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Actress Jacqueline Bisset to discuss new movie at Albany Film Fest

Actress Jacqueline Bisset to discuss new movie at Albany Film Fest

Bisset will be on hand at the University at Albany on April 6 to talk "Loren & Rose," along with director Russell Brown

By Jack Rightmyer, April 3, 2024, Times Union

reprinted with permission

English actress Jacqueline Bisset has been an international film star since the late 1960s. The 79-year-old actress has starred alongside some of Hollywood’s greatest leading men such as Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. She has also worked with such legendary film directors as John Huston, Francois Truffault, Roman Polanski and George Cukor, and yet the film people she reveres most are the screenwriters. 

“You can’t make a film without writers,” she said in a recent phone call from her home in Beverly Hills. “My most recent film, 'Loren & Rose' had a fabulous script. It was intense, truthful, fun and deep. Before we filmed, I wasn’t so sure if I could do it, but it turned out to be such a pleasure. It’s so hard to find such a rewarding part. Some of my roles I only needed one or two of my acting gears, but for this role I needed to use all my gears.”

On Saturday, said film will be shown at the Albany Film Festival and Bisset, along with the film’s director Russell Brown, will appear to discuss it. The movie concerns two characters, a promising young film director and an iconic older actress, as they discuss the power of film, creativity and how fleeting life is. As the film progresses, and after many meals and discussions together, the pair forms a genuine and loving relationship based on good, honest conversation.

4th Annual Albany Film Festival

10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6

University at Albany Campus Center

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany NY 12222

“The characters became very close as they planned to make this movie despite their age difference. My character, Rose, had such an understanding and empathy towards him. She knows firsthand how easy it is to fall into a pit of negativity, especially in the film world.”

Russell Brown and Jacqueline Bisset attend the U.S. premiere screening of “Dead For A Dollar” at the Directors Guild of America on Sept. 28, 2022. Brown directed Bisset in her most recent film, “Loren & Rose.” (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Quiver Distribution)

Bisset, who has starred in 47 movies and in such classic films as “Bullitt,” “Airport” and “The Deep,” loved making this low-budget film and enjoyed working with the young actor Kelly Blatz. “I’ve worked with many great actors, but this film allowed both of us to speak such great lines and to really have a range with our acting. Some of my past roles weren’t very strong. The male leads often had all the good lines.”

The film’s director, Brown, loved the passion and vitality Bisset brought to her role. “She made the words come alive and dance. My strongest memory of working with Jacqueline are moments that happened before the shoot. We spent a lot of time going through the script and discussing the character. The energy she brought to the role was incredible.”

Brown said Bisset didn’t just learn the heavy amount of dialogue, but she also really came to know the character. “It was seamless to work together and understand and trust each other. Kelly, Jacqueline and I really were a little family by the time we started filming.”

Bisset, like the character she portrayed, believes film can change you. “I was changed by film, by watching an actress like Jeanne Moreau. She expanded my consciousness. As a young woman I was only interested in boys, but she portrayed women that totally intrigued me. She was playing women that were independent, strong and willing to take chances. She showed me the type of female I could be.”

Bisset initially played parts that accentuated her looks. Yet through the years she has gained the reputation of being an exceptional actress, proven by her Golden Globe award and the French Legion of Honour Award she received in 2010 for her acting, the highest order of merit given in France.

“Acting is a joy, and it’s my job. I take the work very seriously. I’ve always been a very responsible person. I had to take care of my mother for many years due to her illness, and I learned early on to put other people ahead of myself.”

Being a strong, independent person has given her the strength to speak her mind as an actress. “When I was asked to do things I didn’t want to do, I was pretty stubborn and not easily persuaded. My instincts have always been good. Unfortunately, there were times when people did take advantage of me, and I didn’t see it coming. Occasionally I was filmed in ways I didn’t want to be seen, and I was exploited with some nudity that I was not happy with. At times I was sickened by that.” (She describes herself as being very English. “We don’t complain. We just get on with it.”)

She gives much of the credit of her longevity to her parents who were both well-educated, allowing her to grow up in a house filled with books. “We never had a lot of money, and I was never spoiled. That is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.”

Jacqueline Bisset will participate in two events at the 4th Annual Albany Film Festival at the University at Albany on Saturday, April 6, 2024.


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