The 5-minute Interview: Olivia Lichtenstein, Director and novelist

'I swam in Hugh Hefner's pool when I was dating a Chippendale'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

The director, 47, won a Bafta with her 1994 film 'Silent Twins: Without my Shadow', which profiled June Gibbons, who spent 14 years in Broadmoor. Her debut novel, 'Mrs Zhivago of Queen's Park', is shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Sitting on top of a double-decker catering bus on an industrial estate, filming The Bill. This is the seventh episode I have directed.

A phrase I use far too often...

"I'll do it later". I'm particularly bad at doing things that involve paying bills or other administrative tasks.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Their manners. People are far too rude to each other. I think people should be much nicer to one another. It's almost as though people are mini volcanoes, walking round waiting to erupt.

The most surprising thing that happened to me ...

Finding myself in Hugh Hefner's swimming pool in Beverly Hills. It was in the Eighties when I was on a date with one of the original Chippendales, which is in itself surprising.

A common misperception of me is...

I'm always happy. I live on the edge of an abyss, if anything good happens I think it won't last.

You know me as an author but in truer life I'd have been ...

A chat-show host.

I am not a politician but...

I'd like to impose a frivolity tax, so when a celebrity buys an expensive handbag, they have to give an equivalent amount to charity.

I'm good at...

Cooking. I'm a bit of a food pusher. I experiment with different cuisines from different countries.

I'm very bad at...

Housework. I don't do it.

The ideal night out is ...

A night in. With absolutely nothing to do. Horizontal on the sofa in front of a good movie, with my children either side of me.

In moments of weakness I...

Buy too many shoes.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Behaving decently is a big thing for me.

Karl Holliland

Comments