In Joan Collins’ documentary, she gets down to it
She left the business after marrying Newley and found it difficult to return. The documentary includes clips from a particular low point, real estate investors versus mutant bugs from the B-movie “The Empire of the Ants” (1977). How did she deal with the schlocky material? “You do the best you can,” she says. “You learn your lines, you hit your marks and you keep going.”
She was rarely able to escape the typecast, but she also shrugged it off, recounting a conversation she had with actor John Gielgud, in which he told her that because she could never escape her physique, she could never play an ugly woman. “That was true for a number of years,” she said.
She believes beauty can be a deterrent when it comes to quality roles: “What young actresses today realize is why most of them try to look as ordinary as possible”.
In the late 1970s, she made a comeback with two soft-core films – “The Stud” and “The Bitch” – adapted from novels by her sister Jackie Collins. This exposure led to her most famous role, Alexis in Aaron Spelling’s nighttime soap opera “Dynasty.”
Despite the well-publicized struggles on set and the mean-spirited reaction from producers to her demands for equal pay, she remains proud of “Dynasty.” Much of the memorabilia hanging in his apartment dates from that time. “It was glamorous,” she said. “They were very, very wealthy people, most of them handsome.” She compared it to the current hit “Succession,” although she noticed that on “Succession” they wore shabby clothes.
“Dynasty” ended over three decades ago. Collins hasn’t had a major role since. She thinks she knows why. “Casting directors say, ‘Oh, no, we can’t use Joan Collins in this vixen, bitch role, because it’s too obvious. And ‘Oh, no, we can’t have her in that other role. She can only fox female dogs.