Elizabeth Taylor on "Suddenly, Last Summer": You Go Crazy
Interview with Elizabeth Taylor
Conducted by James Grissom
All of us, I think, are near hysteria, but when you've been trained from your crib to make people laugh and cry and buy things, hysteria is a trick, a joke, an accessory, so it wasn't hard to fake it for the camera. But I felt real hysteria when I played Catherine, and it was the material, and it was Monty [Clift] teaching me about acting, about people, about the things that exist between the lines of the script. And who wouldn't be terrified of Katharine Hepburn? I mean, in the character of the mother: Kate is a glory; she's there for you every second, safe and strong.
When you don't know what the truth is, you go crazy. That's what Monty told me the play was about. Identity, and no one wanted Catherine to be anything but the character she was in their own little story, their own little play, and there you are, screaming about who you really are. And no one cares. Who wouldn't go crazy?
© 2017 James Grissom