Saturday 20 January 2018

Russell had crush on Glenda Jackson

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.

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.

Press Association

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