Jacqueline Bisset sounds a little perplexed at the state of the world these days.
“I wonder why the world is so haywire and just the lack of discipline in people,” she mused in an exclusive chat with the New York Post. “It’s just horrendous.”
“And there’s so much dishonesty and so much bulls – – t, you know,” the actress continued before adding with true British stoicism, “You have to stick with your own values, and you’ve got to keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
Bisset can currently be seen in Amazon Prime’s “Birds of Paradise” film, in which she plays Madame Brunelle, a ballet instructor at the prestigious Opéra national de Paris.
“It was a nice role. It’s a little bit smaller in the film than it was when I actually did it,” she conceded. “It has been reduced a bit, but that’s the way it goes.”
The British-born actress, 77, started her film career in 1965 and became a star a scant three years later with roles in “The Detective,” “Bullitt” and “The Sweet Ride.” Bisset also employed her fluency in French, courtesy of her French mother, in François Truffaut’s 1973 masterpiece “Day for Night.”
But it was her appearance in 1977’s “The Deep” that solidified her status — helped by the film’s memorable promotional posters, featuring Bisset in a clinging, wet white T-shirt.
Even though she acknowledges that the Peter Yates flick made her a movie star, Bisset was devastated by the blatantly sexist pics.
“I tried to get the thing stopped,” she revealed. “I tried to get an injunction on them.”
She explains that before then she had assiduously “avoided anything like that, so it was a bit of a blow.
“Plus, it was a very athletic experience,” Bisset explains about the adventure movie. “And it was a dangerous experience, doing the film. We were in great confidence with each other, we were all looking after each other.”
“So it just seemed completely out of left field that this wet T-shirt . . . nobody was commenting, nobody was seeing it,” she continued. “We were underwater. We were swimming, my T-shirt was flailing around. It was rather large.”
Despite this, Bisset says she never had any #MeToo moments in Hollywood.
“I was very, very determined,” the “Airport” star divulged. “I had a very low point of view of Hollywood before I came, and I knew nothing. I didn’t know anything about film or theater or anything when I became an actor. I came here and I thought, ‘I’m not putting up with any rubbish! I’ll go home if I get bothered by things. There’s nothing wrong with my life in England, and I don’t need this.’ “
She also added that it’s “very important to not be overambitious in life.”
“You must be ambitious, but you’ve got to keep your own morals and your own standards. If you’re allowing yourself to be talked out of them, you can be in danger,” Bisset expounded. “There’s so much danger in this town.”
During her long career, Bisset became friends with Marcheline Bertrand and was named godmother of her daughter — Angelina Jolie. She laughingly admits that the Oscar winner did not seem remarkable as a child but calls her “a very, very interesting girl.”
The never-married star who chose not to have children admits there are moments when she wishes she had, but “you can’t have everything in life. I had other responsibilities I had to take care of. I couldn’t do it all.”
And as for life lessons from the movie icon?
“I do generally feel it’s essential to be grateful,” she said. “Tremendously grateful.”