by Sam Juliano
The following is the transcript of an interview held on August 12, 2013 with the last surviving lead performer of the 1939 Hollywood landmark ‘Gone with the Wind.” Olivia de Havilland, who lives alone in the U.K., decided to grant a rare interview in deference to her continuing interest in WitD’s Romantic Films Countdown. Ms. de Havilland was 97 years old at the time, but sprite to a fault.
SJ: Ms. de Havilland, I want to thank you so much for allowing this interview, especially as I know you need your rest, and rarely grant one-on-ones anymore.
OD: Well, Mr. Sam, I am pleased to be of some assistance. Your site’s Greatest Romantic Countdown has attracted my interest, and it is one of the places I have been visiting during my limited on line sessions. I have been mightily impressed with many of the reviews by a bevy of writers. You people have really taken this project seriously, and should be proud of what you have accomplished. I read somewhere that a man named John Grant suggested that you seek a publisher for the whole lot. I must say I heartily agree with the bloke. And please call me Olivia young man.
SJ: Thanks for the compliment Olivia, but I am not so young anymore. I think Mr. Grant came up with a very good suggestion there, and I will certainly be looking into it.
OD: Before we go on could I order you any refreshments? There’s a good fish n chips shop two blocks to the south, and they deliver.
SJ: Thanks so much Olivia, but I did have something about an hour ago. I’m good. I was told you lived in Paris since 1960, but I was told by a reliable source you moved to London eight years ago.
OD: That’s right Mr. Sam. I was being heckled by the paparazzi. They always want to exploit my non-relationship with my sister Joan, and frankly it is none of their business. A friend helped me to secretly make passage from Paris to London using a disguise and a fake passport. Only my daughter Giselle and a few very close friends know I am here, and one was your contact. (editor’s note: Joan Fontaine passed away four months later in December of 2013 at the age of 96)
SJ: Absolutely Olivia. I can’t say that I blame you at all. I guess you know what film I am here to talk about then, right? (more…)