Thursday 8 December 2016

Russell had crush on Glenda Jackson

Published 28/11/2011 | 13:52

Glenda Jackson was the late Ken Russell's 'crush'
Glenda Jackson was the late Ken Russell's 'crush'

The late Ken Russell told of his four-decade "crush" on actress turned MP Glenda Jackson in his final TV interview.

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The pair worked together on Women In Love and The Music Lovers when both director and actress were drawing huge acclaim for their work and had a great admiration for each other.

Russell spoke of his feelings for her, saying he would take the crush to his grave, in a so far unseen interview filmed in August for Sky Arts. The programme, Living The Life, to be screened on Friday as a tribute, sees him in conversation with Sir Peter Blake, as they discuss their professional and personal lives.

The artist asked the film-maker: "Do you regret that you didn't marry Glenda Jackson - do you still have a crush on her?"

Russell responded: "Well to my dying day I'll always have a crush on Glenda."

The director also spoke about the difficulties of working with the volatile Oliver Reed, who famously appeared in a nude wrestling scene with Alan Bates in Women In Love. Russell said the incredible performance was really down to "luck".

"He was a strange bird. He had to be handled with kid gloves," said Russell.

"He had a weird way of working. If you could find out the method to his madness you could get a good performance."

Russell also talks about how he had been haunted by the childhood memory of seeing his cousin Marion "blown to pieces" after she trod on a landmine as they played. He said he suspected it affected his film-making: "I think it did. It was something I couldn't get out of my mind and it remained with me forever."

:: Living The Life will be screened on Friday on Sky Arts 1 HD at 8pm.

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