Warner Brothers is releasing 150 of its “classic” films from the vault, and Debbie Reynolds (who starred in some of the newly re-released films) sat down with Parade Magazine to talk classic movies, modern films and her absolutely incredible collection of movie costumes and props.
I found this interview because Debbie discusses that she enjoys both Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, but as it turns out, she only mentions them in passing, unlike her revelation a few weeks ago that she believes Aniston and Jolie could be friends one day. I’m really writing about this because I found her collection of movie stuff really fascinating. Debbie owns Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, the one she wore in The Seven Year Itch! She also owns a pair of Judy Garland’s red slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
P: You’re a self-proclaimed movie buff, what are some of your favorite films?
DR: Dark Victory with Bette Davis is one of my favorites. And I love Gaslight and For Whom the Bell Tolls with Ingrid Bergman, Singin’ in the Rain and all the Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger movies — there are just so many to choose from.
P: Are there any actresses today that you think show the same kind of star power that film stars had back then?
DR: Meryl Streep of course. And I like Gywneth Paltrow. I think Nicole Kidman is very gifted and I also like Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. There are so many talented people today, I could go on and on.
P: What kind of role did movies play in your own childhood?
DR: I had a radio growing up, I didn’t even have a TV! So I loved going to the movie theater. I always have liked musicals because everyone’s happy and dancing and having a good time. There weren’t any big problems. I always had a thing for a fairytale ending.
P: Rumor has it you have an extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia that you’ve collected over the years.
DR: The studios were getting rid of all their memorabilia in the ‘70s. They didn’t have any regard for it and unfortunately the studio heads changed and the people who bought the studios were more interested in making money and not in preservation. That’s how I got started in it, and I’ve been collecting ever since.
P: What are some of your most prized items?
DR: Marilyn Monroe’s white subway dress. Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz and the wizard’s costume. I loved the film. I also have Barbra Streisand’s Hello Dolly costume and many of Gretta Garbo’s costumes. I have over 5,000 costumes, cars, props and equipment. We’re working on opening up a Hollywood Motion Picture Museum in Tennessee where people can come and see everything.
P: Musicals seem to be making a comeback on screens big and small, especially with the success of shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.
DR: It shows you what the fans want right now. I think these shows are enjoyable and if a friend of mine is on one of the shows, I’ll make sure to watch, but I wouldn’t go on [Dancing With the Stars]. First of all, I’m a dancer and you’re not supposed to already be a dancer. It wouldn’t be fair to the other contestants!
P: Since you’re a classic film lover, do you also keep up with today’s films?
DR: My daughter [Carrie Fisher] recommends what I should watch. She says, Mother, you have got to see this.’ And she rents or buys all the new movies and helps me keep up with them. She usually sends them down to me because I live right below her and I just watch them by myself. I also catch up on my films when I’m on the road. I travel 40 weeks out of the year. Like last night I bought Doubt to watch on the hotel TV and I was glad to finally see it. It was sad and it was dramatic — it’s not my favorite subject, but I enjoyed the performances. I prefer comedies or more romantic films.
Some of those costumes and props are a better investment than gold. If Debbie ever decides to sell any (or all) of it at auction, it would be worth a fortune. Beyond a fortune. She was very savvy to invest in those pieces, although she probably did it just because she’s such a movie lover.
It’s so cute that Debbie and her daughter are still so close – they’ve been living “together” for years. I think the situation is that Debbie lives in Carrie’s guest house, but it’s probably like two separate but continuous estates.
Here’s Debbie (with Dina Ruiz Eastwood and Ruta Lee) at the Thalians’ 53rd Annual Gala honouring Clint Eastwood in Los Angeles in February 2008. Images thanks to WENN .
Written by Kaiser
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