In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with actress Bette Davis from the July 1982 issue.
“The biggest over-all criticism through the years has been that I’m too much. That’s usually when I’m acting with people who don’t do anything, so of course I look like I’m doing too much. That has never depressed me, because that’s the way I do things, and that’s the critic’s taste; if he doesn’t like what I do, I’m sorry. But I believed my way would work, and I proved it.”
“If you don’t dare to be hated, you’re never going to get there. To be an uncontroversial actor is nothing to aim for.”
“I believe abortion is better than having 10,000,000 children you can’t support! Of course, there are many people against it, the Catholic Church’s big argument being that you’re killing a human being. Perfect nonsense! Ridiculous, this murder thing! There is no child involved if you get an abortion at one month. I’ve seen an awful lot of this famous-parent business with children…oh, boy, have I! There’s one great thing happening today. When I was a child, born in 1908, education taught you that your destiny was to marry and have children. Just because you’re a woman—but that is not your destiny. There are many great women who were just never meant to be mothers, that’s all. We are improving this way enormously.”
“Homosexuals are probably the most artistic and appreciative human beings, who worship films and theater. Certainly, I’ve been one of the artists they admire very much. It was always said that Judy Garland and I had the biggest following, but I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s because I’m flamboyant. I’m not flamboyant. In my personal life, I’ve never been known as flamboyant. Joan Crawford was flamboyant. Generally, homosexuals are very appreciative of serious work in the arts, so it’s highly complimentary to be someone they choose.”
To read the interview in its entirety on your Kindle App, Kindle Fire or Kindle Touch, click below.
Or read the interview with access to all Playboy interviews on iPlayboy.