Icon BETTE DAVIS Lost Interview
All About Eve, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, A Catered Affair, Little Foxes, The Letter, Jezebel, Now Voyager….the list goes on and on!
Often referred to as “The First Lady of the American Screen,” Bette Davis created a new kind of screen heroine. She was a liberated woman in an industry dominated by men. She was known as an actress that could play a variety of difficult and powerful roles, and because of this she set a new standard for women on the big screen. Independent off-screen as well, her battles with studio bigwigs were legendary. With a career spanning six decades, few in the history of film rival her longevity and appeal.
Long before Sheryl Sandberg told us to Lean In, screen legend Bette Davis was charging men with changing how the sexes relate to each other.
“I think men have got to change an awful lot. I think somehow they still prefer the little woman. They’re just staying way, way behind and so as a rule I think millions of women are very happy to be by themselves, they’re so bored with the whole business of trying to be the little woman, when no such thing really exists anymore. It just simply doesn’t,” said the celebrated actor and early Hollywood feminist in a previously lost interview, brought to life by PBS Digital Studios’ BLANK ON BLANK.
As an early advocate of gender awareness, Davis added, “This world’s gone way beyond it. The real female should be partly male and the real male should be partly female anyway. So if you ever run into that in either sex you’ve run into something very, very fine, I think.”
In this week’s installment of PBS Digital Studios’ “Blank on Blank” from an interview recorded in 1963 by legendary Hollywood reporter Shirley Eder, Bette Davis gives her perspective on the battle of the sexes. She also reveals her experiences dealing with Hollywood executives while trying to balance her career with a “traditional” household in a male-dominated industry, and explains why being an intelligent female can be a “hindrance” in business.
The full video is here