Black text, is Kim speakingPurple text is Sean Hepburn Ferrer speaking
“I’m doing fine, thank you. I just came back from Rome, where I saw my brother. We just launched this new exhibit. In the first week, we had 10 000 visitors. 25% of the sales went towards Unicef. Anyways, let’s get on with the interview. Now, what questions are you wanting to ask? Wait, have you read my book?” “Yes, I have.” “Okay, lets get started!”
“First of all, lets remove the words actress, and replace in with humans. I think that today, her legacy is not just one of her acting career, her style (less is more), it is not just that that makes her alive today, and her Unicef/humanitarian work. It is a mixture of all three that are intertwined. That is what her legacy is about. A three sided, three dimensional story. In the end, I think she had a quality that she didn’t see herself as special. She saw herself with too big feet, a bump on...
...her nose. And so, right of the bat there is an insecurity. You recognize your owninsecurity, and know that she is a normal person. All of these reasons (how her dad left, she lived through the war, wasinsecure about relationships, andthe hunger during the war), were the things we take for granted. All of these things that we have, she didn’t have through the war. This made her real, insecure, aware, but in a happy way. That communicatedinto a simple state...she is one of us. If she lived ...
...across the street, she would be the onerunning up the thing, spending the night withyou, sitting on the windowsill telling stories. Ithink that her best trait was how people couldtell that she was real. For example, if yourfriends win an award, it was as if you were upthere with her. While, when the beautifulblonde girl gets an award, it just isn’t the same.You know?”“I agree, as I could tell this factor about hersince I first saw her photos. Even before I readabout her! It was as if the way she looked (letalone acted) made her seem like she was a realperson!”“And very often people ask what she was like.That was the purpose of my book. Is to confirmthe fact, and to show her few good choices inher lifetime. Look at the choices, very few goodchoices. You saw, she wanted to be the dancer.She had to work hard. My grandma wasadored, but was washing stairs on her handsand knees. [Audrey] had to go to work, so shetook up some bit parts, some modelling, andthe rest was...
...history; she got discovered. But, once she wanted tohave a family, like most Hollywood stars, they wantfamily, but are so addicted to fame and money. Oncethey are sixty they have a lot of money in the bank, buttheir kids dont know who they are, and they don’t knowwho their kids are. There kids grow up with nannies, etc.She wasn’t like that.. When she wanted a family and I gotthe age where I had to go to school, I couldn’t go on aplane with a nanny to visit her. Nowadays, movies take along time to make, back then, six to eight weeks. Thenadd a week of rehearsals before and touring after; that’slong time to be away from your kids.”“I couldn’t believe how she was such an amazingactress, but when it was time for her to have afamily, she was 100% committed. She seemed to alwaysput her family first.”“The day that you grow up, get knocked on the head afew times, you will know. You will know even betterwhat it feels like...just ask your parents. Of course, thereis all kinds: parent’s that are in the army, at sea, andworking in different countries. But, she could dosomething about it, so, she sucked all the Hollywoodaway. She had enough money, lived a normal life by thecountryside, and that was what was enough for her. Shewas happy with that.”
(Laugh) “I noticed them all. They weren’t reallycharacteristics. I think that she was a friend. When Ilook back at my childhood, I think that she was morelike a friend than a mother. She never told us exactlywhat to do, but she gave us her advice and opinion.She always left decisions up to us, but she wouldrecommend one side. Once you get to a place where adiscussion can happen. She always taught by example.She was there. She got up with a sleepy head. Shewould help me with my homework, pick me up fromschool. She baked birthday cakes, went to buy socksand books. Regular mom, but obviously we had arather nice life. I say regular, but there are peopleliving in Sudan and that is not the regular. I guessthere is always a more or less somewhere.”“That is true, but I think that with each day that passesthe number of days that pass, the ‘less’ side decreases.Just think of what the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fundis working towards!”“Exactly.”
“I think that love is something insideof us when we wake up in themorning-it’s a state of being. I alsothink that she was very close with herown disappointments: losing her dadwhen she was a little girl. Again, thehardships and feelings of need, of thewar. When she got to the other end ofher life, she perceived this as a greatopportunity. Nowadays, celebritieshelp out all the time, but in the sixtiesit wasnt so common. And she as asingle woman, who made a career anda living, and that was a way of sayingthank you. She never forgot thefeeling of what it was like to be akid, receiving food from Unicef. Thosewere the early triggers that helped herachieve great heights with Unicef.When she was offered the job, sheknew it was the right thing to do, soshe took it in a heartbeat.”
“Probably herself, as she never thoughtthat she was good enough, so she wouldalways stay late practicing. It was thesame with Unicef. She didnt want to bejust another celebrity that showed up, shewanted to really educate herself aboutwhat she was doing. She really became anairdate, she wrote all her ownspeeches, and knew all her facts. But, inher career she didn’t feel like she was goodenough, so she worked extra hard. Shethough that someday, someone wouldrealize that she wasn’t that good, and shewould be screwed. And, so I think thatthose are sort of the building blocks forthat.”“What do you mean when you say thebuilding blocks for that?”“I mean, all of these different aspects ofher life helped create and define who shewas.
“I think she liked the friendships.Some people ask me what was herfavourite film, it wasn’t about the filmto her; it was about the friendshipsshe made. You know, once the filmwas over, the friendships always livedon. Like I said before, she was herbiggest tumbling block, her fear thatit would always be taken away fromher. Her dad left, all her belonging inthe war. She was always reallynice, knew her lines, was preparedbecause of this feeling, and that iswhy people liked her. They wanted tobecome friends with someone likeher.”
“I don’t think that she would ever...um...I think that she thought that lifewas what you were handed. It is likethe great cook. It is easy to be goodwhen everything is handed to you, andwhen you have enough money to goto any market and buy whatever youneed. The brilliance of the chef, issomeone that has half of theingredients, and can still makesomething magnificent. How manypeople are in your family?”“There are 4 of us: mybrother, mom, dad, and myself.”“Okay, well I am sure that when yougo out to a movie, or stay outlate, your mother comes back andworks in the kitchen, or whoever thechef in the family is. They probablytalk to you while making dinner, andyou remember that, not the food. Idont think that Audrey would havegone...
...back and changed anything.Instead, she would have thought as ifshe could have had five more minutes.She would hug, make sure everyone isokay, and then talk about our need fora collective responsibility. That iswhat she would have talked about.She would talked aboutresponsibility, not guilt. Like I said inmy book, she was living a secondchance. The war, the whoopingcough, she had so many times whereshe could not have made it...but shedid. So her whole life, she was livinga second chance. Like the Chinesesay, ‘live each day like it’s yourlast’, and she came pretty close tothat. She appreciated everything, anddealt with everything that was thrownat her. If I could change anything forher, I would...well I don’t think Iwould. She did have two...
...unhappy marriages. The men thatshe chose were very trapped in theirown ways and life. Maybe it wasbecause she was very insecure andnever spoke up. Well, that might besomething to change, but If wechanged that, we would have tochange her. We wouldn’t want to dothat. She had strength, courage, andwhere there wasn’t...what makes aflower so beautiful? If you make theflower steel, it then becomes not asbeautiful as the flower that is daintyand delicate.”
“Do you think that Audreywas working towards anylarger goals in her life?”“I think she had very simple goals, andachieved most of them. Maybe if shehad more time, to work withUnicef, improve her garden, and to seethe world at a different age.”“I think she would be respectful withwhat we have done. She would catch upwith what has been done, and talkabout how to get rid of this phantom-mouthed vicious circle that we aretrapped in. Yes, we have reduced thechild mortality from forty-one thousandto twenty-two thousand today. Sohalf, but we still havent created a socialresponsible system, where these peopleare able to stand on their two feet. Theycan’t stand when there is a drought, orwhen their government falls apart. We...
...have yet to give these people theshovels to dig their own lands, not justgiving them the food that they need.This is what needs to change. Buysharing her story, you are helping too.People who are going to listen to it, itis a puzzle that is going to grow insideof them forever. ““Since I am writing about her, doyou think there is anything abouther life that (in your opinion) isnecessary to mention?”“I think that, it is not what you say, buthow you say it. Audrey always lived bythat. You tell them about what youlearned. You can look on YouTube tosee how she acted, talked, andbehaved. Maybe, first tell them abouteverything that you learned abouther, the essence, and then divedeeper. Try to go on YouTube, to gosee her. Do it the way she wouldhave, the audience will thenconnect., or take words out of hermouth. This weekend, take...
...the time to really get to knowher, get absorbed in who she is. Learnthe story, and watch her.Remember, you want to connect withthe audience. You are now carryingthe baton for Audrey and sharing itwith your class. You have the wholeclass in the palm of your hand. Howold are you?”“I am fourteen years old.”“Wow, good for you. She often spokeabout the power of children, becausethey are uncorrupted, innocent, andsometimes don’t know everything.Right now, you have one foot in adultlife, and one foot in child life. You arein the perfect position to grasp this.When you get home thisweekend, listen to her and read abouther. You want to understand her. Youare going to speak on her behalf. Takethe time to really get to know her. It isalmost like you should make out aspeech, do not memorize it. You willthen kill the connection. It is your ...
... own words, know your key points andit doesn’t matter what order they comeout in. I never knew what you weregoing to ask me, I was unprepared.Yet, I think that when you hang up, youwill still remember the words that I said.Just like the book tells a story. It is notimportant that you give facts andfigures; it is about the feeling. Thepeople in the class, will know you knowwhat you are talking about. Showthem, don’t tell them exactly what youlearned. Think about what Audreywould have wanted you to say in yourfive minutes. If you make itenjoyable, they can tell. Have faith inyourself.”“Thank you so much, for everything.The window into your mother’s life, aswell as advice on how to give myspeech.”“You’re very welcome. Break a leg! Iwill be thinking about you onMonday, and if you have any additionalquestions or want to talk again, I amaround this weekend!”“Thanks again, and I will be sure to talkto you again about how it went. Icannot thank you enough. Bye!”“No problem. Bye.”