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Joan Collins schaut zurück auf Dynasty

Joan Collins schaut zurück auf die Dynasty-Jahre. Damit ihr nicht lange rumsuchen müsst, kopiere ich ihren Bericht hier rein:

As Dynasty returns to our screens... Alexis was a bitch, but she was nothing compared to my co-stars!

The call came in as I was lying by the pool in Marbella. It was August 1981 and I was on holiday with my family and some friends.
‘They want you for Dynasty,’ said my agent excitedly.
‘What’s Dynasty? A Chinese restaurant?’ I asked.
‘It’s a big American TV series. Haven’t you heard about it?’
‘Not a word,’ I said.
‘Well, they need to know right away, as they start shooting their second series in two weeks and they want you to play Alexis.’
‘Hmmm, that’s a good name,’ I said. ‘How long is the gig?’
‘They’ll need you for about six weeks,’ he said.
Well those six weeks stretched into nine of the most fascinating years of my life, and it’s hard to believe it’s 30 years since it all began.

To mark the anniversary, the final four-part reunion series is being re-screened tomorrow night.
I went from being practically unknown in America to becoming one of the most popular actresses on television.
My face was plastered in practically every magazine and newspaper, and my every move was gossiped about.
On my first day on set I had to wear the same costume an unknown actress had worn in the final episode of the first series.

Even at the last minute, the producers still hadn’t cast the role, having offered it to, and being turned down by, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren. They were having furious rows about who should play Alexis.
Although they changed their tune later, few of the executives wanted Joan Collins.

If they couldn’t get Liz or Sophia, they were hot for Jessica Walters, and it was only because my old friend, the producer Aaron Spelling, fought for me that they finally relented.

So on that sunny November morning I donned a second-hand, black-and-white suit, a big white, wide-brimmed, veiled hat, and dark sunglasses and walked into the courtroom where Blake Carrington — Alexis’s former husband — was on trial for murder.
My first scene was being cross-examined by the prosecutor, played by the great actor Brian Dennehy.

The entire Dynasty cast sat in the courtroom looking me up and down, whispering to each other about my face, my figure, my acting, my clothes.

I realised this as I sat in the witness box, and was glad I had totally memorised the 15 pages of dialogue.
I caught the eye of Blake (John Forsythe), who gave me a grim smile. I wondered whether he was acting or if he hadn’t enjoyed his breakfast, but since I was also directing hate-filled looks his way, as Alexis despised Blake, it was most likely acting.

Krystle Carrington (Linda Evans) smiled at me sweetly, but then I recalled what her ex-husband, John Derek, had said about her: ‘Linda smiles at me as if I were the only person in the world she wanted to see. Then I realise she smiles at everyone that way.’

The friendliest face of all those in the spectator section was Jeff Colby (John James), who winked and gave me a secret thumbs up. John and I became the best of friends and are still in touch.

During Blake’s trial, I had to testify that he fought with my then lover, played by Ted Dinard. I put plenty of sugar-coated venom into my speeches about Blake, and I could see that even though they were all off-camera, the cast seemed intrigued.

The following day, Nolan Miller, the designer of the fabulous Dynasty clothes, told me that when he, Aaron Spelling and several ABC network executives were watching the results of the day’s shooting, everyone gasped when I took off my sunglasses and raised the veil. ‘Put a lot of hats on her,’ Aaron instructed Nolan. ‘She looks great in hats.’

Soon after Alexis came in, Dynasty, which had been languishing in the ratings, began to climb to the top. Fan mail for Alexis flooded in and the studio’s edict was: ‘Put this gal in gorgeous costumes all the time. The public loves her.’
Dallas was already a big hit, and Larry Hagman, who played oilman J.R. Ewing was the No.  1 TV villain. But now there was a new baddie in a rival show — me.

Alexis was a superbly meaty role, but I was still stunned by how fast the public took to her.
They loved her one-liners to Krystle and Fallon. When Alexis first sees her daughter after 15 years in exile thanks to Blake, she purrs: ‘I see you’ve had your teeth fixed, if not your tongue.’

When the producers realised the physical fights between Krystle and Alexis were pure viewer gold, they tried to concoct at least one every season. But oh, how I detested those fight scenes!

I’ve always disliked any physical violence, and when I first came to Hollywood Gene Kelly advised me sagely: ‘Remember kiddo, you don’t have to do anything rough or dangerous on the set. They’ve got stunt-gals for that.’
But Linda, who was about three inches taller than me, adored the rough and tumble of the fight, and refused to use hers.
As Linda and I faced up in our first big fight scene, Gene’s words rang in my ears: ‘You’re putting some poor stunt-gal out of business!’

So when the time came for Linda to throw me on the ground and bash my head against the wall, I called in Sandy, my double.
Ignoring Linda’s scornful look, I sat sipping coffee next to the camera while the two of them went at it hammer and tongs.
By the second year of Dynasty, we were the top show in the U.S, and many other countries. We were filming 14 hours a day, five days a week, and my weekends were taken up with interviews, photoshoots and the constant planning for more outrageous haute couture costumes.

Aaron had insisted that Alexis should always be more expensively and chicly attired than any of the other actresses, which most of them didn’t seem to mind. Then, when Diahann Carroll was cast as Blake’s half sister and ‘television’s first black bitch’, as she referred to herself, the gloves came off in the over-dressing department.
We used to joke about what we were going to wear in the show.
‘I’m in pearls and a mink hat today,’ Diahann would say.
‘Really? I’m in diamonds and a sable coat!’ I’d giggle.
The competition to outdo each other sartorially did a lot for the show. We were extremely good friends then and still are, even though our characters hated each other.

Unfortunately that was not the case between John Forsythe and me. He was always rather aloof, although he was very warm towards my stand-in Judy Bryer.
He and Linda were also extremely close, and she relied on him for many things. I never socialised at John or Linda’s house, although they attended a couple of my soirees at mine.

I found this sad, but Nolan suggested the massive attention the Alexis character had generated by propelling Dynasty to the top of the ratings perhaps caused a touch of the green-eyed monster, even though they were both making more money than I was.

Aaron told me that when I posed for Playboy, John Forsythe stormed into his office, yelling: ‘She’s a disgrace to our show and bringing down the reputation of this series.’
However, very gradually, his attitude mellowed towards me and in 2005, when we filmed a documentary about Dynasty, we hugged and kissed, fondly reminisced and were genuinely happy to see each other. I was very sad when he died in 2010 — he had, after all, been a huge part of my life and success.

Things looked up for Alexis in 1983 when, after seeing off Cecil Colby by bonking him to death, and becoming the richest woman in Denver, she meets handsome Dex Dexter (Michael Nader). He was extremely good looking and charismatic, and soon became the resident Dynasty stud, but his kisses were so fierce I often ended up with a bloody lip!

Our love scenes were hot and heavy, and quite a few took place in a bubble bath or sauna. But when Dex had an affair with Amanda (Catherine Oxenberg), another daughter, Alexis dumped him.

I loved working with Michael, and constantly badgered the producers to let us get back together, but they preferred us feuding. We had great chemistry and I ribbed him mercilessly when he wanted a rise and remarked that he found it hard to get along on just $40,000 an episode!

Then, out of pure greed, the producers decided that, since Dynasty was such a major hit, they would produce a spin-off series, and The Colbys was born.

John James, as Jeff Colby, was transplanted and they assembled a starry cast — Charlton Heston, Moses himself, was the patriarch, and Barbara Stanwyck, Stephanie Beacham and Maxwell Caulfield were some of the protagonists.

The Colbys was given Dynasty’s regular 9pm Wednesday slot. It was expensive and not quite up to par. There was massive confusion between the two shows, causing Dynasty to lose millions of viewers and our No.  1 rating. The storylines became more and more fanciful — alien abductions, terrorist massacres — to try to win the audiences back.

The producers wanted me to guest star in The Colbys, but I refused, as I knew that would cause even more confusion and I wanted to remain loyal to the show that had done so much for me.

Nevertheless, John Forsythe, Linda Evans and practically all the rest of the cast trekked over to do guest slots.
In the last year, Dynasty’s producers finally gave me salary parity with John Forsythe, although his contract stipulated that he had to get a few thousand a week more than the next highest paid actor [Joan was said to be paid £75,000 an episode, £3,000 less than Forsythe].

But when I reported for work, I was told: ‘Sorry, Joan, we can’t afford to pay you every week, so you’re only going to be in half the episodes.’
To say I was upset was putting it mildly.
Linda Evans had already quit, as had Alexis’s son Steven, a popular character played by Jack Coleman.
The only original characters left were those played by John Forsythe, John James, back in the fold because The Colbys had failed, and Michael Nader.

They brought in Stephanie Beacham as my hateful cousin Sable, but the series had lost its lustre. Dynasty was dying.
In the final episode, Alexis discovered Dex had fathered a baby with Sable (‘How lovely, a change of life baby,’ Alexis sneered,) Krystle was in a coma, Blake was shot in the head, Fallon was trapped in a tunnel and Alexis and Dex tumble through the top-floor banisters of the Carlton Hotel seemingly to their death and — freeze frame — they’re left suspended in mid-air as The End comes up on the screen.
Viewers were furious there was no proper ending.

So, by popular demand, Dynasty: The Reunion was screened in October 1991. Krystle had recovered from her coma, Alexis had survived her fall and all the characters toasted each other: a real happy ending. Cheesy, but happy.

As I recall those Dynasty days, many happy memories come flooding back, as well as some sad ones.
I was sad when Ali McGraw was fired in front of the cast and crew; it was extremely sad to watch Rock Hudson, once one of the most handsome and bankable stars, wasting away from Aids (he played Daniel Reece, who had an affair with Krystle); and it was tragic to watch our fabulous ratings slip as Dynasty’s plots became more and more far-fetched.

But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and if they asked me to do it all over again, well of course I would. If only I could fit into the clothes.
Actually, I can!

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09.09.13 09:48
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In dieser Reflexion berichtet Joan Collins, dass sie sich sehr gut mit John James und Diahann Caroll gut verstanden hat und noch heute mit beiden Kontakt hat.

Sie mochte auch John Forsythe gerne, aber er war sehr aufgebracht, dass Joan auf dem Playboy-Cover erschien. Er dachte, dass würde der Serie schaden.

Joan bekam für eine Episode 25.000 Dollar Gage und John Forsythe 28.000 Doller.

Gegen Ende der Serie hatte Joan oft bedenken, wegen des Drehbuches.

Mit Michael Nader verstand sie sich auch recht gut und er war ein heftiger Küsser. Manchmal blutete ihre Lippe nach einer Kussszene.

10.09.13 20:48
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Zitat von Eisenfaust:
In dieser Reflexion berichtet Joan Collins, dass sie sich sehr gut mit John James und Diahann Caroll gut verstanden hat und noch heute mit beiden Kontakt hat.

Sie mochte auch John Forsythe gerne, aber er war sehr aufgebracht, dass Joan auf dem Playboy-Cover erschien. Er dachte, dass würde der Serie schaden.

Joan bekam für eine Episode 25.000 Dollar Gage und John Forsythe 28.000 Doller.

Gegen Ende der Serie hatte Joan oft bedenken, wegen des Drehbuches.

Mit Michael Nader verstand sie sich auch recht gut und er war ein heftiger Küsser. Manchmal blutete ihre Lippe nach einer Kussszene.

Vielen Dank für die interessanten Einblicke!

15.09.13 09:56