In ‘Forever Young,’ the 75-year-old actress opens up about life before and after ‘The Parent Trap’
By Louis Bayard
By Hayley Mills’s reckoning, it was the “role that got away.” At the age of 14, the British actress was approached by Stanley Kubrick to star in the film version of “Lolita.” “I could see it was a good part,” she recalls. She even saw a bit of her innocent self in Nabokov’s nymphet: “She was teetering on the brink of womanhood, like me. … She wants her own way, she’s moody, she wants to be treated like a grown-up, but behaves like a child. I got all that.” But Mills’s parents turned down the role on her behalf, and if they hadn’t, it’s a safe bet that her employer, Walt Disney (having already vetoed her for “Exodus” and “The Children’s Hour”) would have sent both Kubrick and Humbert packing. “Disney’s daughter,” as Mills calls herself, would remain Disney property. Continue reading
The other week, watching an old TV interview of Alfred Hitchcock by fellow film director Bryan Forbes, I was struck not only by Forbes’ wide jacket lapels, but also his seeming nervousness when confronted by the director of Pyscho: a nervousness he covered well by a somewhat contrived eloquence, and the casual lighting of a cigarette. After ten minutes or so, with Hitchcock given room to tell his often witty and dead-pan stories, Bryan Forbes had turned what might have been an awkard encounter between star and fan into an enlightening masterpiece.
But then enlightening masterpieces is what Forbes did, and Whistle Down The Wind is one of them.
1959 was a busy year for Bryan Forbes and his film producing partner Richard Attenborough, not least because of the creation of Allied Film Makers, a production company that had come about through the production of The League of Gentlemen, with a superbly witty script by Forbes. Continue reading