A lanky, long-haired lass is leaving Miss Peel behind
DIANA RIGG - you probably know her better as "Emma Peel" does not want to be a star.
She does not want the star treatment either. Limousines and luxuries - Hollywood can keep them. She likes the way the Royal Shakespeare Company handled her and its other big names when it recently produced its first film, "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
"There was a great deal of discomfort," she said, savoring the heresy. "Nobody had stand-ins. We did our own standing-in. Generally we even did our own make-up!"
Miss Rigg said she and co-star David Warner were too interested in the film to worry about incidentals. This lanky long-haired lass of 29 created the role of Emma Peel in the offbeat television espionage series, THE AVENGERS, returning to ABC in January. Now she has branched into feature movies, but says she objects to the use the Movie industry makes of its box office talents.
"Basically they give you what they consider the star treatment and at the same time exclude you from the very important part of filming - the talking, discussing and working out things with the director, almost on improvization level," said Miss Rigg.
"I don't want to be excluded.
"More often they treat you with the deep suspicion that you're going to turn difficult. If people do turn difficult, they generally do because they are misunderstood, not treated as a human being.
"Also, a great deal of money is wasted, and where there is a great deal of money there is a great deal of panic.
"This is what I detest, the basic insecurity of these people who don't have their own standards, their own attitudes. Everything is based on the person directly above them."
Miss Rigg, as intelligent as she is beautiful, was one of the brightest lights on the Shakespearean stage when she defected to THE AVENGERS television series.
At the height of her success as "Mrs. Peel," she quit the television screen this year (she will appear in the first eight episodes) to return to the Royal Shakespearean Company for her first movie.
"For me it represented everything a film should be, working with actors and actresses who I admired and respected," she said.
Next on her diary, starting January 15, is a movie called "ASSASSINATION BUREAU", which she chose "because it is the best film script I have read for a long time.
"Basically it is the turn of the century when all those archdukes and kings were being assassinated and I, as a journalist, attempt to uncover the assassination bureau with some astonishing results. The point is, it's at a time when there were no female journalists so she is a militant feminist."
Miss Rigg finds nothing unusual in the mixture of classic Shakespearean actress, swinging spy and militant feminist.
"I am an actress and should be able to embrace every single medium and style and text," she said.
Miss Rigg enjoys the recognition of her work but dislikes to be pursued for her autograph. She enjoys a gay time out at a smart Hotel or club but refuses to talk about here private life.
"It is probably easier to categorize one as married, just about to be or having been," said Miss Rigg. "But I won't subscribe to categorization."
From: San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle: Datebook, USA, December 24th 1967
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