Jackie on “Piers Morgan Tonight” – Transcript
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT Interview with Jackie Collins; aired October 15, 2011
MORGAN: Jackie Collins has sold 400 million copies of her books, quite extraordinary. And if you read even one of them, you know this about Jackie. She’s no shrinking violet. Her latest is “Goddess of Vengeance.” And Jackie Collins joins me now. What a great title. Look at that, “Goddess of Vengeance.”
COLLINS: Well, Lucky Santangelo is back, my favorite character.
MORGAN: She’s a fantastic character.
COLLINS: Yes, she is.
MORGAN: What I like about the dynamic now is your sister isn’t here to grab all of the attention like she did the last time.
COLLINS: Oh, come on, Piers. You know you used to watch her on “Dynasty” when you were younger.
MORGAN: You did. (CROSSTALK)
COLLINS: — unmistakable (ph) thing.
MORGAN: She’s a scene stealer.
COLLINS: But you used to read your books when you were younger.
MORGAN: I did read all your books and Lucky was one of my favorite characters.
COLLINS: Yes, she’s good because she kicks ass, and that’s what women likes to see.
MORGAN: So, let me see. Let me ask you about it, because there are lots of women kicking ass out there at the moment. Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin — what do you make of it?
COLLINS: I don’t make a lot of them. But I think they — they’re coming out with kind of ridiculous sentences and ideas and I can’t get with it. I — you know, I want the Democrats to stay out of my — what do I want them to stay out of? I want them to stay out of my wallet and I want the Republicans to stay out of my bedroom. So, I’m right down the middle, you know? I’m an independent.
MORGAN: I find the fascinating thing about American politics is no one is quite sure which way the Republicans are going to go here because they have Mitt Romney, or Jon Huntsman, the moderate candidate who, you know —
MORGAN: — are very presentable and assured, and they’re not threatening really to an electorate. Whereas you have the Tea Party who are gathering the momentum, have a huge following behind them, where there’s Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or whatever, but there is still a sense of what would we be getting ourselves into if they actually governed the country?
COLLINS: But you know what’s so interesting about our politics in this country is you are what you looked like. Now, if George Clooney got up tomorrow and said, “I want to be president of America,” the women in America would actually vote for him. And you know that’s true.
MORGAN: It’s true. And actually, you could to a lot worse than George Clooney. He’s a very motivated guy.
COLLINS: I know. I think so.
MORGAN: What do you think of Barack Obama’s performance?
COLLINS: I’m not happy with it. I don’t think anybody is happy with it. It’s interesting living in the heart of Hollywood when people will say, oh, you know, he’s going to change everything. He’s hope, he’s hope. But he’s not. I mean, it’s just not happening. And I think that he’s not experienced enough. I mean, I really was a McCain fan. I’m sorry, I thought he was great. He was an American hero.
MORGAN: Could anybody really have taken over when Barack Obama did and done much with the economy in the state that it was in. I mean, it was so catastrophic.
MORGAN: Is he just realized that actually it’s going to take years and years to repair the damage?
COLLINS: Well, yes, but you cannot whine about the last person who was the president, you know? You cannot do that after two years. You got to do your own thing. And I think he can get it together, maybe. I don’t know. But I don’t see anybody who will be better unless George Clooney decides to run. (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: How long have you lived in America?
COLLINS: I live here, oh, over 20 years. But I used to come here all the time when I was a teenager. So, it’s my second home because I came here first when I was 15 and I love Hollywood. I’ve been writing about it ever since. I mean, in “Hollywood Wives,” that was based very much of my life here.
MORGAN: What do you love about it? Why’s so intoxicating?
COLLINS: Why are you here? You love it, don’t you?
MORGAN: I do love it.
MORGAN: And I love New York as well. I love London. But you’re very much an L.A. girl, right?
COLLINS: I love London. But I think — you know, I love the beach. I love the fact that you can go to the desert, the fact that you can go to Palm Springs. You can go to Las Vegas and gamble. You can go on skiing in the mountains. There’s so much to do here. It’s a very exciting place to live.
MORGAN: And all of the big stars tend to live here, right?
COLLINS: Yes. And as a writer, I go to a lot of parties and I like to be an observer. I like to think I’m an anthropologist crawling through the jungles of Hollywood watching what goes on.
MORGAN: Who’s the most single most charismatic male star you’ve ever met.
COLLINS: I — you know, that’s a very good question.
MORGAN: Who’s the one who go — (CROSSTALK)
COLLINS: Marlon Brando.
MORGAN: Marlon Brandon?
COLLINS: Yes, Marlon Brando was fantastic. And he was my favorite movie star. And so, when I first met him, I thought this man was interesting. And he would have been a great politician, too.
MORGAN: Did you —
COLLINS: You’ll read about it in my memoir.
MORGAN: Give me a little taste of it?
MORGAN: Are we talking fling or something a little bit more —
COLLINS: We’re talking like I was like 16.
COLLINS: So, we won’t get to that now. (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: We’ll not get into the detail. Was it everything —
COLLINS: It was everything you would think it was. Yes. (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: I want to talk to you about the behavior of some of the politicians this year in America from a sex point of view, because there seems to be a run of quite extraordinary even by politician standard stories. Weinergate, for example.
COLLINS: It’s absolutely unbelievable.
MORGAN: Did you understand that? Did you grasp why a man would behave like that?
COLLINS: Yes. I mean, you as a man, what would you say about it?
MORGAN: I guess modern technology, I guess, has led some people like him to think that cyber friends are, I don’t know, a safer form of adultery? Who knows?
COLLINS: You’re on Twitter all the time. I’m on Twitter all the time. Can you imagine doing something like that?
COLLINS: Can you imagine standing in front of a mirror and photographing yourself?
MORGAN: I personally wouldn’t have communication with people I didn’t know. That’s what I found so extraordinary for a politician on somewhere like Twitter where you don’t know who the people are.
COLLINS: I know. And he’s talking to women and he’s photographing himself. I mean, you just don’t want that man to be in a position of power because he — how can you trust him? It’s like Clinton when he got up in front of the world and said, I did not have sex with that woman. What did he call it? I mean, he changed the whole horizon of what teenagers regard as sex.
MORGAN: He did. And yet — in Clinton’s case, he’s now remembers ever more fondly as one of the great presidents and people mourned his departure from the stage. They wanted him to carry on.
COLLINS: Because people love sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
MORGAN: Do people care about politician’s sex life. Does it matter?
COLLINS: I think it matters. I think if you are the president of America, that you should have some moral kind of standard that you’re going to keep to, that you’re going to show people, because, you know, with kids in school, for instance — I mean, I write a lot about sex, but you don’t have to pick up a book and read it. But if you’re the president, you say it wasn’t sex and it actually was sex, then the kids in school are going to say, oh, well if he can do it, we can do it. And they are.
MORGAN: You were pretty strong when Arnold Schwarzenegger came a cropper with the nannygate.
COLLINS: Well, I’m so surprised by that, Piers, because why wouldn’t I be. I mean, here’s a guy, he’s living in a house with his beautiful wife. And Maria is a fantastic woman. He’s screwing the housekeeper and having a baby with her which he knew about, the baby is the image of him. So, I wrote this piece for “Harper’s Bazaar” where I said to men, in general, zip it up, because the late (INAUDIBLE) called me a raunchy moralist and that’s what I am.
MORGAN: So, you believe in raunchy sex, but it’s going to be legit.
COLLINS: If you’re single, you can do whatever you want. You can hang from the lights here. Whatever you want to do.
MORGAN: And yet your books are (INAUDIBLE). I mean, married, unmarried. I mean, they’re all committing adultery and having affairs. What is it about? I mean, can you — I mean —
COLLINS: That’s great married sex too.
MORGAN: I love the book.
COLLINS: Lucky Santangelo has great married sex.
MORGAN: She does. But many people in your books have torrid affairs.
COLLINS: Yes, of course, that’s what I see around me.
MORGAN: Are you not quietly encouraging this kind of behavior?
COLLINS: No, I’m not quietly encouraging it.
MORGAN: People read this book and they think, oh, that’s a good idea. I want one of those affairs Jackie Collins is writing about?
COLLINS: They do. And I get great kind of tweets from married people who go, oh, you know, my wife was reading her book and we were on our honeymoon. I said, what are you reading? Let me see it. And then I read and I thought, oh, this is great. We end up having a fantastic time together. So, I think I inspire people in their sexual lives because I write erotic sex as opposed to rude sex.
MORGAN: What’s rude sex?
COLLINS: Well, you don’t want me to tell you on this show.
MORGAN: It’s a late-night show.
COLLINS: I don’t want to get bleeped, yes.
MORGAN: What I think is fantastic about it is I have no idea how old you are. If I were to pass you in the street, I would guess around 50.
MORGAN: I know that can’t be true.
COLLINS: Where are you going with this?
MORGAN: So, I know you weren’t born four years before me. How do you look like this? Your sister is the same. How do you preserve yourself so brilliantly?
COLLINS: I’m a one man band. I believe in life being an adventure. I get up every morning, and life is an adventure. I don’t know what I’m going to do except write. So I have a passion for writing. And I think in life, if you do what you love to do, it reflects in your whole personality. But I could be one of these women that has into maintenance all the time. I mean, I play ping-pong, and I swim in my pool and I lift a few weights occasionally, but that’s all I do. I eat whatever I want. (CROSSTALK)
COLLINS: — and a TV-holic.
MORGAN: You see, women don’t want to hear, they don’t want to hear is agony to get —
COLLINS: I know. I mean, you see all these girls who go to the award premieres and they’re fantastic. And they’re in the beautiful gowns. And then you see them in the magazine next week they’re on their own, and you’re like, what is that? What did the cat drag in, you know? Because it’s all about the stylist and the maintenance. I mean, these women spend their whole life. I couldn’t do that and write books.
MORGAN: Joan’s big secret is she never goes to the sun, hasn’t done since she’s 21, right?
COLLINS: She’s in the sun all the time, Piers.
MORGAN: But under a big hat.
COLLINS: Under a big hat.
MORGAN: I’ve seen her in Saint-Tropez. I mean, she’s like this mummied figured.
COLLINS: You were in Saint-Tropez?
MORGAN: Not recently, but the last time I was there, she was there.
MORGAN: And I just noticed that she just covers her face in the sun.
COLLINS: Yes, she does.
MORGAN: Were you like that?
COLLINS: When I came to America, being English, I threw myself out on my pool every day. I thought, this is fantastic. I can get a sun tan. I had the most glorious sun tan. And after about two years, I said this is the most boring thing I can possibly think of and I can be bothered to go in the sun now, apart from being in air-conditioned house writing characters.
MORGAN: Yes. We’ll come to this book, because 400 million books you’ve sold.
MORGAN: There can’t be many people alive you sold more books.
COLLINS: I know. But then, I’ve been doing it for such a long time.
MORGAN: What is the secret of continuing to write books that people buy in such huge numbers, do you think?
COLLINS: I think it’s because I write characters that they are interested in. I mean, Lucky Santangelo is really like a James Bond for women. She’s a character that women take power from. You know, I get so many tweets and letters from my female fans who go, oh, I broke up with my boyfriend and I was going to lie on the bathroom floor and cry and sob. And then I thought, what would Lucky do? And then I thought, screw it, I’m going to get out there and do what she would do — because women have to look after themselves. They have to have a career, a passion in life. And they cannot live their lives just through a man. And I think that’s so important. My message is girls can do anything, because I was expelled from school at 15 and I achieved all of this by myself. And I think that’s a good message to women.
MORGAN: It certainly is. Let’s go to a little break. When we come back, we’ll talk more about the book.
MORGAN: More about writing. You still handwrite these things.
COLLINS: I know.
MORGAN: It’s almost Keynesian.
COLLINS: I know.
MORGAN: It’s not even Victorian. (LAUGHTER) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: I’m Jackie Collins. This is my everyday life. You know what I mean? Hanging by the pool with a few people. You know what they say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Well, what happens in my house stays in my house. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That’s the average day in the life of Hollywood superstar Jackie Collins. Don’t be mad it’s your life. Let’s face it.
COLLINS: Well, you know, there’s been ups and downs, Piers, because everybody looks at me and they think, oh, she has this lavish life. She built a house in Hollywood. She’s written all these books. But I also nursed two men through terminal illnesses. And I know there’s a lot of people out there who are going through this very same thing, which is one of the reasons I’m going to write a memoir because I feel I can help people because I believe in celebrating people’s lives when they go as opposed to mourning their deaths. And so many —
MORGAN: What is the best way to deal with a terrible tragedy like a loved one, a husband, or a partner that you lose through an appalling lengthy illness? What do you think having been through this now several times, what do you recommend to people?
COLLINS: Well, there’s no best way to deal with it. But you have to go on. I mean, people have to survive after they lose loved ones. And I think you survive by memorying them in a very good way — remembering them. Pictures, I think, are fantastic to have a lot of photos of them. To have memories, to always have good memories, and always think good thoughts and not think about the bad times, you know, perhaps when they were very ill and very angry, you don’t think about that. You think of the good times that you have with them. And I know there are so many people out there who are, you know, living with people who have terminal illnesses and I can only say to them — just have courage and go on because it will be over one day and you can just, you know, celebrate their life.
MORGAN: Are you still on the dating scene?
COLLINS: I live my life like an affluent bachelor. (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: I love it. What does it mean?
COLLINS: It means when I was a kid growing up, I would read my father’s “Playboy.” And I used to see these guys that had a fabulous car and fabulous apartment, and a great sound system. They could do whatever they wanted to do. Well, I’ve been married and engaged all my life. So, when I finally lost my fiance, I thought, you know what, I want to live like an affluent bachelor, I’m going to have the fantastic car, the fantastic house, do what I want to do whenever I want to do it.
MORGAN: Is there a constant stream of boy toys coming into —
COLLINS: I’m not in to toy boys.
COLLINS: I have a man for every occasion. (LAUGHTER)
COLLINS: Make of that what you will.
MORGAN: How many occasions are we talking about here?
COLLINS: Oh, well, that would be revealing too much. (LAUGHTER)
MORGAN: Do you love men or do you deeply distrust men? What’s been your overview of the male species?
COLLINS: I think men are fantastic. Some of my best friends are men. But men really are little boys. They really are. They love their toys. You’ve got to feed them and you’ve got to keep them warm. I was going to say something rude, but I won’t. And just, you know, treat them as though they are the most precious thing in your life if you’re with somebody. That’s why I believe in being faithful if you’re with somebody.
MORGAN: Should women ever fully trust the man they’re with?
COLLINS: No, no. You cannot trust a man because it’s too tempting. There are too many temptations. I mean, look at you. You’re on a big television show. You’re nice on this show, horrendous on the other show — road to everybody, right?
MORGAN: Honest is what I’m afraid you’re looking for.
COLLINS: But you must know now that you’re in the public eye, that women throw themselves at you.
COLLINS: Yes. Of course, look at him. A smile on his face, it’s a nightmare he’s in. (LAUGHTER)
COLLINS: You know, I’ve got a lot of very famous men friends. And I’ve watched it so many times. And I remember there’s this one woman in London, and she was very rich. She was married to a very rich man but she would go after every celebrity. My husband owned nightclubs, and she would come to the nightclub and she would go, oh, that’s this one and that’s that. I mean, they all kind of succumb to her except Michael Caine. And he was so great. He went, why would I want her when I’ve got Shakira, you know? She was always like, great.
MORGAN: This book has always been a best seller.
COLLINS: Number one in England.
MORGAN: Number one in England.
MORGAN: How many copies do you think shift to this world?
COLLINS: I love that. Just like, you know, shift. (CROSSTALK)
COLLINS: My twitter fans are going crazy about it, which is great.
MORGAN: What is your Twitter address?
COLLINS: JackieJCollins. What is yours?
MORGANS: It’s at @PiersMorgan.
COLLINS: OK. Well, I do follow you. I should know that.
MORGAN: I follow you. It’s been a lifetime pursuit. (CROSSTALK)
COLLINS: Ever since you read the first sex scene in that book.
MORGAN: Exactly. We all learned sex from you.
COLLINS: I know.
MORGAN: What do you think about that?
COLLINS: I write good sex, that’s why.
MORGAN: Jackie, it’s been a real pleasure, as always.
COLLINS: Piers, it was lovely.
MORGAN: It’s a cracking book. And I love this title, “Goddess of Vengeance.”
COLLINS: “Goddess of Vengeance.”
MORGAN: You just want to read it.
COLLINS: Starred review on “Publishers Weekly.”
MORGAN: Fantastic. It’s been a real pleasure. As always, thank you.
COLLINS: Always. Thank you, Piers.