Monday, March 20, 2017

Franchot on Joan's Intelligence and Beauty

In 1933, in the very early days of their relationship, Franchot talked to a reporter about the reasons Joan fascinated him:
I'd rather know Joan Crawford than anybody else I know. And I have any number of reasons. In the first place, Joan is more intelligent than most people. Joan has what the French call l'intelligence de coeur, or intelligence of the heart. It is a human and sympathetic intelligence, the power of learning by putting herself in the other person's place. But it is more than that, too. It is the power of giving meaning to every new experience by relating it to a past experience. When Joan comes in contact with something new, she instantly coordinates it with the rest of her knowledge. Therefore, Joan is intelligent in a deep and understanding way.
She is receptive to every new idea. There are some people who make a pose of being receptive and brag about being 'open-minded.' Not so with Joan. She never accepts anything just because it is new, or because she wants to prove she is broad-minded. But she examines everything with an open mind, then chooses that which she considers worthwhile. And she has an instinctive mental judgment which helps her pick the wheat from the chaff. For example, Joan honestly believes that she knows nothing about acting, and is just beginning to learn. And yet, when we talk about the stage, when I tell her things that happened to me when I was on the New York stage, little tricks of technique that I saw actors use there—she can pick the good ones from the bad ones instantly. She knows at once what would be right for pictures and what would be wrong.
Then there is Joan Crawford's beauty. I hardly need mention that. But a fascinating thing about her beauty—and a thing you don't realize until you know her personally—is that she is beautiful in two distinct and different ways. One the screen her beauty is formal. It gives you the impression of a classic statue. It might be sculptured, that head of hers. But you don't really appreciate her beauty until you see her without her make-up. Sometimes when you're traveling in a foreign country you suddenly come across a woman who literally makes you catch your breath. If you're in Bavaria you find yourself saying, 'Here is the perfect type of Bavarian beauty.' Well, seeing Joan as she really is, so fresh-looking, with that clean-scrubbed look of hers, you say: 'Here is the perfect type of American beauty.' And her freckles are a part of it.
I think the first time I became aware of her great beauty was once when I had been asked to her house for lunch. She was in the back yard taking a sun bath. She came in, her hair rumpled, and oil all over her face and arms. And she was beautiful! Beauty like hers is a real thing. You can't mistake it!
Part two on Joan's humor, talent, and business sense coming tomorrow!

Jamison, Jack. "'I'd Rather Know Joan Than Anybody Else' says Franchot Tone." Photoplay Magazine. November 1933.

No comments:

Post a Comment