A Sultry Afternoon with Candy Darling
In the early ‘70s, Candy Darling was fastened to the downtown scene as both Warhol’s eccentric muse and an inspiration for the Velvet Underground’s protopunk music. It’s no wonder Warhol took an immediate liking to her—Darling embodied the self-invention, an idea that Warhol championed. With its mint green eye shadow and fuchsia nail polish, NARS Beautiful Darling Collection captures the blonde bombshell’s penchant for an eccentric palette as sugary sweet as the name she chose for herself, Candy.
Here, we witness a delightful conversation between superstar Candy and supermodel Lauren Hutton that took place on a hot, sultry afternoon over cream cheese and jelly sandwiches—prepared by Candy herself.
DARLING: It’s a hot afternoon.
DARLING: It’s a sultry summer afternoon.
HUTTON: It’s 1973 New York
DARLING: My name is Candy Darling and I’m interviewing the famous model-actress Lauren Hutton.
DARLING: Lorna Hutton, excuse me. Tell me Lauren is Lorna Hutton your real name?
HUTTON: No, my real name is V.R.R. Smity Doc. Doc for short.
DARLING: I see, why did you change it?
HUTTON: I thought I needed something more glamorous.
DARLING: I just thought I would ask.
HUTTON: I know you know it. I told you the other night.
DARLING: Our readers would like to know this stuff. Now, let’s see. What other question.
HUTTON: My God, you’ve got four sheets of paper there, Candy.
DARLING: Yes, well usually we only ask half a page but you’re getting the full four page treatment.
HUTTON: This isn’t going to be an interview it’s going to be an interrogation!
DARLING: Exactly. Now tell me dear, about this movie you’re about to start working on.
HUTTON: Karl Reisz is directing it—The Gambler with James Caan. Reisz is very good. He did Morgan and Isadora.
DARLING: This is what your sixth movie?
HUTTON: My fifth.
DARLING: Fifth. You’re doing pretty good girl. What was your last?
HUTTON: Number four never showed here. That was with Marcello.
DARLING: Marcello who?
HUTTON: Marcello Mastroianni
DARLING: You, of course, played the love interest.
HUTTON: I was the love interest.
DARLING: You’re a very lucky girl my dear. You have all these beauties acting opposite you, don’t you?
HUTTON: I do. I do.
DARLING: I’m glad someone’s happy. But seriously though, which actor did you like the best? Acting across from, I mean.
DARLING: Better than Robert Redford?
HUTTON: I liked Redford too . . . Big Red, ummm . . . It’s too hot.
DARLING: It’s too hot here?
HUTTON: No, it’s just too hot any day in general.
DARLING: It’s too hot a subject looks like to me.
HUTTON: That’s a hot one too.
DARLING: It’s not hot here ladies and gentlemen, I swear.
HUTTON: Listen, her air conditioner broke down and we’re in here sweating it out.
DARLING: You know how these actresses are, they love to complain.
HUTTON: Besides that I’ve got her dog in my face. Ronnie, get back.
DARLING: Ronnie, get out of the lovely cream cheese and jelly sandwiches I worked so hard to prepare.
HUTTON: You promised me creamed tuna on toast.
DARLING: Did you always want to be an actress, Lauren?
HUTTON: No, I wanted to be Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
DARLING: Really, so did Susan Tyrell.
HUTTON: Oh, did she?
DARLING: Yes. You have the same agent, don’t you?
HUTTON: Yes, John Gaines
DARLING: He could be an actor himself. He’s very handsome.
HUTTON: I know, I’ve had other agents say, “You’re with that movie star, huh?”
DARLING: So you didn’t want to be an actress when you were a child?
HUTTON: I wanted to be a lot of things. There were a million things I wanted to do. I still do. Acting is one of the good ways of doing it you know, because you can be all those things.
DARLING: But you always play more or less the same part, don’t you?
HUTTON: I always play the girlfriend.
DARLING: You’re a professional girlfriend?
HUTTON: What else? Also, I’ve almost always been rich. Once I was a rich hippie, when they had those, and I’ve forgotten what the others were. I’d like to play a poor girl sometime.
DARLING: That’s what they all say. Anyway, you don’t look like a poor girl. Your image is not poor.
HUTTON: I’ve been a poor girl.
DARLING: Well, actually you’d be good as Tammy whistling alone. Jungle Tammy starring Lauren Hutton.
HUTTON: You’d be good in Gidget Goes to Hollywood.
DARLING: Thank you dear. But seriously, though, I love those pictures of you in the car. I love you in cars. In limousines. With coats on.
HUTTON: I haven’t done any of those.
DARLING: Oh, yes, you did.
HUTTON: No, I haven’t.
DARLING: Dear, I have plenty of pictures of you, now don’t deny it.
HUTTON: Now, you’ve gotten me mixed up with all the others.
DARLING: Oh, no, dear. I remember you in a black and white coat looking out the window.
HUTTON: I could’ve forgotten.
DARLING: Did you ever want to be a model as a kid?
HUTTON: I guess when I read about Suzy Parker that was in there with the archeologist and Sheena and all the others.
DARLING: It’s an American girl’s dream.
HUTTON: Yeah. I didn’t think I had much of a chance of becoming one.
DARLING: What was your big break? How did you get into pictures? Is it true your father owns the studio?
HUTTON: My father owns several studios but we try to keep it quiet… No, my father’s been deaf for a very long time. Anyway, I was in Mexico and they were looking for a girlfriend for George Plimpton for Paper Lion. They tested about 30 girls and I just happened to be on the cover of Vogue that month which the producer’s wife just happened to have lying on the coffee table. And listening to her old man complain about all these tests and none of them were right and blah, blah, blah and she said, “What about her?” and he said, “Eureka!” So it was strictly luck.
DARLING: Yeah. So you were actually discovered?
HUTTON: By a producer’s wife on a coffee table.
DARLING: The coffee table, huh? That’s not the way I heard it.
HUTTON: You heard it was the kitchen sink?
DARLING: I heard it was the casting couch route.
HUTTON: No, no.
DARLING: Don’t be ashamed Lauren.
HUTTON: I’m not ashamed. I’d be the first to admit it.
DARLING: That’s the way I did it, you know.
DARLING: The casting couch. I met this director and I carried his couch on my back up five flights of stairs. He couldn’t afford a mover. Do you believe in acting schools? Did you ever go to one?
HUTTON: No. I just studied on my own. I’ve been working for two weeks with Marion Seldes, an actress, who teaches at Juilliard and I’ve just been doing improvs because I haven’t acted in two years. The last movie I made was with Marcello two years ago and I thought I’d just try to do something. But that was the only time.
DARLING: You’re the idol of loads of American girls, do you ever think of that?
HUTTON: It’s pretty hard to conceive of.
DARLING: But don’t people recognize you when you’re out? Don’t people ask for your autograph?
HUTTON: Yeah, but I feel very silly about it.
DARLING: You feel silly if you walk out on the street, let’s say Madison Avenue, and half the people know who you are?
HUTTON: But what does that really mean?
DARLING: It means you’re very famous.
HUTTON: I’m not as famous as you.
HUTTON: I’m not.
DARLING: No? How shocking.
HUTTON: You and Viva are my favorite movie stars.
DARLING: Viva’s my favorite, too. But that’s just what I was going to ask you, who are your favorite movie stars?
HUTTON: You and Viva.
DARLING: I did not put her up to this ladies and gentlemen.
HUTTON: It’s true, she always has been. You have been ever since I first saw you.
[LONG EMBARRASSING PAUSE]
DARLING: Why don’t we call this the “Candy Story by Lauren Hutton.” Do you think of yourself as a star?
HUTTON: No. Because you see, that’s the difference between me and you. I’m not really a movie star. No matter what I do in acting, whether I’m good, how much work I get, whatever, I will never be a movie star. Because I never will think of myself as one. You are a movie star because you think of yourself as a movie star and always have.
DARLING: But it’s fantastic, isn’t it? You’re going to do so many pictures. You already have so many pictures. Every time I pick up something you’re there.
HUTTON: I’m embarrassed about it.
DARLING: You’re in this book I have, Eileen Ford’s Book of Model Beauty.
DARLING: I heard that Eileen turned you down at first but you cried and cried so much she finally took you on.
HUTTON: No. Everybody else turned me down, I saved her for last because they were the best. And I didn’t think I could cut it. ‘Cause I just started out and I didn’t know anything about it. I changed a few things in my book and I went over there to see her and I didn’t think she was going to take me at first, and then she asked me what I did before modeling and I said I went to Sophie Newcombe College in New Orleans for a while and I think she liked that. She likes . . .
DARLING: Classy girls?
HUTTON: Yes, I was also working as a waitress on Bourbon street but I left that part out.
DARLING: Is it true you had to have your nose done, your teeth capped, silicone shots and you had to lose 50 pounds?
HUTTON: No. All I had was my feet bopped because they were size 14, but that’s all. It’s a good job, isn’t it?
DARLING: But you can tell if you look close.
HUTTON: That’s true because of all these scars on my toes.
DARLING: But no one would know in the dark with stockings and shoes on
HUTTON: But if I put an American flag over them no one would ever know even in the light.
DARLING: Now, vital statistics. We have to know that. You’re tall.
HUTTON: I’m 5’7½. I’m just about the shortest model in the business, which I also lied about.
DARLING: What are your measurements Lauren?
HUTTON: I don’t really know.
DARLING: Well, then pick them. The public really wants to know.
HUTTON: 42 . . . no, that’s too far out. It’s about 39-18-34, I think.
DARLING: There’s almost the same as mine: 40-20-38. What size dress are you?
HUTTON: Eight. What about you?
DARLING: I don’ know, I think I’m about a fourteen. No, I mean eight or ten. Do you ever get nervous knowing that so much depends on your looks?
HUTTON: Maybe sometimes, but so much doesn’t depend on my looks really. Because I’m not the best-looking model around. That was never really what I was trading in.
DARLING: What would you say your look is?
HUTTON: What do you mean my look?
DARLING: You know, your look?
HUTTON: First of all my face is very changeable, I can look a lot of different ways depending on how I’m made up and how I’m feeling. That’s because my face is not perfect in any kind of way, it’s kind of happenstance and I quite often can’t remember what kind of makeup I’ve put on, you know, a few minutes before. When I go away for a while I completely forget how to do my makeup and have to start all over again. Also when I talk or think, my face changes. So sometimes I’m pretty but not all the time.
DARLING: There’s a warmth in your face and a goodness and a sincerity and that’s what they must respond to. Because anyone can be made up to look glamourous. But there must be something special that you have because you don’t see any other girls on as many covers as you.
HUTTON: Again, it’s because my face is so changeable. They can use me with the new makeup, the new hairdo. I can change with the times.
DARLING: You can take a lot of makeup.
HUTTON: I really can’t take a lot of makeup. I really can’t.
DARLING: She’s sitting here, everybody, with about two pounds of makeup on, two pairs of lashes. I mean I could carve my initials in her face and maybe I will.
HUTTON: Just try.
DARLING: No, seriously, ladies I must say in all fairness to our readers that Lauren has very little makeup on and is as gorgeous as the day is hot and long.
More CANDY DARLING here!