Are the Children Alright? is Yahoo Leisure’s video interview sequence exploring the impression of present enterprise on the event and well-being of former baby entertainers, from triumphs to traumas.
Hayley Mills is right now finest recognized for the various roles – six, in all – that she performed in live-action Walt Disney films, from 1960’s Pollyanna to That Darn Cat in 1966, however she would possibly’ve been recognized for one thing racier, if it hadn’t been for the corporate wanting to ensure her repute remained household pleasant.
“I bought some very attention-grabbing presents after I was working for Disney that I wasn’t in a position to do,” Mills tells Yahoo Leisure. “Properly, one in every of them was Lolita. That may’ve given me an opportunity to work with Stanley Kubrick, James Mason and Shelley Winters and play that marvelous half. This was a nymphet and a nymphet actually did not gel with the Disney picture. “
The a part of the adolescent lady who turns into the sexual obsession of a middle-aged man finally went to late actress Sue Lyon, who received a Golden Globe for her work. Mills stated she additionally needed to flip down acclaimed director Otto Preminger, who needed her for his Oscar-winning movie Exoduswhich starred Paul Newman.
“The humorous factor about that’s that he supplied me the half, and once more, it was turned down as a result of it was thought-about to be too grownup,” she stated. “When it was first turned down, Otto Preminger then supplied my mother and father a small Renoir. Even that did not swing it.”
Now 75, Mills was solely a teen throughout her Disney days. She recollects being prepared to chop ties with them by the point she was 19.
“Leaving Disney was an enormous step. My everlasting gratitude, however he did need me to signal one other contract with him however, by that point, I used to be eager to make my very own choices,” Mills stated. “I needed to simply accept components that weren’t essentially issues that Disney would have authorized of.”
She should have additionally simply needed to cease and take a breath. The actress dove into performing on the age of 12, after a director visiting her father, John Mills, a prolific actor because the Nineteen Thirties, stated she ought to be the kid in his subsequent movie, which he hoped to do with the elder Mills. (Mills’s mom, Mary Hayley Bell, was herself an actress and author.)
“After I completed Tiger Baywhich was a really profitable film, nothing occurred, “stated Mills, who was born and raised in London.” There was no curiosity, you realize, in England for me, and I simply went again to high school and all people forgot about it. “
Then, a yr later, Disney got here calling. He needed to fulfill her, which inspired even the Pollyanna star’s mother and father, who have been themselves well-known and had loads of notable buddies.
“It was like assembly the Wizard of Oz,” Mills explains.
From there, she recollects enjoyable occasions on the set, the place she attended college alongside different younger Disney stars, similar to Annette Funicello. She at all times felt protected, she stated, due to her mother and father’ fixed presence and the smallness of Disney’s operation on the time.
However there have been drawbacks. She felt her training – attained largely between filming scenes – was missing, so she learn to compensate. And with fame got here adjustments in her persona.
“The toughest factor was coping with folks socially, as a result of I bought very shy. I used to be terribly shy, and my fame had grown up and it was like someone else,” she stated. “I did not actually acknowledge this picture that I examine. The face on the journal covers and the relationships that I used to be having with boys that I might by no means met and feuds that I used to be having with ladies that I did not know. “
Once more, she was grateful to have her mother and father to maintain her grounded.
They have been “very involved that I used to be protected, and significantly that I used to be shielded from the unreality that type of goes hand in hand with being in films, the place folks run round taking care of you and, you realize, are at your beck and name. Choose up your bag and open the door and the whole lot’s finished for you, “she stated. “They have been cautious of that. They did not need me to develop into a brother.”
Mills displays on her early years extra in her new guide, Eternally Younger: A Memoir, which is out there Tuesday, Sept. 7, at bookstores, together with Barnes and Noble.
– Video produced by Anne Lilburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee