Julie Christie: Beyond pretty and clever


Julie Christie

thinks she has never been that pretty or clever. And, I must say, I’m

inclined to agree with her. It’s true: Julie Christie isn’t pretty

or clever. No, Julie Christie is beautiful and brilliant.

The Oscar-nominated actress

recently gave a fascinating and free-flowing interview with the U.K. Telegraph. She discussed everything

from her phenomenal performance in Away From Her to her aversion

to celebrity and her passion for social activism. Though, if Christie had

her way, she wouldn’t be in the news at all: “All these paragraphs

about stupid old me — when there’s a war going on!”

In Away From Her,

Christie gave a singular performance, rare both in its quality and its

very existence. Since becoming the iconic face of the ’60s, Christie

retired herself from the Hollywood scene in the late ’70s. While she

still acted, she reemerged mostly in smaller roles by design. “It’s

not my taste, being a film star,” she said. “It’s nothing I’ve

ever longed for or admired.”

Instead of giving interviews

or acceptance speeches, Christie would much rather work against

rendition and torture, global warming and the so-called War on Terror.

While celebrity causes are a dime a dozen these days, what makes Christie’s

activism so interesting is that it seems not only organic, but also completely

un-showy. I mean, lots of stars have a have a hybrid car they tool around

town in, but how many of them cut up newspapers and give them to their

guests as toilet paper? I am a little relieved, however, to hear that

she relented when her friends kept complaining about the ink on their


So what, then, could lure Christie

back into the limelight? Canadian actress and first-time director

Sarah Polley
, who adapted Away From Her

with the British star specifically in mind — that’s what. In fact, Christie

gave L.A. Weekly an intriguing

about their

relationship that will surely make all her gay fans, me included, go


“I hope Sarah doesn’t mind me saying this, but I think you

might say we developed a crush on each other. I was very flattered when

she asked me to do it.”

Well, that certainly makes me go


Also making me go ahhhh!

is Christie’s effortless self-deprecation. She joked about fitting

into her Oscar outfit (“should I have the potatoes, or not?”) and

even confessed her inability to enjoy her own beauty:

“I think I’m probably so

vain it’s quite impossible. But I look back now and I see photos and

I think, ‘Coo! Phwoar!’ And I think, wouldn’t it have been nice

to have had that knowledge when you were walking into a room?”

So true. Wouldn’t it be nice

if we all knew how lovely we really are? And at age 66, Christie is

as lovely as ever. Still sexy yet refined, still brash yet delicate.

Forty years after she became the face of a generation, there may be more

wrinkles and more gray, but true beauty and brilliance lasts forever.

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