Making my bow on TV
by Vivien Leigh (as told to D.H. Cousins)
TV Times, March 13, 1959
Television is like a tinder-box that fires imagination, and to an actress this can only be a challenge.
Though, of course, it will never oust the theatre, television has the advantage of reach, and brings to acting the immediacy, the now or never, the win or lose inevitability of, say, the Wimbledon tennis finals, the Derby or the Cup Final.
Unlike film-making when, if a scene is not quite right the director orders a re-take, in a television performance the director can no more call “cut” than a tennis umpire can sponge out the score. In both tennis and television, the play goes on with all the excitement of immediate, concentrated effort.
Fortunately, the comparison with Wimbledon ends here – the actors are not (or should not be!) competing against one another.
There is no denying, though, that to an actress television is a challenge, and who could resist a challenge?