“I do not think that she had the gift of friendship; I do not think that she was capable of that intimacy.”
Hat tip (my first) to Sheila O’Malley (who else).
That was only one man’s opinion, of course, and in the purely social sense, it was almost certainly wrong (if you follow the link there’s a fascinating quote from John Gielgud, one of Leigh’s true intimates, which gives a somewhat different perspective).
But in the larger sense of identifying an isolate soul, Williams was probably correct. I found the quote enlightening because that fundamentally lonely quality which Williams’ noted was also clearly evident in the busy lives of John Ford, Henry James and Elvis Presley, the three artists besides Leigh who have both taken the most out of me in this life and, thankfully, given the most back.
I’m not big on themes, but if indeed those four had that quality in common, I’m all but certain it was the only thing and I’m extremely thankful that the giving came inextricably bound up with the taking.
(Great insights on a number of actors over there by the way: The other one I found most fascinating was Williams’ take on Candy Clark in American Graffiti, which he called “Drive-in Chekhov.” No fool he.)