Jacqueline Bisset is awaiting word on the fate of “The Last Film Festival” — Linda Yellen’s big-screen comedy in which she stars with Chris Kattan and the late Dennis Hopper, which, she reveals, “We still haven’t quite finished. We still need more money to finish it. It’s a pity. They’re just struggling with the end of it, hoping someone comes forward. It’s Dennis Hopper’s last film, and it’s fun — really pretty funny.”
Bisset, who has the Hallmark Channel Original Movie, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” coming up Dec. 11, tells us that the cancer that took Hopper’s life in May was not apparent when they worked together. She adds, “I was actually an admirer of Dennis for years as a painter and photographer” — in addition to his work as an actor and filmmaker.
“He was such a fascinating character, a gentlemanly person to work with, a sensitive personality. I hope we find some angel who’ll find the money to get the film finished. With the recession, everyone is suffering,” she notes.
Bisset inhabits a world of wealth and 19th century elegance in her persona as the imposing Isabella Crawford, in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.”
Continuing the character she first played in The Hallmark Channel’s hugely successful 2008 “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” — drawn from Louisa May Alcott’s short story — Bisset and on-screen granddaughter Catherine Steadman this time find themselves in Ireland for a tale of money, manners and romance.
“I think my character has more aspects in this film than the first one,” comments the British actress, who was often hailed as the thinking man’s sex symbol back when she graced such films as “Bullitt” and “The Deep.” “In the first film I was pretty uptight. I get to sort of explain myself a little bit now. I still get to be a little bossy, but I mean well and I’m trying very hard to to have everything messed up. My rapport with the character of Tilly, the granddaughter, has grown, as she’s definitely thinking for herself and not following politely. She’s taken on some quite ballsy atittudes, in fact. She’s fallen in love with two men at the same time. One of them, she doesn’t quite
know his motives — but I do,” adds Bisset with a laugh.
The still-lovely Bisset, who is busy these days with her Avon Anew Platinum product line for women 60-plus, has a love interest (Ian McIlhenny) in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” as well.