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EXTRA! Kim Novak

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 15, 2020 12:00 am

EXTRA! Kim Novak

Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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January 15, 2020 12:00 am

Mo Rocca’s extended conversation with actress turned artist Kim Novak.

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Sunday Morning
Jane Pauley

Our CBS Sunday morning podcast is sponsored by Edward Jones. College tours with your oldest daughter. Updating the kitchen to the appropriate decade.

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Life is for living. Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at Hi, I'm Jane Pauley, and this is our Sunday Morning Extra, our podcast featuring a memorable story from our most recent show. It's a conversation that offers insights beyond the broadcast. This week, Mo Rocca's extended conversation with Kim Novak.

Baby, what you do? I get so tired of just being told I'm pretty. She was just 22 years old when she got a big starring role opposite William Holden in the 1955 film Picnic.

Three years later, she guaranteed herself a place in cinematic history with her dual role in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo with co-star Jimmy Stewart. Look, it's not fair. It's too late. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. It shouldn't have happened. It had to happen. We're in love.

That's all that counts. Look, let me go. Please let me go. Listen to me, listen to me. More movies quickly followed, but then when she was in her 30s, seemingly at the height of her career, Novak decided to walk away from Hollywood and lead a quiet life.

Mo Rocca paid a visit to Kim Novak at her idyllic home in Oregon she shares with her veterinarian husband and a lot of animals. Tell me about the color lavender. Well, it was my color. I did love it.

And I even tinted my hair lavender. But then I hated it after because they made too much of it. What was it like dating Frank Sinatra? Oh, Frank Sinatra. Oh, but it was thrilling.

I bet. Yeah, it really was. But he was like a big brother. I mean, he took care of me. He really was wonderful.

I mean, he was so good. One time I wasn't feeling good, and he sent over a whole box of, oh, who's? Thomas Wolfe.

Yeah, all of his books. And, oh, he became my favorite. He took care of me. He was so wonderful.

I just love Frank Sinatra. Was it a great romance? No, not really. I mean, and maybe he thought so. No, I mean, I just loved him. He was wonderful and kind and beautiful, helped me get a new agent and helped me build up my strength as believing in myself. And it really helped me a lot. And I went with him to his music sessions, and he just helped me believe in myself and in him.

And yeah, I thought of him more romantically then. Have you been in love many times in your life? In love? I've loved, I've loved much in my life. In love in my life, probably not that much.

In love, no, not that much. Who is somebody just that springs to mind in Hollywood that was just a lovely person that was very kind? Well, actually Jimmy Stewart is, encompasses almost his, he encompasses everything. And he's everything that Hollywood is not. And I mean, he's so not fits the mold of Hollywood.

And yet he's timeless. I've read what I think is kind of a beautiful reminiscence of yours from shooting Bell Booking Candle with Jimmy Stewart, that there was, you were doing a scene, they called for lunch or a break and you just stayed there. Can you tell me about that? What happened? Yeah.

Yeah. They called for lunch and we were doing a scene and we both just put our feet up on a coffee table and sat there through the whole lunch. They turned off the lights and we just put our feet up and took off our shoes and wiggled our toes.

And it was just the most comfortable feeling. He was just, you know, he's somebody also who never felt like they were a movie star. You know, we both were sort of like out of our element. We both never felt like we were actors somehow. I've heard you say that you were both reactors more than actors. Yes. What do you mean?

Well, that's right. Both of us felt like we worked off of each other, like we were reactors. I never felt like an actor. For me, I always felt like that, like I always resented calling myself an actor, but I reacted off of life, off of incidents, off of whatever. But an actor to me always felt like someone who was artificial. Acting to me is something phony, unnatural. Reacting is natural. Reacting is from life.

It's real. And was there anyone that you really... Otto Preminger made you laugh. Oh, Otto Preminger was a wonderful director. He was wonderful. Now, Otto Preminger was known for being mean to some actors.

I know. Most people didn't like him. I adored that man. I adored him.

It's interesting that you really... But see, that's right. But he, again, like my father, he was tough. So I was ready for toughness. I could take tough.

I could take tough. But he was brilliant and wonderful, and I loved him. He allowed you the freedom as long as you played by the rules.

He was wonderful. You know, it's funny, as we've been sitting here talking, and sometimes you're searching for words, right? And I'm wondering if that's why you paint, because... Express myself where I can really...

I have certainly an easier time with putting my feelings into my paintings, into... Yeah, I have certainly an easier time expressing myself with a paintbrush than in words. Yes. Right.

Yes. I prefer it that way. And I don't have any trouble with putting it into... That's my choice of expression. I'll paint you a picture. My pictures tell me... Show you about all of my whole relationship with Hollywood, et cetera.

Okay. I could... My whole life story is in my paintings. My whole feeling in Hollywood and after, and before. And my whole life, every question you've asked and every question I've answered is in there, my whole history. It was a painting for it. Everything you ever want to know or ever asked is in there. So, here's my studio.

This is it. I mean, one side is my office where I write, do my poetry and stuff, and this is my studio. When did you start painting? Oh, I started actually in grade school. And actually, I wasn't a really great student, but art was the one thing I was good at. And then, as I say, I was not really popular at school. But then when I won scholarships in high school, suddenly I was looked up to. I won two scholarships. Suddenly, I was special. Scholarships to where?

The Chicago Art Institute, yes. And I got to go on Saturdays every week. And I felt so special. Suddenly, I meant something to myself, to my family. And so, were you surprised by your talent?

Well, yes. I was surprised when other people recognized it. I wasn't surprised that I had the talent. But to me, what surprised me was when other people recognized it. Because it didn't mean anything unless anyone else knew it.

I mean, what good is it if no one else knows that you have talent? You know, when I was in Hollywood, what I did is every day, almost, when I did Polly the Pistol, which was for Billy Wild, a wonderful, great director. But what I did was I painted. I didn't paint always. I sketched it. But I painted the characters I was playing. Did you really?

I sure did. You would paint the characters. I would draw the characters. They helped me find out who the characters were. I thought, I'm Polly the Pistol. I didn't like Polly the Pistol, personally. I didn't like her. But I found out who she was, first of all. And I did the same with every character I played. Did you paint Madeline?

Absolutely. I painted Madeline. I painted Judy. I painted every character I played. I drew them. I got to know them that way. Did you paint Madge from Picnic?

Absolutely. Of course I did. I got to know them. How did you think I got to know them? I sketched them. I sketched who they were. I took their profile. I took their faces, their lips, their mouth, their nose.

And I got to know them. And you were telling me you had no technique. That sounds pretty technical. Well, art is a different technique than acting. Right, but it was a technique for you to find characters.

Absolutely. That's fascinating. Do any of those paintings exist? In my scripts. You would sketch them in the script? Yes, on the pages. Whenever I was getting to know them, I drew them. Did you lose all of those in the fire?

A lot of them, yes. I would love to see the sketches of Madeline and Judy and Madge. Yeah, yeah. They were real people. They were real characters. I drew them. That's how I got to know them. That's who they were to me. I drew them as they looked, you know.

Where would you be without painting? I wouldn't. I probably, I might not even be here today, to tell you the truth.

I might not. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the Marathon Initiative, a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out. What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation, our military situation, is not being matched up with what we're doing. Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 07:04:11 / 2023-01-28 07:08:45 / 5

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