Audrey Hepburn photographed by Dennis Stock on the set of Sabrina, 1953
Audrey Hepburn photographed by John Isaac in Ethiopia, 1988.
Audrey Hepburn photographed on the set of Funny Face released in 1957.
Personally, I find it impossible to dislike Audrey Hepburn and it always makes me uncomfortable when people do. Because there’s this underlying thought that disliking Audrey is not enough - you literally have to tear her down from the perceived pedestal that’s been built for her. And I get that it’s usually die hard Audrey fans who turn people off because there’s always the Audrey/Marilyn dichotomy at work. Audrey was no saint. This is the truth. People really ought to stop with the comparisons about who was better or classier. If Audrey suffered from mental illness, it’s not as well documented as Marilyn’s, and I’m shocked that people want to belittle a person like that who dealt with depression and external problems that were rooted in people making up their own image of her. Horrible.
It’s not that Audrey is sacred and you can’t speak badly about her. It’s that doing so makes you look like a very mean, small person. What could you criticize her for that wouldn’t make you look like a judgmental arse? She wasn’t a racist or anything like that. Nearly everyone who ever came in contact with her only had glowing things to say, and in some cases, she truly touched people with her humanity. Also, her work for UNICEF is the most prominent when speaking about her empathy and compassion.
People never seem to give good reasons for not liking her film work either. If you don’t like Audrey Hepburn as an actress, that’s acceptable. You apparently don’t need reasons. Why? Because she’s not thought of as a serious actress? Because she was only Holly Golightly or a gamine, or in the words of Emma Thompson, ‘twee’? So confusing.
“Billy Wilder and William Wyler were probably the most important and influential directors of my mother’s career, along with Stanley Donen.”
-Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit
Audrey in the sixties
Only the absolutely determined people succeed.
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