• Golden Globe Awards

Joan Collins: 90 is Nothing

Beauty, brains, sharp wit, and that iconic role is what defines her. At 90, two-time Golden Globe winner – the first one as Best Newcomer – Joan Collins is still a force of nature.
Joan Collins was 85 when Ryan Murphy cast her in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. She has done 133 films. On TV, she appeared in 195 episodes of Dynasty and has three upcoming projects, among them the series Glow & Darkness. She plays Adelaide of Savoy in intertwined stories of characters such as Saladin, Emperor Barbarossa, Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus, Francis of Assisi and Eleanor of Aquitaine, among others.
She began her career at 17 against the advice of her father, a theatrical agent who knew the pitfalls of an acting career and warned her against the rejection and bad treatment that particularly pretty girls had to endure. She chose acting anyway, played three young criminals in a row, and “went from juvenile delinquents to bad girls.” Her first Hollywood production was Land of the Pharaohs (1955), directed by Howard Hawks and shot in Rome, to this day one of her favorite cities.

After she screen-tested multiple times with male actors – that she described as so wooden that to compare them with trees would be an insult to trees, she famously lost the title part in Cleopatra to Elizabeth Taylor, who asked for and got one million dollars for the part, the first actress to ever do so. “I didn’t get Cleopatra, but she got Richard Burton” she joked years later in an interview with CNN. They both had many husbands, prompting Taylor to send Collins a note after her fourth divorce, saying “I’m still ahead by four!”, to which Collins replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll catch up.”
And she did, almost: she married the South African-Peruvian producer and businessman Percy Gibson in 2002 and lives with him in Los Angeles, London, and the South of France. “I can recommend it highly. If I was married to someone my age, God knows what it would be like”, she told us.
In the 1970s she was known as the queen of horror films, having done six in a row in her native England. In the 1980s came the role that made her famous the world over – Alexis Carrington Colby, in Dynasty, for which she won her second Golden Globe in 1983.
“I remember when I won it very, very clearly. I went up and I said: I want to thank Sophia Loren for turning down the role. And I want to thank everyone on the crew, from Aaron Spelling on up. Which they thought was funny. Aaron laughed his head off. Yes, I was thrilled. I have it on the shelf at my apartment.” She laughed, years later, about being called the mean girl of Dynasty: “I don’t think she was mean. I was early #MeToo, you know?”

To this day she hates the typical Hollywood machinery and abhors publicists and the likes: “I never liked the star thing. And I never took it seriously enough to go and have the hangers-on and pay for the extra people, the managers and the agents and the stylists and this and that and the other that saps everybody’s money and gives you an idea of your own inflated importance.”
When it comes to her life, she has no regrets: “I don’t feel any different today, really, than I did 30 years ago. I have a great joie-de-vie and am very, very lucky that I have huge energy and I just enjoy everything.”