Ryan Murphy’s latest series, Feud, has been a critical and audience smash. Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon are sure to be remembered come Emmy time – along with Stanley Tucci, Alfred Molina and Judy Davis (and if Jackie Hoffman doesn’t get the award for Best Supporting Actress, the Emmys will lose all credibility to me). The FX series airs its finale on Sunday night (the day after my forty-cough-cough-th birthday) – and if you think there’s nothing left to cover, I have one word for you, TROG. I don’t want it to ever end.
Of course, most of the real-life players in the show have passed away. Well, all but one. Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis’ longtime friend who replaced Joan Crawford in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, is still alive. Catherine Zeta Jones portrays her on Feud and while I’m sure it’s not a 100% accurate representation, it sure is fun to watch. While developing the script, Ryan said he did not consult with Olivia regarding the events covered in the series. He told The Hollywood Reporter he “didn’t want to intrude,” adding “I didn’t write Olivia because I didn’t want to be disrespectful and ask her, ‘Did this happen? Did that happen? What was your take on that?’”
Inquiring minds want to know Olivia’s take on the events of the series (in particular, the 1963 Oscars) as well as her thoughts on the rivalry between Bette and Joan. The 100-year-old screen legend, who now calls Paris her home (no word on if she’s still got a Swiss chalet as well), recently responded to an email sent by The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg and proved she’s still a class act. Here’s her response:
I have received your email with its two questions. […] I would like to reply first to the second of these, which inquires of me the accuracy of a current television series entitled Feud, which concerns Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their supposed animosity toward each other. Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it. However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves. […] As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy.
I love, love, love this. Makes you miss the Golden Age of Hollywood, before social media and endless petty skirmishes between celebrities, doesn’t it? I can only assume Miss de Havilland would not appreciate it if Feud addressed her infamous rivalry with sister Joan Fontaine in a future season. I think Ryan would know to leave well enough alone with that, but there are plenty of other tales of Hollywood legends he can tell – and I hope he does. I am really going to miss this season of Feud.
Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com