PRESS UPDATE : DAILY EXPRESS ...THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14TH 2013..
Joan Collins reveals why avacados, oxygen facials and jeans are a complete no-no
JOAN Collins has packed so much into her 60-year career she says she’s had nine lives. It certainly seems like it. Caught up in the Hollywood publicity machine from the age of 17 her love affairs with movie stars such as Warren Beatty plus her five marriages have all played out in the public eye like drama-filled scenes from Dynasty.
There have been many highs and lows. Before she rose to international fame playing Alexis Carrington on the hit television show one of Joan’s first encounters with the Hollywood world is one she tried to forget.
It came when she was given the chance to go to dinner with Irish actor Maxwell Reed, an opportunity she couldn’t refuse.
However the date didn’t have the fairytale ending she expected as he drugged and sexually assaulted the then 18-year-old Joan. “I was given a drink of rum and Coke into which was dropped what was called a Mickey Finn.
“Today it would be called Rohypnol or some kind of date rape drug.
“Maxwell sat me in his room with a book of pornography and said, ‘I’m just going to take a bath.’ The next thing I knew I was flat out on the sofa. It was vile,” she recalls. Joan looks as fierce and glamorous as ever in a chic Zara jacket, black tailored trousers and vibrant pink lipstick but with this memory comes a flash of vulnerability in her kohl-lined eyes.
Joan with fifth husband Percy Gibson [GETTY]
Too embarrassed to tell her family and friends about the attack Joan, who was filming the Bafta?nominated movie I Believe In You, in Ealing, west London, confided in older actress Ursula Howells. “I spoke to Ursula about it and said I didn’t want anybody to know. It was a horrible experience and I don’t really like talking about it.”
However in her autobiography Passion For Life Joan explains how she went on to marry Maxwell in 1952 before divorcing him four years later.
“I attempted to wipe the incident from my mind and actually started dating him. Oh, foolish child,” she says.
Her third memoir, as she calls it, skims over her early childhood, her friendship with the royals and of course the “husbands and boyfriends”, says Joan raising a sculpted eyebrow.
When I ask if there are any revelations she was worried about publishing she quips: “If I was worried about them, darling, I wouldn’t put them in the book.”
In the memoir Joan also discusses her first modelling job where at the age of 17 she and 15 other girls were lined up and inspected by a photographer like pieces of meat.
“They still do that now, you know,” Joan tells me, which leads us on to her 21-year-old goddaughter and Britain’s model du jour Cara Delevingne.
Joan Collins at the 2013 Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Berkeley Square, London [PA]
I'm too needle-phobic for surgery
The little girl who once bounced on Joan’s knee is now racking up fashion credentials all over the world as the face of Yves St Laurent, Burberry and DKNY and has been dubbed the new Kate Moss. “I saw Cara last night and she doesn’t need any advice,” Joan says.
“She is the most natural and down?to?earth girl you could ever meet. You would never believe she is a top model. I am very proud and I think it is wonderful what she has done.”
Joan can relate to how quickly Cara’s life has changed in the past year. “My life changed at 17 when I did my first movie in England called Judgment Deferred. Suddenly I was in the papers a lot.
“Then I went to Hollywood and the publicity machine started to work its magic on me
“On I went until Dynasty, which was a huge turning point as it made me internationally known. I’ve had nine lives,” smiles Joan, who married husband number five Percy Gibson, 32 years her junior, in 2002.
During the Dynasty years Joan was often compared with Elizabeth Taylor but she is quick to dismiss rumours of any rivalry.
“It was simply untrue. I’m not a very jealous person. The only part she got that I wanted was Cleopatra.
“Elizabeth and I were good acquaintances. When I got my third divorce from Peter Holm she sent me a little note that said, ‘I’m still ahead by three’, which was brilliant,” says Joan.
While she may not be competitive in a career sense when it comes to fashion she wants to stand out from the crowd.
“I really don’t like to wear the same as everybody else,” she says.
Her famous fashion know-how has seen Joan top the best-dressed lists over the past 60 years.
“If you have good cleavage you should wear V-neck tops, girls with big bosoms should never wear polo necks,” she advises.
“And jeans are the most unattractive garment ever invented.
Then her attention turns to what I’m wearing. “I like your dress by the way,” she says, cocking her head to the side and eyeing me up and down. When I tell her it’s from Topshop she shrieks, “You’re kidding. It’s fabulous” and makes me stand up so she can take a picture.
T hen we’re back to the fashion rules. “You accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives. I say, ‘Use it or lose it’. I have my own fitness regime, which is centred around stretching, free-weights and fast walking.
I also have a trainer half of the year as I spend my summers in the south of France where I swim a lot.”
She also attributes her youthful looks to make-up. “Every woman should wear make-up, it takes years off.
“I’m wearing lots of false eyelashes today and to me lipstick is the best cosmetic that exists.”
So would she consider surgery?
“I’d consider it but I’m too needle phobic,” Joan replies.
“I’ve just taken really good care of my skin and not put on weight and lost weight, which a lot of actresses do.
“I eat an avocado every day and have facials in New York with a girl called Tracie Martyn. She works a lot of oxygen into my skin.”
And then Joan is off to her next appointment and as she clip-clops down the hall I hear her say to her publicist: “I need to get that dress.”
l Passion For Life by Joan Collins is available to buy from QVC via qvcuk.com priced £10, item no 703062