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Meeting Terence Stamp
by Jenny Mather

If you don’t know who Terence Stamp is, may I suggest that you see if your local video store has a copy of Far from the Madding Crowd. This movie was made in the seventies and stars Mr. Stamp as the bounder who steals Julie Christie’s heart. He’ll steal your heart too.

When I was a schoolgirl, Mr. Stamp and his girlfriend were part of the swinging London scene. My hero hadn’t made it to Hollywood, and I lost sight of him for years. This wasn’t surprising as he’d dropped out of the rat race and moved to Ibiza to nurse his broken heart when his girlfriend dumped him. (Silly woman!)

He then popped back into the rat race and discovered Hollywood, and I next saw him in Wall Street and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. (It was a relief to find that he made a totally unattractive woman.) By now his looks had gone, his glorious face was old and wrinkled and his hair was white, but his voice was the same – fascinating and mysterious as ever.

Despite these ravages of time, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the man I’ve loved since I was sixteen was coming to Filmfest Hamburg, and I’d be able to see him in person. Imagine my disappointment when his movie These Foolish Things lived up to its title and was awful, and he looked like an old tortoise. I was on the horns of a dilemma and had to do some quick thinking: should I, could I attend the late-night chat show that he’d be attending, knowing that I’d be tired at work the next day? And would he notice that I was lying if I tried to say something nice about the movie?

Of course, I took the cowardly way out and took my deflated self home. Later I heard that Mr. Stamp was busy with another film and didn’t come to Hamburg after all. My chance of being in the same room as the man of my (former) dreams was gone, but I continue to hope. Perhaps he’ll come to next year’s Filmfest in a new and wonderful movie, and perhaps he’ll have visited a Hollywood doctor for a little pin and tuck.