Terence Stamp takes the Grown-up Test

By Paula Kerr, Monday 18 February 2013

Terence Stamp, the Sixties heart-throb once linked to Julie Christie, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Shrimpton, is currently single and living in London. This month he’s back on the big screen in Song for Marion, co-starring Vanessa Redgrave. Now 74, how old is he in his head and does he act his age?

Terence Stamp in Song for MarionTerence Stamp in Song for Marion
Still get into your Sergeant Troy trousers from Far from the Madding Crowd?

I can. Strangely enough, I’m wearing a pair of corduroys copied from them.

Any regrets?

Turning down playing Arthur in the 1967 musical film Camelot. I was frightened of singing. Richard Harris got it.

Biggest temptation?

Spelt toast doused in organic olive oil. I’m wheat intolerant.

Hot women or hot meals?

You mean I have to choose? Then it’s still hot women! Not that a lot are interested these days.

You play a grumpy old man in Song for Marion. Your pet hate?

Mindless vapourings of people into their telephones on public transport.

What would surprise us?

I do a 15-minute high-intensity workout once a week. It takes me a week to recover.

Best early move?

Michael Caine and I had a very small flat in Knightsbridge in the Sixties. Mike was a great one for having a good address.

Naughtiest thing you both got up to?

We shared a bedroom, with twin beds. When either of us brought a girl back – more often him – he would leave the room, run back in with his mattress and sheets and throw them down behind the sofa. That was my cue to go to bed and leave him with the girl.

Home or away?

I don’t own a house. I’d like to buy a place but I’m always £2m short for what I’d like.

Boris bike or taxi?

I walk or buy a travel card and jump on and off buses.

Can you laugh at yourself?

It’s easier as you get older.

Found inner peace?

My inner peace is always there. It’s up to me not to get distracted and recognise it.

Song you’re most likely to sing?

I go through crazes. Currently it’s [sings] ‘Night and day, you are the one…’

First car?

A green Mercedes convertible. I had a couple of jobs under my belt by then.

Midlife crisis?

Haven’t had one. Maybe I’m in denial.

Biggest age-related issue?

When photographed, I’m aware how thin my hair is. As a young man, I always relied on having this shock of dark hair.

How old do you feel?

That’s the problem. I don’t feel my age. I’m mindful that my body is ageing, but otherwise my sense of presence is really not subject to the passage of time.

Next goal?

Personally, I’m happy being balanced in the moment. Professionally, I’ve written a screenplay I’d like to direct.

Best thing about living alone?

You can be incredibly self-indulgent.

And the worst?

I spend a lot of time on my own and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes feel lonely.

How do you relax?

I lie flat on my yoga mat and listen to music on my iPod.

Epitaph?

He lived his life as a true stroller player.

Verdict: Terence, since your appearance in Billy Budd in 1962 we’ve admired you for your acting skills and – it has to be said – your supreme good looks. We’re tempted to put you at a gorgeous fortysomething, but you’re far too sagacious for that. Instead we’ll say a wise and wonderful 60.

Song for Marion is in cinemas from February 22

This article originally appeared in Saga Magazine. For more fascinating articles like this, delivered direct to your doorstep each month, subscribe today.

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