In the ’60s, London was so vibrant. It was an explosion of all the arts, and we felt free to express ourselves in inventive ways. I was the “it” girl for a while, jumping onstage and dancing at Joe Cocker shows and wearing my Mary Quant miniskirts.
Everything changed when my older sister died [a suicide at age 23]. I didn’t think I was allowed to have fun anymore. Luchino Visconti put me in The Damned, and since then I have chosen parts with an extra challenge—difficult roles, as in The Night Porter.
It’s best not to look in the mirror and fret over not having the face you used to have. There are things you can do to get that young look back, but I’m not going that way. If age is an oncoming storm, I’m prepared to take that on, because I want to be brave.
Photographer Juergen Teller kept asking me to pose nude. I kept saying no. But in 2009, when he asked me [at age 63] to pose nude in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, I said yes. The idea was just too amazing! I could almost feel Mona Lisa winking at me.
For years I’ve been with a man I love, and I want to be with him always. He’s asked me to marry him, but I’m not going to. I’ve been married twice and had my wonderful children, but this is a different time in my life. I want to be able to think that if the shit hits the fan, I can just get up and go. Not getting married is my personal ode to freedom.
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