I have a very special treat for you in honor of the 66th anniversary of Jeremy Brett's birth.
I recently found the following article in a 1960's movie magazine. It's usually not my policy to reprint copyrighted articles in their entirety in TBE, but this one is so classic, so rare and so--well, darling--that I felt an exception was in order.
This article was originally published in 1964, at the height of My Fair Lady mania. There's not a lot of new biographical info here, and there are some factual errors (e.g. JB was actually 31 at the time). However, it's still great fun seeing JB get the "Hollywood" treatment. There are some fantastic quotes here, too, and some of them even provide insight into JB's later life ("When I'm going at break-neck speed, I seem to get much more accomplished.")
Well, enough of my blather...let's
"MEET JEREMY BRETT
by Carol Ardman
(Reprinted from TV & Movie Album, No. 8, 1964, Copyright 1964 by Official Magazine Corp.)
A vital and witty young Englishman, Jeremy Brett, is one of Hollywood's brightest new personalities. His distinctive talent and dashing good looks won him the role of Freddy in My Fair Lady, and the recent lead in the Broadway play, The Deputy.
Born in Warwickshire, England, 28 years ago, Jeremy has been interested in the theatre all his life. 'When my three older brothers became a teacher, a painter, and an architect, I don't think my parents knew how I'd turn out!' he says with a smile.
At the age of sixteen, he tackled the theatre seriously, attending the famous London Central School of Speech and Drama. Soon after he left there, Jeremy was invited to join the Old Vic company.
'Being in the Old Vic was simply marvelous,' he exclaims. 'I adored every single moment of it!' His work with the Old Vic brought him to the United States, but, 'I was overwhelmed with America then," he says. 'The enormous vitality--the hustle and bustle were just too much for me.'
Now, however, Jeremy feels more comfortable here. 'I'm older now, and find America very exciting. And the American women! They're so wonderfully-groomed--they're beautiful, really. I find them terribly attractive!' And you know he means it!
While he was working [at] the Old Vic, Jeremy and 40 others were tested for the part of Freddy Eynsford-Hill, the young man who becomes smitten with Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Jeremy was delighted when he got the part. 'Playing opposite Audrey Hepburn was a joy,' he says. 'We had done a movie together before--in England. It was War and Peace, and I played Audrey's younger brother Nicholas.'
But Jeremy, who thinks Audrey has 'a special magic about her,' didn't get the opportunity to play even one love scene with her. 'Once I almost kissed her, though,' he says with a laugh. 'Our faces were only a quarter of an inch apart, but there was a white fence between us.' Jeremy sighs extravagantly when he says, 'Audrey really is a darling. There's something wonderful about her that no man can explain, but every man can feel!'
Jeremy, whose green eyes would be enough to melt any woman's heart, finds that he has little time to date. He's been so busy making films and being in plays that sometimes he's on the go for weeks at a time. 'I haven't really been asked to go on dates just for publicity,' he says. 'But if I were asked, you can be sure I'd have to know and like the girl or I wouldn't do it.'
Personal integrity and honesty in his dealings with others characterize Jeremy's passionate desire to succeed on his own merits. He refuses to be in any play or movie in which he doesn't believe.
In fact, before he played Freddy, he was offered several other roles in Hollywood films, but he just didn't think the time was right. Jeremy loves the challenge of playing varied roles. He'd much rather take a role he feels will be stimulating for less money than take one for more money which doesn't meet his artistic standards.
Even though he's a man with tremendous energy, Jeremy admits to being lazy. 'I guess the only way I get things done is to do a lot of them!' he laughs. 'When I'm going at break-neck speed, I seem to get much more accomplished.'
'I'm not a very physical person, really,' he says impishly. 'I used to think it would do me a great deal of good to lift weights, but I gave it up when my neck started getting bigger than my head.
'But food; I adore it! And I find American hamburgers absolutely delightful. I could simply eat my way through the day on them.'
Jeremy has a realistic attitude about success. 'I want to fulfill myself in my way,' he says. 'Fame is great, but I want it to flow naturally, if at all, from my day-to-day work. If I have what is required, it will out, in time. If not, well...' He shrugged eloquently. 'One must be a consummate realist at all times...'
Jeremy Brett is a fine actor and a stimulating man. His interests range from traveling to farming to directing his own movies. His ambition is boundless, and his sense of humor exceptional. Watch for him, he's going places!"
(An accurate prediction--LLO)
Until next time,