— December 14, 2011 —
Using his modern interpretation of the original Proust Questionnaire, Jefferson Hack uncovers the true mindsets of his peers
Marisa Berenson Courtesy of RizzoliSince her birth Marisa Berenson, granddaughter of legendary Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, has lived her life in front of the camera lens – even her christening portrait was published in Vogue. Dubbed the “It Girl” by Yves Saint Laurent in the early 1970s, the American actress and model has been a muse to fashion photographers, designers, stylists, editors and directors for four decades. Gracing the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Time among others, Berenson has been photographed by some of the leading image-makers of our time; including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson and Steven Meisel. Later cast in several prominent films, Berenson delivered commanding performances in Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice, White Hunter, Black Heart with Clint Eastwood, Stanley Kubrick’s lavish production of Barry Lyndon and, most recently, in the critically acclaimed 2010 film, I Am Love.
As last week saw the launch of her retrospective publication Marisa Berenson: A Life In Pictures at Dover Street Market, we posed the all-important AnOther Proust Questionnaire to the iconic beauty...
What are you thinking of right now?
Answering your questions. I live in the moment.
What makes you cry?
What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
Anything that can save people’s lives.
Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?
Diana Vreeland and Luchino Visconti the director, at the beginning of my life. My two mentors.
Where do you feel most at home?
I am a citizen of the world and feel at home everywhere, but I feel especially at home in Paris, New York, and now I feel at home in Marrakech.
Where are you right now?
What is your proudest achievement in work?
Everything that I have achieved. Everyday is an achievement.
What is your proudest achievement in life?
My daughter, Starlite.
What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?
The lack of depth and values.
"I’m an unconditional romantic"
What do you most like about the age we live in?
Being able to connect and communicate easily with the ones I love.
At what points do life and work intersect?
I think they melt into each other, for an artist they are all tied in together.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Respect others and believe in yourself.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I take risks every day. Everything one does in life is a risk you don’t know if it will work out. It is all a risk. You just have to dive in. Have faith.
Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life?
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and a book called Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
My adoring father.
What’s the most important relationship in your life?
What is the most romantic action you’ve taken?
I’m an unconditional romantic.
What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?
Connecting myself every day with God.
If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?
Love and peace.
Marisa Berenson: A Life In Pictures is written by Marisa Berenson, edited by Steven Meisel and Jason Duzansky, contribution by Lina Bey, published by Rizzoli, and out now.
Text by Lucia Davies