In 1983, I interviewed brilliant actress and fiery personality Susan Tyrrell–who recently died–for a staggering Details cover story.
The woman was not capable of lying, and since I’m not either, we bonded big time, like thieves in a henhouse.
Here’s more of the amazing stuff she said, which I’m honored to pass on to you.
“It’s a pus hole. It’s so suicidal, putting up this front about the right restaurants and houses and pools, and they’re miserable, miserable, miserable. The facelifts, and they’re miserable! I’d rather eat shit here in New York than have it good there.”
Re her Forbidden Zone costar, Herve Villechaize:
“We were lovers. He used to say, ‘If you fuck me and I hear about it…’ I loved him dearly. Now he looks like a Mexican bartender. He’s very sick. His organs are bigger than he is, so they grow and he has to be on morphine. Herve’s a brilliant man, hilarious sense of humor, who’s very paranoid. He carried a gun and a long knife all the time. I loved him very much. You ask any woman he’s been with–he’s a very sexual man. He knows what to do!”
*Remembering when she tested for Lenny:
“Dustin Hoffman and Bob Fosse were talking about, like, swallowing cum and then turning to me and saying, ‘I hope we’re not embarrassing you.’ To get into the Lenny mood! No one loves Lenny more than me, but you don’t do this to Susan Tyrrell. I can tell cum jokes better than anybody, but fuck your little dinky dick humor!”
*About Warhol star Candy Darling:
“I lived with Candy for two years. I had a mental breakdown and was in Metropolitan Hospital, which is where I met her. Her motto was, ‘SuSu, don’t let men ever make you mean.’ That’s how I lay down on the floor and do what they tell me. I won’t let them make me a fucking feminist jerk. All the tutoring–the things a mother should have told me–came from Candy. Words to live by.”
*Working on the play Camino Real:
“Tennessee Williams was in a stretcher in the aisle every day at rehearsal, completely dying of overdoses, and this Little Lord Fauntleroy with a pageboy and a velvet outfit was feeding him packets of pill bottles. The kid would open his jacket and there’d be rows of medicine….Tennessee said to me, ‘You know, my favorite women are always 50% men. My favorite men are always 50% women. You are neither.’ It cut me to the quick because of course you want to be loved by Williams. You want him to look at you and go, ‘This is the Anna Magnani of our future.’ He detested me. And now he’s dead. Just goes to show you.”
*Re her film Tales of Ordinary Madness:
“I don’t talk in this movie very much, which can be better. I hate talking. That’s why I hate theater, these plays with monologues. Keep it down to the bone. Pass the information on, but don’t break their balls about emotions. When you play a cunt, you’d better have good writing backing you up. When you talk on and on about your goddamned problems, I can’t stand it as an actress, I hate it as an audience.”
*Re artist George Condo, whom she’d married a year and half before our interview:
“I took a look at him and it was really not what I had in mind for myself. I had in mind another Coltrane type who also played in the Rams. I wanted a big black man to live with all my life. George was this tiny, frail boy hunched over from years of classical guitar playing, with green teeth–and I never left him after the first night. I’m in love. I needed that all my life. It’s a deep, deep religious experience. Instead of Jesus at the foot of my bed, there was George!”
*As for her final thoughts on the biz:
“I’m gonna get my tubes tied to ensure that no actors come out of me!”