Possibly Glenda Jackson’s last media interview

Possibly Glenda Jackson’s last media interview


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2018

My hot-headed former MP gets into a horrible tangle with the LA Times.


“You’re the people I avoid like the plague!”

Her adversarial manner, confounding at first, left me feeling defeated. Aware of her contentious reputation, I asked if she thrived on conflict.

“I don’t. I have opinions, yes.”

“Would you describe yourself as angry?”

“Depends on what context.”

“This is a conversation.”

“I’m not angry.”

“You’re quite ferocious in your manner.”

“Oh no, really, come on.”

Seeing that I was prepared to end the interview, Jackson grew conciliatory. I must say in her defense that her refusal to traffic in bromides and pleasantries is rare and somewhat admirable. It is her fierce independence of mind, after all, that has set her apart as an actress. 

Read on here.


  • Stuart says:

    Interesting interview, but I guess I don’t get why you chose to title the piece as you did. No indication of that. There is a lot more to the interview than the small section on which you set your focus. “Horrible”? Click bait.

  • Adam says:

    Terrific actress.

    Mad as a sack of ferrets…..

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    She’s great. A great actress, a great MP who never compromised on her principles. Her parliamentary speeches were often brilliant. And this is a very good article. I don’t see any “horrible tangle”.

  • Sue says:

    This shill is an embarrassment to Britain and has always been. I’d agree she is ‘mad as a sack of ferrets’, and nasty to boot. Not a shred of class (ironic, isn’t it, when you consider one of the titles of her films!). And as cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss.

  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    Always good to see Two Buck Chuck get it in the oompaloompas.. Well done Ms. Jackson.

  • Lisi Russell says:

    To highlight this comment out of context is shamefully exploitative. The complete article shows a woman of stratospheric talent, grace, wit and honesty — and beauty, incidentally — trying to answer ridiculous questions from a Hollywood journalist who doesn’t know how to deal with a person who is a grounded, super-intelligent artist not trying to impress with her “brand” and self-importance. In revenge, he attacks her clothing and face. The original article is the portrait of a man having a nervous breakdown because he isn’t prepared to let her speak the truth about what it was like to create a play as a team and wanted her instead to acknowledge his own Shakespearean credentials (to someone who knows every play by heart). It ends with Glenda expressing what appears to be genuine solicitude, suggesting he take a rest. This follow-up is another distortion to get attention in a negative way. The world of venal sensationalism doesn’t deserve the phenomenal person of conscience, bravery, talent and generosity who is Glenda Jackson.

  • Bruce says:

    “I had come to worship Jackson, not to grill her.”

    That might have been part of the problem, seeing as how she apparently has no patience with being worshipped.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    The Stage’s gain is the Labour Party and Politic’s loss. Prickly she might be but better that than the usual anodyne pap that constitute celebrity interviews. I’m sure Mr Mcnulty survived his ordeal and it certainly gave him some good copy. As to whether it will be her last interview, I’m sure she’s not really bothered, just as she never really followed the party line when she was an MP. Glad to see she is still one of the hot headed awkward squad.

  • Eric says:

    I’m not seeing what this has to do with classical music? How many other articles about actors do we see?

    • V.Lind says:

      It’s Saturday. There is occasionally an off-topic story on a Saturday.

      There have been better ones, and this really is paraded in a way that is inaccurate, unless it is deliberate clickbait.

    • Bruce says:

      “The inside track on classical music and related cultures”

      (Also, it’s NL’s blog and he can post what he wants on it.)

    • Hilary says:

      She was the widow of Tchaikovsky in the famous Ken Russell film.

  • Barbara says:

    Oh dear,Sue. Very unpleasant comment, maybe you need to have a rest,too.

  • Alan says:

    Amazed by Sue’s comment. Jackson has a huge amount of class. Two years ago I invited her to my school to perhaps guide and advise a group of drama students – I offered to pay her train journey. She would not hear of it – she paid her own ticket, travelled to the school and spent one full day working with students. She was brilliant: No pomposity or self congratulatory side to her at all. Plus the fact that she is by anyone’ s reckoning one of the finest actresses in the world. I’m assuming by Sue’s personal comments that she must know Jackson. I couldn’t disagree more! A class act.