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The Twenty Questions Everyone is Asking About Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh frequented the pages of the UK’s most popular film fan magazine, Picturegoer, throughout her career. This particular interview is really interesting because it shows Vivien being rather short with the press. Margaret Hinxman, one of Picturegoer’s top journalists, mentions an article she wrote in a previous issue where she wonders why Vivien chose so many depressing film roles. Vivien sort-of answers this and other questions about her career here.

What do you make of Vivien’s answers?

The Twenty Questions Everyone is Asking About Vivien Leigh

by Margaret Hinxman
Picturegoer, November 26, 1955
*Submitted to by Chris

20 questions about Vivien Leigh

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (8)

  1. straight forward and to the point. nothing wrong with her responses especially considering it was a 15 minute interview imho

  2. She really managed to say almost nothing of substance. “Toyed with a cigarette”, when her TB was well established. Poor thing.

  3. She was very gracious, but her answers were shoty, and to the point. I rather consider the questions stupid and implying faults with her. Bravo Viv !!

    1. How are the questions stupid if this was the sort of criticism she had been facing (particularly in the theatre) at that time? Obviously audiences still went to see her, but the questions about The Deep Blue Sea might indicate her film career was in a bit of a slump at the time. It’s really not a very good film. I’ll post the corresponding article later.

  4. She was very gracious, but her answers were shoty, and to the point. I rather consider the questions stupid and implying faults with her. Bravo Viv !!

  5. I find it quite infuriating that this interviewer implies (just like Tynan, augh!!) that Larry undermined his performance to make Vivien’s “look better”. Although I’ve never seen Larry and Viv on stage, I did hear their performance of Caesar and Cleopatra on the big show and I thought Viv performed equally to Larry. She was articulate, clear and certainly spoke in a strong voice. The crap this woman had to endure was unbelievable.

  6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Vivien’s answers. It’s a 15 minute interview- she can’t elaborate on everything. Her responses were straight-forward and honest. Perfectly fine.

  7. So, add “Anastasia” to the might-have-been list of films Vivien didn’t make but was rumored to be offered or actually doing. Funny, this is the same time frame when William Wyler was sending telegrams asking her to play the wife/mother in “Friendly Persuasion”. I’ve sometimes thought that, in a perfect rewrite of the past, Vivien might have given Ingrid “The Deep Blue Sea” in exchange for “Indiscreet” but… all in all, I like Vivien in her Litvak film better than Ingrid in “Goodbye Again” – in which Litvak stages an emotional top-of-staircase scene for his leading lady in almost exactly the same way as Vivien’s! It will be interesting to see how the new version of “The Deep Blue Sea” with Rachel Weisz directed by Terence Davies turns out. It’s not really fair to judge Vivien’s film from bad copies made from tv. Without a letterbox version, characters speaking are sometimes out of frame, not to mention other problems. A younger leading man (say, Richard Burton) certainly would have helped, though. I find More a bore, even though he got the good reviews and the acting prize at Venice. The NY Times loved Vivien, and Pauline Kael called her performance here “brilliant” and preferred it to her Karen Stone. It certainly has its strong acting moments (even if most of them are not with Mr. More.)

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