Warner Bros. Studio Burbank, Calif... .843 6000
t9BARRY LYNDON'1 MARISA BBRENSON INTERVIEW
Already hailed by tastemakers of the Parisian fashion elite as "the most beautiful girl in the world," lissome, green-eyed Marisa Berenson, at 28, finds "Vogue19 magazine confidently predicting that she may well emerge as "The Garbo of the Seventies." Such heady upgrading - from the superlative to the sublime - is a more or less inevitable fringe benefit of Marisa's appearance opposite Ryan O'Neal in Stanley Kubrick's long-awaited and lavishly praised "l3arry Lyndon, 9' an 18th century costume drama based on the classic novel by William Makepeace Thackeray.
Many top models have coolly turned their backs on the elegant salons of "haute couturet1 to seek film careers, of course, though few can match the Berenson track record for travelling fast and far, and in such distinguished company. Lier first film role, in 1971, introduced Marisa amid the stylish sumptuousness of Luchino Visconti's "Death in Venice." For an encore, she made an indelible impression on moviegoers as the forlorn German-Jewish heiress in Bob Fosse's prize-winning "Cabaret." Now, as the exquisite but anguished Lady Lyndon, she has bloomed - under the masterful Kubrick touch into a probable Oscar nominee and most likely candidate for superstardom. "There is a tragic sense about her," declares Kubrick, who wiU also point out that Marisa's stunning, often wordless presence - a vital part of the incredibly rich flow of visual imagery that is "Barry Lyndon" - requires an Cxtraordinary kind of talent. "Marisa shares a quality with all the greatest film actresses, who don1t have to move or do too much. They project a certain stillness on the outside, yet you know what they're feeling and thinking."
Marisa welcomes the gilt-by-association that enhances the image of an actress working with a director of Kubrick' 5 stature, and hopes she can continue being as strictly selective about the roles she assumes. "Everyone thinks I'm just a jet-set playgirl," she says, her girlish softness suddenly crystallizing to affirm that everybody had b~tter think twice from now on. I~ooking backward is not Marisa's favorite thing to do. If it were, she could flaunt some flashy credentials as a girl born, raised and brought into the spotlight of international celebrity among the so-called Beautiful People. American by birth, she's the daughter of a Foreign Service official and shipping
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magnate, the granddaughter of designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and grandniece of of art historian and collector Bernard Berenson. Her mother, now remarried, is the Marchesa Cacciaputo di Giuliano. Her sister, Berry, is the wife of actor Tony Perkins.
Becoming an ultra-chic model on the Paris-New York fashion circuit was hard work, but somehow sounds predestined for a dream girl whose maternal grandmom invented such modish labels as Shocking Pink. London, Paris, Rome, Gstaad and other glamorous European playgrounds were Marisa's turf, where gossip columnists used to issue breathless dispatches about her romantic involvements with men like actor Helmut Berger or David Rothschild (of the Rothschild financial empire). The columns currently report her interest in auto heir Ricky von Opel, though Marisa would rather discuss career goals in general and "Barry Lyndon" in particular.
"I've always made my own money since I was 17, yet there's a tendency not to take me seriously because of the modelling image. Acting is much more fulfilling, more exciting. I was much more social when I was young - parties, nightclubs -- looking back, I see it as being rather empty."
"Now that I'm calmer, I find I'm happier just seeing the people I want to see. I'm starting to live a different sort of life."
Fluent in four languages, all ardeit vegetarian, Marisa commutes at present between her smart Parisian flat near the Champs-Elysees and an apartment she has leased in Manhattan. "Paris is still the world's most glamorous city, but I prefer living in America. here it's not important who one's family is, it's what one does that matters."
"l3arry Lyndon's titled lady found her latest professional chore a challenge as well as a fascinating esthetic experience. Kubrick is wonderful with actors, always very calm. He shoots a scene over and over again until you get it right, even as many as thirty times. And 'Barry Lyndon' is a very romantic picture... .We've all fallen in love with the wrong person at one time or another, haven't we?" She may pause in mid-monolog, her pensive sea-green eyes discreetly understating a volume or two of graceful prose, as advertised. "Ryan as Barry Lyndon plays an ambitious climber in search of power, wealth and social status. I play the noblewoman he meets, marries and uses rather cruelly. She's very remote and sexually unfulfilled, very vulnerable. When she lets this man take over her life, she is destroyed by him."
A casual glance suggests that vulnerability must be a primary Berenson attribute. On screen, certainly. Off screen, don't bet on it. Not with a willowy raving beauty whose pampered Shih Tzu is an improbable bundle of canine fluff named K.K. The initials stand for King Kong -- another persuasive bit of evidence that the mightiest forces seem content to curl up, tamed
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and docile, in milady's lap.
"Barry Lyndon" is written for the screen, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and stars Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson. For release world-wide by Warner Bros.
Printed in U.S.A. 11376