Bijou - Top of the Bill - 1930s
  She Tells on Garbo,pg.2  


Just imagine - you girls in your teens - how you would feel if you were told, suddenly, that you were to work with Garbo. Why, if anyone had intimated that when I was in high school a few years ago (I went to  Hollywood High and the Convent of the Immaculate Heart), I would have thought he had gone completely insane.

"It was the most thrilling thing that ever happened to me, except," said Cecilia, in her quietly dignified little way, "of course, love."

She didn't talk to me very much.
 She doesn't talk to anyone very much. She doesn't need to. Which is one of the many things I learned from her - how much time and energy most of us waste in silly chatter that means nothing. There is something more potent in Garbo's silence than in the words most of us pour forth in a week. Hers are what my mother calls 'telling silences.' Garbo taught me the great beauty of silence. She and I did have one conversation. It was about mountains. I happened to be saying that I have a little cabin up in the hills where I like to go off by myself. Garbo overheard me and said that she loves mountains, too. She told me what they mean to her - grandeur and everlasting patience and a dwarfing of the silly frets and fervors of little human beings.
I think that she was, unconsciously, describing herself in a symbolic way. There is something cool and remote and unassailable about her that does dwarf the frets and fervors of most of us.
I'd just been a little girl full of crazy notions when I started to work with her. I'd had most of the usual fantastic ideas. I thought I should act sort of temperamental, thinking that it made an impression. I took on the mannerisms of stars on the screen. I thought it was all right to be late on the set now and then. I'd seen some stars keep a company waiting for
an hour or more and thought it indicated a certain
superiority, a defiance of rules and regulations
which are for 'ordinary people', not actresses. Garbo taught me to be myself, to behave according to the dictates of my own nature. She taught me that to be true to yourself is to   not only be a great artist but a great human being.
She is so simply, starkly herself that once you have   come in contact with her any   little affectation  or pose which  you may have  acquired seems


from Modern Screen, February 1937  

30s Features ~ Bijou Menu