lurid, vulgar, cheeky candor -- is the name of the game. But when Jackie Collins is forced to reveal her own embarrassments regarding lust, love, and the attacks of critics, does she finally blush? The Advocate set out to ply the saucy septuagenarian with a refreshingly unladylike interrogation.
You're loaded. What’s the filthiest thing you've dropped a bundle on? The filthiest thing is a car. I love cars. I have a passion for cars, so I guess it would be my Jaguar. It’s champagne[-colored], of course. It's very fast. It’s so fun to drive down to the beach with and play really loud music. I'm really into making my own CDs, and I love -- not singing on them, thank you, just putting together artists I like -- I just made a fabulous one yesterday with Amy Winehouse and her original CD, Frank. Do you know that one? It’s unbelievable. I'm thoroughly crazy about "Fuck Me Pumps." And also Madonna’s "She’s Not Me" off Hard Candy. "She’s Not Me" is fabulous. So that’s what I like to do -- I like to spend my money on a fast car and get in there, play some music, and you know, zip off to the beach.
Your book sales competition seems pretty fierce and prolific. I imagine it’s quite daunting. Still, do you own any of Danielle Steel’s books? Do you have a favorite? I love Danielle. She’s a friend of mine. I have her whole collection, because she sends them to me, and I send mine to her. I send my books to her signed, she sends her books to me signed. She’s a fabulous character; she should be in one of her own books. I would say the one about the guy who comes and stays in the guesthouse is my favorite.
You're obviously brassy, but who still has the power to intimidate you? You know, I'm very happy to say nobody. Does that sound terrible? I'm full of confidence because, I guess, I've met so many people, seen so much, and done so much that I'm not easily intimidated. And I can't think of anybody who would actually intimidate me. I was always a very street-smart kid, so when I first came to Hollywood when I was 15, and I was an actress in my teenage years for a short time, always playing the Italian girl -- I would go into an interview, and some guy would say [lowering her voice], "Well, honey, let’s have dinner and discuss the part." And I would always say, "Take your part for yourself," and I would leave. So I was always that street-smart kid, you know?
The sex in your new book occurs frequently, and largely without speed bumps. Tell us -- what’s your most magnificent sex accident? Have you ever injured your partner? I have never injured anyone! [Laughs] Though I nearly drowned someone once. In Acapulco we were having great sex in the pool. Which is wonderful. Sex in the pool is great. Have you tried it? I'm sure you have. Well, anyway, you get carried away, and you know, you're under the water. And all of the sudden you try to struggle up for breath, but somebody else is … not wanting to come up for breath.
The gay men in your book, flaxen-haired and muscular, sound pretty savory. Have you ever fallen hard for a homo? You know, my two best friends are gay. And one of them -- I just look at him and I go, "Uhh. You’re such a fucking waste for a straight woman." I mean he’s just so great, you know? We are attracted to the same men. He likes straight men who he can turn. And I like straight men who can't be turned. So we have a fabulous competition together.
But Cole DeBarge, who I wrote about in Married Lovers, has been in three other books. He’s coming back again. He just keeps on getting bigger and bigger, if you'll pardon the expression.
Naturally, many of us dream of a well-choreographed rivalry between you and your sister Joan. Can you tell us about a time when she really won against you? You know, we really get along extremely well. The newspapers and gossip columns always like to stir up some kind of fight. But when I was thrown out of school at 15, my parents were in despair and they said, you know, "Hollywood or reform school?" They finally sent me off to Hollywood, where Joan was a movie star, making movies with Harry Belafonte and Paul Newman. And she met me at the airport and said, "[Huffing] OK, learn to drive, I can't look after you, I've got to go off on location, goodbye, here’s the keys to the car, here’s the list of people who can help you if you get into any trouble.” And she was just gone. And I appreciated that, because as I said, I was a street-smart kid, and I wanted to be by myself. But then years later, when her career was a little flat, she came to me one day -- I had a book called The Stud, and she loved that book -- she said, "Can I use it? Can I borrow it? Can I try and get a movie made?" Eventually together with our husbands we got the movie made. And of course Aaron Spelling saw it, and that was Alexis Carrington Colby. That was a character, although she was called Fontaine Kahled in my book, but if you see the movie The Stud, you'll see that beautiful jet-set older-woman nymphomaniac, which Joan plays so well.
You're a self-professed pop culture junkie. Who’s your most embarrassing celebrity obsession? Hmm. That’s a good one. Let me see. I would say … hmm. Yeah. There’s an actor called… oh, it just popped out of my head. He was on the show Third Watch, did you ever watch that? Oh! Eddie Cibrian. He’s going to be the next George Clooney, except no one has really discovered him yet. He plays a love interest on Samantha Who? and also he’s on Ugly Betty.
How’s that embarrassing? Well, if you keep saying someone is wonderful, and their career never soars -- it’s not so much a celebrity crush, it's just, I'd like to put him in a movie because he’s so good, he’s going to be such a star if someone would only give him a break. Anyway, he’s going to be the next George Clooney -- one of these days.
Count up your idols -- whose sex life have you most envied? Well, I don't believe in envy. I believe in doing it yourself. So I would say Marilyn Monroe had a pretty good time until she got herself killed. George Clooney's dick has had some action. Apparently, so, yes! I don't really envy anybody. I mean, I've had a pretty good time myself.
In Married Lovers the protagonist, Cameron, gets drunk and makes a bit of a public scene. What’s been your most memorable drunk-in-public story? Anything recent? Oh, nothing recent! But when I was a teenager living in Rome, I remember getting so drunk that I actually fought off a guy, fell out of his car, staggered back to the hotel, lay down on my bed, and my bed was going one way and the room was going another way. I'll never forget it. And the other time I was going back to London from L.A. with -- oh, God, one of those old English actors -- Peter O'Toole! I wasn't with him; we just happened to be sitting next to each other. And, you know, I was about 17 or 18 then. He started to drink, and I started to drink -- the plane was going one way and we were going the other. So that was memorable. And then his wife met him at the airport, and that was also memorable. [Laughs] Like, "Who’s this teenage drunk you're with?"
What’s your most freakish bad habit? I can't say no. I find it impossible to say no. And I can't say no to chocolate. And I'm also a TiVo addict. So if you give me TiVo and chocolate, and someone asks me to a fabulous party, I won't be able to say no, though I might prefer to stay home with the TiVo and the chocolate. I'm a Libra. We can't say no to anything. You know what, it's that investigative spirit within us. We don't want to miss anything, and then we feel people might be missing us, so we feel obliged to say yes to everything.
You've said several times your harshest critics haven't actually read your books. Those invalidated snipers aside, what criticism stings you the most? Well, I really don't like being criticized for my picture on the back of the book. People do that! They haven't read the book, but they take offense to my picture. Maybe they think I should have granny glasses and a bun. But they criticize the picture, you know: Heh! Who does she think she is? Why is she writing books? Why aren't I? Because a lot of people have that unfinished manuscript in their desk, and they feel if you're not bad-looking, then you shouldn't be writing books, you should be doing something else -- I don't know what.
More on those pop culture and money tangents -- do you secretly admire Paris Hilton? I don't admire her, but I like her. I think she's an interesting girl. I've known her since she was 10 years old. She was always this cute little thing that everybody used to raise their eyebrows at and say, “What’s going to happen to her when she grows up?” And now we all know. [Laughs] She’s very likable, very sweet. She comes across as very demure. But of course if you view her videos on the Internet … otherwise, she’s kind of low-key.
So. The A-list Jackie Collins sex tape drops and hits the mainstream like a monsoon. Who's your bedmate? Colin Farrell. Because I've seen his sex tape, and I know what he’s got to offer. I was quite impressed with it.