In what’s certainly our favorite interview of the month thus far, the Observer‘s Tim Atkin goes to Paris and gets dinner cooked for him by GÃ©rard Depardieu, whose name we never fail to spell wrong in many wondrous and varied ways. Along the way he shares quips the actor inspired (Marguerite Duras described him as "a very attractive truck," while John Updike supposedly poetically bemoaned, as many must have in the 80s, "I think that I shall never view/A French film without Depardieu") and various gossipy details (he drinks five to six bottles of wine a day when "stressed," three or four on a more relaxed day, and, when doing the rounds to support his new cookbook, he appeared drunk on a French
TV show, and called one of the more critical guests a "moron" and a "dickhead"). Big plus: if you want to cook along with GÃ©rard, the Observer includes three of his favorite recipes (complete with a New Agey intro from the actor). And yes, they do talk about films a bit somewhere in the interview too.
On the topic of another, far less accessible screen icon, as we approach what would be Greta Garbo‘s 100th anniversary, Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle tries to pin down what Garbo meant to him:
She is the woman who wrecked my life, or at least changed my life. Before Garbo, I always figured I’d go to law school, and I never had any special interest in movies — certainly not any fanatical interest. And then I saw Garbo in "Grand Hotel," and some switch went off in my head. I don’t know why, exactly. My high school sweetheart and I had just broken up a few months before, so maybe I was just a lonely, miserable slob. Or maybe it was some latent psychosis kicking in. In any case, I became absolutely obsessed, as obsessed as someone might have been in 1928, when Garbo was something new.
He goes on to point out ten random and rather delightful observations about Garbo. Jane Ellen Wayne at the London Times recalls a rainy day in which she happened to walk beside the star for several blocks up Madison Avenue.