While the events covered in Ryan Murphy‘s “Feud” offer up some exciting and lurid television for fans of classic Hollywood, only one person portrayed in the FX miniseries is still alive to give a dissenting opinion. That would be two-time Academy Award-winning actress Olivia de Havilland (“The Heiress,” “To Each His Own“), played by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the series. Earlier this week, one brave writer had the (admittedly) smart idea to reach out to de Havilland and ask her for her opinions on the series, only to find that de Havilland wasn’t exactly in a… forthcoming mood.
After reaching out via email, The Hollywood Reporter was able to get a response from de Havilland and… well, you should see for yourself.
I have received your email with its two questions. I would like to reply first to the second of these, which inquires of me the accuracy of a current television series entitled Feud, which concerns Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their supposed animosity toward each other. Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it. However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves. As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy.
I’ve read and re-read this response several times and I’m not sure which part I enjoy more. It might be the fact that de Havilland felt the need to highlight the number of questions contained in THR‘s original email. It might also be the subtle inclusion of the word “supposed” to describe the animosity that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had for each other. It’s almost certainly the matter-of-fact way that de Havilland shrugs off any Oscar controversy as being unmemorable enough for printed comments. I’m not sure if “Feud” will garner an Emmy nomination for its creator or stars, but I’d be willing to give de Havilland one just for her blunt determination not to be dragged into the whole affair. [ScreenCrush]