5 April 2015

Longing to do "Giant"

On 7 March 1955, Grace Kelly was put on suspension by MGM after she had refused to play in "Jeremy Rodock" opposite Spencer TracyGrace didn't like the film's script, and besides she was anxious to play the female lead in "Giant" for Warner Brothers. Her wish to do "Giant", however, would not be granted; the role eventually went to Elizabeth Taylor after Rock Hudson had chosen her over Grace. Meanwhile, MGM wanted Grace for another project, "The Barretts of Wimpole Street", a remake of MGM's own 1934 version. But again Grace refused, feeling she was too young to play the role of forty-something Elizabeth Barrett (unlike many fellow actors, Grace could afford to be without salary while on suspension).

Grace's suspension was finally lifted on 23 March 1955. A month earlier, she had been nominated for an Oscar for her leading role in "Country Girl", and as the Oscar ceremony was approaching (to be held on 30 March) MGM decided to lift the suspension to save embarrassment in case she won. Grace eventually did win, beating the favourite Judy Garland who was nominated for "A Star is Born".

The letter for this post was written in March of 1955 by Grace Kelly to Richard Gully, Hollywood insider and friend to the stars. In it, Grace touches upon the subjects mentioned above-- "Giant", her Oscar nomination, her suspension and "The Barretts of Wimpole Street". Especially noteworthy are her horoscope remarks concerning "Giant". Grace was a firm believer in astrology, which was also noted by biographer Sarah Bradford: "She was a very superstitious woman [..], with a deep belief in her destiny as predicted by astrology and in the personal characteristics of her sign Scorpio. Astrologers had told her that she would obtain extreme good fortune through hard work, and that belief sustained her. She retained her interest in astrology to the end of her life [..]" [via].

Source: legendary auctions

Transcript:

Wednesday

Dear Richard-

Enjoyed seeing the cuttings- thank you for sending them to me-

Rushed out to get horoscope and was very disappointed because it really said nothing- was hoping it might have said that it was written in the stars for me to do Giant - But what is is best I guess- But I was longing to play it-
Am arriving about the twenty-eight for two weeks-  the suspense of the awards will have me a nervous wreck by the 30th-
Have no idea what Metro means to do about my suspension- except that they mention "Barretts of Wimpole St" to the newspapers occasionally- But I was talking to Katherine Cornell about it last night and she said that Elizabeth Barrett was forty-three years old - and that is the poignancy of the story- while I'm still young enough for certain parts why age myself unnecessarily- It will happen soon enough--

All my best
Grace (Patricia)

*Note: Katharine Cornell was an actress who played Elizabeth Barrett in the original play by Rudolph Besier.

Grace Kelly and Rock Hudson: their collaboration on "Giant" was not to be.

1 comment:

  1. Another great letter. Thank you. I didn't know Grace wanted to do Giant.

    ReplyDelete