Sunday Times: My onscreen romance





Katie Glass ❤ Jodie Foster

I knew immediately my cinematic crush would be a woman. I never fancy men in movies because I’m not a fantasist, so I don’t get crushes on made-up people. But I am attracted to women in films because I can live through them vicariously. They seem a little more real, someone I could become.

Still, that does not quite explain why my cinematic crush is Jodie Foster as Tallulah in Bugsy Malone. The film was released in 1976, so it is not even my era, but as a child I was obsessed with this film. Tallulah is a wise-cracking flapper, a beautiful, hard, sarsaparilla-swigging showgirl, a dirty-mouthed sweetheart. Also, confusingly, she is played by Foster aged 13, because all the actors in Bugsy Malone are children. I must have been about 13 when I first saw it. And I had never met a 13-year-old like Tallulah.

Tallulah has an answer for everyone. When the mob boss Fat Sam asks her to leave a room for his “men’s talk”, she cackles, “That’s all right, I’m unshockable!” She sings a song about herself in which she tells a crowd, “I always leave a little reputation behind me/so if you really need to, you’ll know how to find me.” I loved, no, I wanted, to be her. Although, only now, watching Tallulah slink through the film, I realise she must be a high-class courtesan. Still, she seems to be enjoying herself.

My favourite thing about Tallulah, however, is that in real life Foster grew up to be the coolest woman in Hollywood. Foster, like Tallulah, proving women can act as, and become, who they want.


2 thoughts on “Sunday Times: My onscreen romance

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