Talk show hostess Queen Latifah told Jacqueline Bisset on her show Jan 21 that she "set the bar" for sincerity and depth at the awards show for the 20th Golden Globes. It was claimed by some media that she gave a "bizarre speech" as best supporting actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, "Dancing on the Edge" on Jan 12.
Jacqueline Bisset is not only a brilliant actress but eloquent woman. As she explained to Latifah, her category was supposed to come up at the top of the show (Golden Globes), and came at the end, without receiving refreshments and dinner. And she didn't expect to win.
In her acceptance speech, she was obviously flustered and on the verge of tears, nothing unusual for a winner, but she came through with her "Scottish stock" (her father was born in Scotland) as she explained to the audience. Bisset who turns 70 this year had some wisdom to share from her long career including practicing forgiveness, something that is well advised in the competitive entertainment business.
British born Jacqueline Bissett has worked consistently throughout her career which began in the late 60's where she played opposite actors such as Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968), Peter Sellers and David Niven in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967) and Jean Pierre Léaud in François Truffaut's Oscar winning best foreign language film "Day for Night" (1973).
Bisset is one of the highest paid actresses in the world. During the last three decades she has primarily worked in television and made for TV films as well as several motion pictures. In 2012 she starred in Bernard Rose's "Two Jacks" (2012) as the older Diana (played by Sienna Miller), an adaptation of a Tolstoy short story about two generations of a Hollywood family, and in 2005 she played the role of a cruel school mistress in John Irvin's "The Fine Art of Love: Mine Ha-Ha", which debuted in Venice with art direction by Dante Ferretti.
When she was in San Francisco in 2001 for Sleepy Time Gal (interviewed by Movie Magazine International) the good natured actress as a gesture of solidarity sold movie tickets to her film in the box office at "The Roxie". In the film set in San Francisco, she plays a dying ex-radio disc jockey.
In the behind the scenes gathering with Bisset and the press following her award at the Globes, it is clear they have really not much to ask her, and which is their loss, because what she did say was intelligent and thought provoking as a distinguished veteran actress.
Perhaps the press backstage at the Globes did not see the fantastic miniseries "Dancing on the Edge" by the BBC directed and written by Steven Poliakoff, nominated for best miniseries or a motion picture made for television.
Bisset commands every scene she is in in the miniseries. She plays Lady Livinia Cremone, a semi reclusive member of the aristocracy who has lost her husband and sons in during WW1. She later is drawn out into society as the patron of the arts she has always been. Bisset appears in the 2nd through 5th episodes.
The miniseries "Dancing on the Edge" is set in 1930 after the Depression in a palatial hotel where Louis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his jazz band perform for the dowagers and upper class of London. Getting to know the characters is what makes this miniseries enchanting. All give great performances, such as Jacqueline Bisset and Ejiofor, and it is hard to not get attached to them. Racism is at the forefront of this story about black jazz musicians in a country where the BBC wouldn't play jazz on the airwaves until a member of British Royal Family took a liking to the band.