I’ve just added this article to the site, fully transcribed from a 1939 edition of Movie Mirror magazine. It is an insightful piece, written by Sonia Lee, and featuring candid extracts from an interview with Luise where she talks about her relationship with Clifford Odets, their separation and eventual reconciliation. It is one of the last interviews she gave as an MGM contract star:
The private life of Luise Rainer has been singularly her own.
Luise Rainer, the actress, has been widely publicized. But the warm, mercurial Rainer, the woman, has remained a mystery. The crisp announcements of her marriage to Clifford Odets, the playwright; later her surprise separation from him, and more recently her dramatic reconciliation, have been the only intrinsically personal items recorded about her.
No one, until now, has been permitted a glimpse into her heart, into her personality, into her character. Yet the key to the things she does is in the things she is!
To some extent, this reticence has been in the interest of the fable that Luise Rainer was a shy, frightened, lonely, isolation-seeking girl – wholly absorbed in the roles she played; too preoccupied with the business of being an actress to have time to be a woman.
She has remained hidden, a mystery-personality, holding inviolate the secret processes of her thoughts, her emotions, her beliefs. As a result, she has been misunderstood, branded “difficult,” because no one has taken the time to search for the hidden Rainer and to disclose her completely. The conjectures, the fables, the myths about her are not by half as interesting as the truth!
It was shortly before her departure on a six months’ absence from Hollywood that we talked at length in her studio dressing room. “Dramatic School,” her final picture until next May, was in its closing scenes. She was keenly anticipating her release from studio routine, and her reunion with Clifford Odets, to whom she had been so unexpectedly reconciled during her flying trip to New York the week before.
Rainer is vital, emotional, human as she speaks of the past and considers her future. her incredible black eyes, which dominate her elfin face, are witness to the sincerity of her words.
By virtue of her super-charged intensity, which she tries to mask,she has the rare ability to dominate her immediate environment – whether it be a colossal set or a roomful of people. And yet, she isn’t drowned in her own emotions. She is objective and ruthlessly honest with herself. Which is a strange, even a bewildering quality in a woman.
She has a passionate desire to live fully., completely – and permits neither temporary disillusion nor grave hurts to distort her horizons or limit her vision.
First and vitally, Luise Rainer is a romantic. Achievement alone is not enough for her. She must have love in her life – vivid emotion to give point and purpose to her ambitions.
“The real genius of woman,” Luise points out, “is in her ability to love fully, completely and unselfishly.”[……continued]