Jump to: navigation, search

Picturegoer (1923) - Thoughts Across the Sea


  • article: Thoughts Across the Sea
  • author(s): James T. Tynan
  • journal: Picturegoer (October 1923)
  • issue: volume 6, issue , page 19
  • journal ISSN:



Thoughts Across the Sea

An American interview with Evelyn Brent

Evelyn Brent wishes she were twins. Extraordinary wish isn't it? But there is a reason. As Evelyn herself put it, "If I were twins, one of me could he in America playing in pictures and the other could be in England doing the same thing."

It appears from a recent chat with Miss Brent, that she was born in Tampa, Florida, U.S.A., removing therefrom shortly to take up her residence in New York City, where at a very early age she commenced dancing under various tutors, until she had run the gamut of all the best dancing teachers of New York rapidly absorbing everything they knew, until she reached a point in her career as a dancer where she ran out of dancing masters to conquer.

In fact she had learned all any of them had to teach.

Naturally Miss Brent turned to the stage, always as a little girl, with her hair in a braid.

From the stage, the pictures lured Miss Brent, but always as a little girl, playing what she terms as insipid ingenues until she reached a point that she hated the sight of a young girl.

One day she determined to take the world of pictures by storm, so she piled her hair on top of her head, lengthened her skirts several inches and sallied forth to beard the producer in his mahogany-lined den.

Evelyn Brent was a big laugh, to the producers, hut not to Evelyn, she had reached a point where she wanted to take herself seriously, and wanted others to do likewise.

"Go home and let your hair down, and pull up your skirts," said one producer, "you are nothing but a child, long skirts and a high head dress do not make a grown-up."

Rather a sad reception to a youngster anxious to grow up, but Evelyn simply wouldn't he nonplussed, or whatever it is folks refuse to do, when they have made up their minds to do something else.

Somewhere Evelyn Brent had heard, or read an old saying which says something or other about a "prophet not being without honour save in his own country." So she determined to move.

Meanwhile romance had entered her life, just a few years before, but that is another story, which will be told just before the final fadeout.

Looking around for some place to go, Evelyn Brent decided that England was the place for an ambitious girl who had been laughed at by producers in her own country. So she took ship, and sailed away from the States to tempt the fates in England.

Arriving in London, as a grown up, for she still had her hair up, and her skirts lengthened, Evelyn Brent was for the first time in her professional life taken seriously. She had hardly gotten rid of her "sea legs" when she was engaged to play a leading role in "The Ruined Lady" at the Comedy Theatre, which had a tremendous run and placed the erstwhile ingenue on the topmost rung of the ladder.

Following this, offers poured in from motion picture producers, and for a period of two-and-one-half years, Evelyn Brent, more or less damned to perpetual curls and little girl roles by American producers, was playing the roles she loved for English producers.

So that is why Evelyn Brent wishes she were twins.

During her two-and-a-half years in England, Miss Brent appeared in Sonia for Ideal ; The Door Without a Key for Alliance ; Laughter and Tears for Anglo-Hollandia ; and in Spanish Jade for Famous Players; in all this little lady who wanted so hard to grow up, appeared in over 15 pictures during her stay in England.

Why did she return to America? Ah, that is the other story. When Evelyn Brent was 12 years old, living in New York, Romance or something or other took her by the hand and placed her in the path of a white-haired boy who fell in love with her ; and she fell in love with him, if love can be spoken of between a pair so young. Be that as it may, love or whatever it was, is the thing that brought Evelyn Brent back to America, for hadn't this white-haired lad stood on the dock as she sailed away, his eyes filled — but enough of that, anyway, Evelyn came back, and they were married and are still married. His name, oh, yes, it is B. P. Fineman, an independent producer in America, and he may yet produce a picture with Miss Brent in the stellar role, for he says, "in the studio, on the set, is one place where a husband would have the last word."