Straight Talk

SUPER MODEL Jerry Hall will be performing the role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate September 17­21 in Austin and September 23­October 5 in Houston.

Was modeling your first job? Did you ever have to sell shoes or anything like that?
Yeah, I worked at the Dairy Queen and Wyatt's Cafeteria, and at an old-folks home. And I worked at a nursery and a kindergarten.

And now you've been working a lot in theater, even touring. That must be a change from acting in front of a camera. Are you self-conscious on stage?

Well, in this play, I'm stark naked—oh, I do have on high heels. It is a little difficult up there, but it's fun. I mean, it is such a wonderful play. I did it for six months in London in the West End. It was a great success. I loved doing it. It's great sexual comedy because of the audience. There's all this intrigue and titillation.

Are you drawn to theater because of the audience's immediate response?

I enjoy live theater because you know exactly whether you're doing it right when it's comedy, because the audience laughs or they don't. It is thrilling to have the audience laughing and to be playing with them. It is like a drug, and you get hooked on it. And I'm definitely so hooked now. All I want to do is this.

What is the worst thing that can happen in a performance?

Well, I must say that my worst experience was when I opened with The Graduate in London. On my first preview, about one hundred people stood up and took pictures of me when I was standing there naked. That was so horrible. You know, all of these critics snuck in and reviewed it before they were supposed to, and they behaved really badly.

Do you have lines during that scene?
Yeah, I have lines when I'm standing there "nekkid."

Is Mrs. Robinson a difficult role?

She seems crueler than anybody you have played before. She's a great character. It's fun to play her because she is the older woman who gets to be the seductress. And she's also an alcoholic. She loves to shock, and she says exactly what she thinks. She wants to provoke people all the time. And she is having fun with this young boy. The boy I'm acting with is Rider Strong, and he was in a series called Boy Meets World. He's 23, and he's gorgeous. All this week we've been working on the bedroom scenes and the kissing and this and that. It's been a tough week. And I get paid. (See Austin: Theater )

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