British star Dame Joan Collins has suggested the number of predatory “wolves” on film sets has fallen over the years.
The veteran actress, 90, has detailed her experiences in the industry in a new memoir, Behind The Shoulder Pads – Tales I Tell My Friends, which will be released on September 28.
Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB), Dame Joan recalled meeting US star Marilyn Monroe, who warned her against the “wolves in Hollywood”.
'It was taken as an actor's divine right to sleep with his leading lady and I had that from several'
Dame Joan Collins shares Marilyn Monroe's warning and her experiences of 'predatory men' in the industry. pic.twitter.com/gqtri4vstK
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) September 26, 2023
“I said, ‘I can handle wolves, we have those in the English film industry’, and she said, ‘Not the Hollywood kind. If they don’t like you, if you don’t come through for them, they’ll cancel your contract. It’s happened to lots of young girls’, Dame Joan said.
“So I said, ‘I’ll just avoid them’. I was good at avoiding them because my father, who was an agent, told me one of the best things to do to avoid a predatory man – laugh at him.
“And it worked – quite a few times.”
Dynasty star Dame Joan, who made her name at 17 in the film I Believe In You, said a “sisterhood of young actresses” had to put up with unwanted advances on film sets but banded together.
On Tuesday, GMB co-presenter Richard Madeley suggested exploitative men are “still with us” – with Dame Joan replying: “Not to the same extent.”
She continued: “In the business, it was just taken as an actor’s divine right to sleep with his leading lady.
“And I had that from several: George Peppard, Richard Burton, Richard Todd. They just took it, ‘That’s the meat there for me. I can dine on this juicy young piece of whatever’.
“And if it wasn’t them, it was the producers, so I don’t think it’s nearly as bad because I talk to some young actresses today.”
Dame Joan recalled an experience on a British film set with a producer who was “chasing” her around the corridors asking, “Do you really want this part?”
She added: “The wardrobe people were very nice and they used to hide me in the wardrobe as he came prowling at the end of the test.”