A Half Hour With Jackie Collins (Hello! Canada)
The bestselling British author looks back on her glamorous life in Hollywood and talks famous friends and celebrity admirers
There’s a reason she has sold 500 million books. Jackie Collin’s page-turners are juicy of-the-moment tales that take inspiration from the glitzy life in Los Angeles, where she moved at 15 to join her sister, Dynasty star Joan. Here, the sensational author, now 75, tells us about her latest novel on the glitterati, The Power Trip, and chats about Old Hollywood, hip hop and heartthrobs.
Your movie star character Cliff Baxter in The Power Trip is reminiscent of George Clooney. Have you met him? I have met George, yes, and he’s an extremely charming man. But, of course, Cliff is not George Clooney. Because if he was, then we’d all know what would happen next. And I don’t see what happens in the book happening to him! [laughs] Cliff is a little Matt Damon, a little Ryan Gosling.
Have you had stars get upset seeing themselves in your books? I have. But normally they say, “I hated that character because I actually know who he is,” and it might be them.
Do you have celebrity fans? Madonna said I was one of her favourite writers, which was nice. And I know Britney Spears used to read my books.
Your writing exudes Hollywood glamour. Im not outside the mansion with my nose pressed against the glass, trying to get in – I’m inside, watching what goes on. I’ve been to some incredible parties. I try to incorporate that into my books, so people get a real feel of what it’s like.
Tell us about a memorable party. A few months ago, I invited one of my best friends, Joanna Poitier, who’s married to Sidney. He arrived from an event, in black tie, with Harry Belafonte and Blair Underwood. Three gorgeous men walked into my house and I thought, “How lucky am I?”
You’ve said when you moved to L.A. as a teen, you were a “wild child.” How so? I always wanted to come to America. I pretended at school [in London] that my father was CIA and we were undercover. I wrote fan letters to people like Tony Curtis and Rock Hudson. When I finally got here, I had no parental supervision. Joan was here making movies with Paul Newman. She went off on location, gave me keys to her apartment and said, “Learn to drive.” I was completely free. I would do anything I wanted. I’m glad it wasn’t today because I probably wouldn’t have survived!
This novel has a lot of references to hip hop. Are you a fan? I am, actually. I very much love rap music – when the lyrics are not against women. I’m not into gangsta rap.
We hear you’re a pop-culture junkie. What do you make of the TV show Girls? I like it; it’s interesting but depressing. Their boyfriends are kind of deadbeats.
Your raised three girls and had a lively social life with your late husband. How did you find the time to write 29 books? It’s called no sleep. [Laughs] My husband had a nightclub. I had three young children; they would be at school, so I’d write all day. Then bring them home, have tea together, dinner and get them to bed. I would go to the nightclub from 10 until three. I basically had four hours’ sleep a night for years.
What’s next on your jet-set schedule? I’ll be in New York City. My sister will be there with her husband, who is devine. We have tons of friends there. We’re all going to go out to a restaurant and have a fabulous time.