About the Author
Reviews George's Style
From Genre magazine:
Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style by Richard Torregrossa (Bulfinch Press)
is filled with more than 100 photographs --many of which have never been seen
before- and has a foreword by Giorgio Armani as well as an afterword by
Michael Kors. Sounds good, right? Here's what else Richard had to say when
I got the chance to ask him a few questions...
What inspired you to write a book on Cary Grant and his personal style?
In 2003, I was working as a journalist, covering fashion. And that year,
Giorgio Armani said that his menswear collection was inspired by Cary
Grant's timeless elegance in the Hitchcock classics, Notorious and North
by Northwest. Cary Grant is not an actor of my generation---but when
Mr. Armani says something, you listen. So, I went back and watched some
of Cary Grant's movies, and saw exactly what he meant. No doubt about
it ---Cary Grant's sense of style is timeless, as relevant now as it was back
in his day. Mr. Armani inspired me to write about Cary Grant not only as
a movie star but as a man of style.
Was there anything you thought you knew wasn't actually true?
That his ease and elegance wasn't a birthright or the result of a posh pedigree.
It was actually carefully created, step by step --from the way he wore his clothes,
to the way he walked and talked. His seeming effortless took quite a bit of effort.
His life is an example how style can be used as a tool of empowerment, a means
to transform yourself into the person you want to be.
What surprised you most about Cary Grant?
His keen intelligence. He was an astute businessman, almost visionary in this
realm. He was the first actor to break free of the suffocating restraints of the
studio system and freelance successfully. He negotiated the rights to some of
his early films to revert back to him after 7 years, when the studios assumed
nobody would want to watch old movies. But the television came along in the
1950's and Cary Grant movies were in great demand and those rights were
worth a small fortune.
What is your favorite Cary Grant movie and why?
I can't really pick one. I like The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby and
Holiday--those early slapstick comedies in which he does pratfalls.
You see his athletic grace, his ability to make fun of himself while still
appearing elegant, very rare quality. I love To Catch a Thief and North
by Northwest, because the clothes and the movies themselves are so
stylish--qualities lacking in today's Hollywood films.
And--you know I have to ask--what is your take on the rumors
that Cary Grant was gay?
To my mind, there's just no convincing evidence for it, no documentation
that I could find. It was, as you say, all rumors--some launched vindictively
to hurt his career. It should be noted, however, that he had many homosexual
friends and was not homophobic in any way. He was not judgmental. I think
this comes from the fact, early on, he mixed with all kinds of people, admired
their talents and was grateful for their friendships regardless of their sexual
preferences or the color of their skin.
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