Interview 19


He could have had many women but is independant of that -alone

The Japanese kimono in which Richard Chamberlain answers the door has already seen better days. The item of clothing is a left over of "Shogun" filmed over 20 years ago. "I just live in a world full of memories -I sometimes even use them to escape", explains the US star, who invites Sascha Hellen to the exclusive interview in his garden in Maili -Hawaii.

Here, far away from Trubel, Chamberlain has created his own paradise. The 66 year old wants to enjoy "his" life. A life of self prescribed loneliness based on the experiences of fame, money and also of shallowness.

Q: You come across from Los Angeles, have always lived in California, what has made you move to Hawaii?

RC: I no longer put up with the pressure of people from film and television. People in this business are judged by their income, their power over the audience and their outwards. Approximately 25 years ago I bought myself this lovely, little house, withdrew here more often. For 10 years it has been the place where I find my peace.

Q: Why have you put Hollywood behind you?

RC: I wanted to free myself from this exhibition. Hollywood has become too stressful for me -too dangerous. In this business, whoever doesnít follow the rules of the game, could end up cold to the end.

Q: A hint of bitterness...

RC: I could have solved this in good time. For 20 years I have always had a house in Hawaii. Therefore I have always had a compensation. Beforehand I was always shuttling between Los Angeles, New York and Honolulu. For many years I knew where I belonged.

Q: Have you also prescribed yourself tranquility from television?

RC: My time is very precious to me. Why should I go to a foreign country for a year long TV roll. I can live very well from my own previous earnings. Iím independent and need nothing more than to take care of myself. If I have the desire, I can take a plane in the morning and visit a friend in Paris or Italy. That is for me "quality of life."

Q: How do you spend your time here?

RC: My main hobby here is painting. I can keep myself busy all day long with my pictures.

Q: Who do you live with here?

RC: With my dog.

Q: You live alone: Do you feel your lacking without a partner?

RC: It was my personal decision that I would like to form my life alone. I have never married because I have never had the feeling that I have found the right woman. My heart was always my best counsellor. I could always depend on it. A longer partnership has never developed. There was always fear along with relationships. I feared I would have to give up my independence. Iím like a wolf. A loner who always strays.

Q: A person who only reluctantly lets someone come close...

RC: Yes, I am very dominant. But something to do with that is that I would like to always be able to defend my freedom and my aims and goals. A commitment, like marriage for example is simply not for me. I wonít let myself be tied down.

Q: So there is still no woman in your life? Even though you are still admired by a million women.

RC: They will not be suprised when I say to them that I have not yet found the right one for me. Maybe now it is too late. But can one combine his working life with his private life? An actor is in general quite an egotistic person. Nobody has the right to demand from a woman that she waits at home, while her partner is on the other side of the globe for six and a half months whilst shooting is underway. That takes up no time for me now, but it is important to look after one's partner. With me, no woman would have been happy.

Q: Have you honestly ever thought about marriage?

RC: During my time in the army, I was stationed for a long time in Korea -I loved it. When I received the command to go back to my home land, I suddenly played around with thoughts of marriage.

Q: What became of the women?

RC: I donít know, when I told her that I was going back to America, she ran away crying. I never heard from her again.

Q: Have you wanted childeren?

RC: Sure, but it never happened, although my friends children felt like my own.

Q: Which woman do play a role in your life?

RC: My mother. And Linda Evans, she is the prettiest, most pleasent, most sensible woman I know. She is the ideal woman for me.

Q: Could you have married her?

RC: If my life had been that certain -maybe.

Q: Why are you so unapproachable?

RC: A partnership always demands so much. One can not only take -one must also give. I have difficulties with that. I always felt myself being bled dry, nowadays I would like to save myself from this feeling like this.

Q: Did you believe the loneliness would be easier to endure if you moved to your second home in Hawaii?

RC: Loneliness is not a burden for me. For artists, Hawaii is very inspirational.

Q: How will you spend your retirement?

RC: With good friends in my garden or by the sea. A good bottle of wine, nice music -thatís my aim.

Q: How far are you from this aim?

RC: The wine is already in the fridge... Joking aside. I am not bitter, even if it seems that way sometimes. I have only experiences which I myself have formed. I am unsure. Extremely unsure. But Iíve always had my life in my hands.

© 2001 Sascha Hellen.