Amanda De Cadenet
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Amanda has been in the limelight since she was 14.
The picture above of Amanda at a party sums up her love affair with the press.

Amanda de Cadenet tells Elizabeth Grice 
about her wild days as a teenager 
and her new life as actress and mother 
 The Telegraph(?), UK. Tuesday
                                             6 October 1998

AT a table deep inside a Notting Hill coffee shop,

I am waiting for the Walking Pout to appear.

Identifying Amanda de Cadenet should be no problem: big lips, big hair, big ego, big everything.

This is the Lolita who shocked her way through the Eighties. She was put into care because of her sexual precocity at 14, hosted television's most reviled chat show at 17, married Duran Duran's bass guitarist, John Taylor, at 19, had his baby before she was 20, then disappeared to America with him to give everybody a well-deserved rest.

Suddenly, there is a buzz at one of the tables outside. Two men and two girls have been joined by a streaky blonde in pink-rimmed sunglasses, a little denim skirt, bare legs and trainers. Her famous breasts are tightly hugged by a beige cashmere jumper, which in turn is being hugged by the foursome.

De Cadenet, the schoolgirl terror, mouthy celebrity and shameless presenter of Channel 4's The Word, is back in town. She says she has just bumped into some "really, really" old friends, people she's known since she was really young, and she hasn't seen them in years.

"It's a nice feeling," she says. "I don't have that in LA. How did I know I was going to come here and see people I knew 13 years ago?"

Within two minutes, de Cadenet is perched on a bar stool talking babies. Though her body language says something entirely different, her drawly, transatlantic voice dwells languorously on the idea of becoming a mother again.

She says that even in her wild days, all she ever wanted to do was settle down and start a family. When everyone else thought she was sleeping around, she was apparently assessing boyfriends as potential fathers. Taylor was the first and only ideal candidate. Until now. . .

She attributes her present dreamy mood to the arrival of a half-brother. Her father, the former racing driver Alain de Cadenet, has a four-month old baby by his long-time girlfriend.

"It was beautiful that they asked me to be there for the birth. Because they live in LA, I get to take care of my little brother, which makes me terribly broody."

De Cadenet has "just turned twenny-six" but, without the trademark lashings of lipstick and eye make-up, looks younger and prettier than she did at 16, and is certainly a lot quieter.

Her new voice is soft and sleepy, long drawn-out vowels curling upwards with her cigarette smoke. "Thankyooou, thankyooou," she sings to the waitress with the fruit salad. Even before she moves to a seat in the window, everybody seems to be watching her.

These days, she is trying to establish herself as a serious actress, and looks back on her hell-raising past through a conveniently milky film of forgiveness and forgetfulness. The bunking-off to London nightclubs from Benenden School, the brief modelling career, the plunge into a club scene rife with drugs and underage sex, the nude pose for Playboy magazine. . . why is that all that people want to talk about? "It seems so long agooo," she pleads.

Trouble began when she stopped training four hours a day to be an Olympic gymnast. "Within a period of about six months, I suddenly had a female - very female - body and I really didn't know what to do," she says plaintively. "People looked at me when I went down the street and responded to me differently. It was a real shock."

The way she responded to them was an even bigger shock, especially for her parents, who felt compelled to put her into care. She spent three months in the White City Children's Home, sleeping in a windowless room to avoid photographers.

"I was more dangerous inside than out," she says. "The other inmates were very aware of me, people camping outside, the attention. 'Oh, that's her.' I probably needed to be one among many and not given that special sort of treatment."

Some of the other girls didn't take kindly to her and smashed up her room, but she prefers to remember the friends she made. She bears no grudges towards her parents. "I resented my father for a while, but not any more. He did the best he could at the time. It was a desperate measure."

She claims she doesn't attract trouble any more, because she's not looking for it. "One gravitates towards what one is at the time."

Recently, she took her six-year-old daughter, Atlanta, to see the Spice Girls and recognised in them something familiar. "Guuurl power," she purrs. "You can be what you want. You can wear shiny, sparkly clothes. You can go out with a cute guy and have a career. Guuurl power. That's what I was like at 15."

Never mind that this was the age at which she revealed details of her sex life to a Sunday tabloid newspaper. What she remembers is an affinity with the spirit of Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech about being beautiful, talented, happy and free and living to your fullest potential. "That's how I felt. But I didn't have a clue. I was too young to know what to do about how I felt."

Having lived her teenage years on fast forward, by the ridiculous age of 19 de Cadenet was ready to settle down. "I wanted to make my own family because I have a dysfunctional family," she admitted later. "My parents split up when I was eight and that caused me immense problems."

Fed up with the sniping of the British press, she left for America with John Taylor and their three-month-old baby. For a time, she lived a bucolic idyll in a canyon above Beverly Hills. "I breastfed my child and grew vegetables and cooked with my child on my hip. My husband was at home. It was so simple. My heart was happy."

But the combined effects of domesticity and anonymity soon made her restless. De Cadenet, you feel, was not born to blush unseen among the racoons and the grasshoppers. She had celebrity contacts, such as Jack Nicholson, Courtney Love, Gérard Depardieu, Keanu Reeves, and she was a good networker.

"It's a fantasy to think that just 'cos of the way you look, or who you know, you'll get a job. No one's going to risk it if you don't know what you're doing. When I'm not working, I go right back to acting classes. I don't want to be a weak link."

First, there were small parts in Tarantino's Four Rooms and Allison Anders's Grace of My Heart. Later this year, she will be seen in Mascara, playing a woman who has a nervous breakdown. And there are two more films to come: Jonathan Kaplan's Brokedown Palace, in which she plays a convict in a Hong Kong prison who befriends two girls (Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale), and the independent film Implicated, where she is an American barmaid.

For the past three years, she and Taylor (who also has a home in LA) have lived apart, in a state of mutual "love and respect", while jointly caring for Atlanta. "We are really good friends, but we couldn't live together. To me, the most important thing is that our child has two parents who are happy."

She paints a picture of the simple life: early rising, packed lunches, school runs, wholesome cooking, food shopping, drama classes, photography, having girlfriends round.

"I really like being at home. I'm not bothered if I become a movie star or not. I just want to keep on earning my living the way I do. It no longer matters to me whether anyone knows who I am."

But just in case, she makes regular appearances in Hello! magazine (four since 1990) and has just done a photo-shoot for the cover of Esquire.

"I take my responsibility as a mother very seriously," she says, more than once. "The reason I haven't been involved with anyone for years is that whoever is in my life is in my daughter's life. I don't want to share it with just anybody.

"I have been very happy by myself, actually. I don't want some once-in-a-while casual thing. I'm not that kind of woman. I tried to be for a time, but all I ever wanted was to have babies. . . I still feel that way."

De Cadenet, the original wild child, says many curious things, but this is not the most improbable. When a woman comes into the café pushing a sleeping child in a buggy, the conversation stops and she falls into a helpless reverie.

"My daughter said if I didn't have a child within the next two years, could I please adopt one. I really think I should oblige."

Does she have someone in mind as potential father? Keanu Reeves, perhaps? (Their names have been linked for at least three years.)

"He is one of my closest friends and has been for years. But because I haven't been with anybody, and neither has he, it has been assumed. . . but no."

As a diversionary tactic, she pounces with scorn on a recent newspaper photograph of the film star, looking gaunt and therefore assumed to be ill. On the contrary, she can vouch personally that he is "a healthy boy" who lost all his body fat practising kung-fu six hours a day for his new film.

That sort of assumption, she says, is why she doesn't read newspapers or watch television. "It pisses me off. I got sick of seeing stuff like that about myself and about people I know and love and care about. I know the feeling."

So she wasn't the impervious brat we all took her for. She was, of course, an attention-seeker, but she suffered and she is still angry. "There's no respect for human life and inner quality."

Just as the conversation shifts back to her own reputation, her eyes narrow and grow dreamy again.

"That's my man," she says, as a tall, lean boy with dark curls and stubble lopes across the road. She introduces him as Nick Kamen, whom she has known, yes, since she was 13.

Kamen - one-time model, pop singer and now a professional artist - is best remembered for removing his 501 jeans in a launderette for an Eighties Levi's ad. He is packing up to join her in LA.

"I am very lucky to be with someone who honours my child," she says, "and has been selfless enough to say: I want to be with you."

Does he have children of his own?

"No," she says, "but he'll make a good dad."


First The Word, now the pictures

Amanda de Cadenet, the wildchild who made her name dancing on nightclub tables and hosting yoof TV now grows celery and understands the spirituality of animals. Oh, and she's also a photographer

ByHarriet Lane
Sunday March 4, 2001

The Observer

'I've been around such a long time, you'd think I must be 50 by now,' sighs Amanda de Cadenet. For someone who is 27, she certainly has packed it in. Since becoming Famous For Being Famous at 14, she has been in constant search of a niche to accommodate her peculiar brand of celebrity, a celebrity that has become more commonplace since the advent of docusoaps, reality TV and Heat magazine. Amanda was arguably the first WAIF (Why Am I Famous): young, posh, blonde, buxom and desperate for attention, she danced on nightclub tables in a rubber dress in 1987, much to the consternation of tabloid readers and the staff at her Wiltshire boarding school, who were under the impression she had been tucked up in her dormitory at the time.

After that, every step was a matter of public record: the three months in White City children's home after her parents called in the police; the relationship with the boy-band singer (when she was 15); the gig presenting Channel 4's notorious The Word (17); the Playboy shoot and marriage to a pop icon (19); motherhood and the grand exit to Hollywood and what was supposed to be a career in movies (20); a divorce (22) and a romance with Keanu Reeves. Nowadays, Amanda calls herself a photographer and has an exhibition coming up in LA. We should probably give thanks that she never experimented with pop - unlike her boyfriend of the past three years, Nick Kamen, who became very famous indeed after taking his jeans off for a 1986 commercial set in a launderette, and subsequently launched a successful assault on the charts. Amanda has known Nick (now a painter, 'quite abstract', firmly based in London) forever - since she was 14.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that Amanda is no longer famous. Why, news of her pregnancy was all over the Sun in January. Just one little problem there, as she points out with a philosophical shrug: she's not pregnant. No, she isn't having Nick's baby, she doesn't know where that came from, she's heard so many weird rumours about herself over the years. But she wouldn't mind having another child 'one day, one day, I don't know. I love him a lot.'

I ask if she always had her eye on Nick.

'Always, always,' says Amanda, guilelessly. 'There are only two men who I, like, big-time fancied.'

'Who's the other one?'

Amanda pulls a wry, isn't-it-obvious face: 'Keanu.' When asked how Nick and Keanu get on, she casts me a significant, omigod look, and gives the impression of longing to talk about them all afternoon - only not to a journalist. 'But Nick's the best-looking man I've ever seen, to me. There is never a time when he doesn't look good. Never! Ever-ever-ever. Which is great. Listen, I don't see him for months at a time. So when I'm with him, I stare at him. You know? I watch my boyfriend while he's asleep.'

On The Word, Amanda's voice was sloanily mid-Atlantic: the sort of voice that loiters at the junction of the King's Road and Rodeo Drive. Today, the languid consonants of the West Coast dominate, with a vocabulary to match. Her life, she says, is much easier now that she has found her 'format', by which she means eight hours' sleep, no dairy products, no wheat, no caffeine, a little yoga, an hour with a book every day. (Currently, she's reading Cherry by Mary Carr, an autobiographical account of a rebellious Texan adolescence.) Without blushing, she explains she has 'a real love of life', 'a thirst for life', and talks about 'my primary focus' and 'my emotional, psychological place at that time'. Statements conclude with a rhetorical 'you know?'

However, there are signs that the charms of Los Angeles are beginning to pall. Because she grew up in London and France, the daughter of a French motor-racing driver and a Manx model-turned-interior designer, she has 'a different kind of sensibility. Part of the life is very alien to me. Americans really love pop culture and I can only handle it for so long.' Amanda, a glorious product of the pop-culture factory line, has a habit of saying things like this without realising how comical they sound: her conversation is a curious mixture of woolliness and heartfelt sincerity. Listening to her, you're struck by how sophisticated she sounds, and at the same time how naive.

Were it not for her eight-year-old daughter Atlanta, she'd be back in the UK like a shot, but she and her ex-husband, Duran Duran's John Taylor (the one with the amazing chin), have joint custody, and he has remarried an American, 'so he's firmly stuck in Los Angeles'. But they're talking through the possibilities. 'I would love to come back for good, but it depends. It's just a question of working it out. I can't leave Atlanta in LA, I could never do that. I may end up staying there... I don't know.'

She and John originally stormed out of England in the early Nineties, after a photographer snapped her breastfeeding Atlanta on a Hyde Park bench. They ended up in Los Angeles because she was unknown there and 'as far as John was concerned, in America you've got Julia Roberts at the grocery shop, nobody cares - everyone's famous out there'. But things have changed a bit. 'I'm not anonymous in America any more, you know.' It must be a source of irritation that this is less attributable to her film career ('English prisoner' in Brokedown Palace , 'Receptionist' in Grace of My Heart ) than to a splashy social feud with ex-gal pal Courtney Love ('I, uh, don't really have anything to say about that'). Now that the National Enquirer is doorstepping her over the pregnancy story, London seems increasingly appealing, despite the fact that the British paparazzi bring out the bunting whenever she comes to town. Two hours after touching down at Heathrow, she was coming out of a Westbourne Grove health-food store with a girlfriend, clutching a soya barley cup, and there they all were, snapping away. 'Things are only as important as you make them out to be,' says Amanda, mellowly. 'That's really my experience. I've learnt that if you can't get rid of something, you have to find a way to live with it.'

At her suggestion, we've met in a smart, noisy little west London deli not far from Nick's home. She does not attract much attention until she tugs off her aviator shades, scarf and overcoat, releasing her tangle of lion-coloured hair (her brunette phase, captured in the recent self-portrait above, was shortlived) and those celebrated undulations. Nowadays, she favours jeans, a candy-pink V-neck and Converse sneakers, which she calls her 'Womble' look - light years away from those tight little black dresses and dagger heels she wore on telly - and despite the fact that she has been suffering from ME for the past year, there is a fetching milkmaid robustness to her appearance.

When the waiter comes over, Amanda, who has really lovely manners, gives him a dazzling smile and orders a hearty lunch: organic sausages and dairy-free mash with a decaf soya latte. She has come to London to talk about a possible exhibition of her photographs and to audition for a British film, but she will proceed with care. 'I will not sell anything ever again that I do not believe in. I'm not willing to do a job for pure financial gain. I've done that, and it wasn't worth it. I didn't even know that was what I was doing until a few years later when I realised, "Oh, the price was me".'

At the moment, she is putting together a collection of her work for the exhibition in LA. The subjects are 'flowers and women who are quite severely physically scarred. I always like imperfection. That's sort of human to me. That's why I photograph women's bodies: I'm not interested in some Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. It's the rolls of fat, saggy tits, whatever. That is beauty to me. That's what I look for. It's the truth. That's real.'

Her next project is 'women who marry men who have life sentences, or who are on death row. Don't you think that would be really good?' With a blithe lack of inhibition, Amanda declares: 'I tend to side with people who are considered the underdog. I have empathy.' She tells me about her latest project, photographing people with terminal illnesses for Marie-Claire magazine. The experience taught her that a) it's not worth worrying about tomorrow, and b) it helps if you have a faith.

Amanda has been interested in spiritual matters for the past six years. She says she believes in the earth force. 'You know, "the force is with you".' Her mother, Anna, who is deeply involved with Aids charities, Crisis and the Hurlingham Club, is Born Again. Amanda suspects her wildchild period, itself triggered by her parents' divorce, nudged her mother towards the Church. 'It sent her off in the right direction, I would say.'

Mother and daughter are now close. When Amanda was a child, Anna's passion for routine drove her crazy: now she and Atlanta have their own format, which involves having Chinese takeaway one night a week. Sometimes Monday, sometimes Thursday. Never the same night every week, because that would be too regular.

'When I was younger, routine was hell,' says Amanda earnestly. 'It felt like a trap. I hate the idea of people not being able to say what they want to say, be who they are. I don't think it's fair to crush the human spirit. When I was at school, I was told to wear knee socks. Well, now, what's that got to do with anything - with my future, with my career, with my exams, with my brain? But you got punished if you didn't wear knee socks. It's a power trip. Ephemeral shit. That I don't do well with, people asserting authority over others just for the hell of it. Like, injustice,' she continues, sounding very Californian. 'I have a major over-empathy with victims of injustice. Which is why if I watch the news I'm in tears all the time.' Oh dear.

There's lots to like about Amanda. She does have a sense of the absurd, though it is fairly well-hidden. After describing, at some length, the spiritual satisfaction she gets from growing beets and celery in her back garden, she adds quite mildly: 'Look, I live in LA, I can get a little metaphysical sometimes.' She is very engaging when talking about Atlanta, a football fanatic who rises at seven when Chelsea have a match so she can watch it live; and about their menagerie: 'cats and dogs and birds and fish and rabbits'. The chihuahua sounds like a bit of a star. 'I really hate dogs like that, but Zig is the cutest dog. People pay 300 bucks for cashmere sweaters for their dogs in LA, you know? Fuck that. We've made his out of socks. We cut the holes for his front legs and stitched his name on it - it's very ragga.'

Is Amanda's past always going to drown out her present, her future? She is doing her best not to let it. 'I'm not interested in sitting here and talking about choices I made when I was, like, 14 years old. I've done all that. Of course all those things make me the person I am today, but it is not where I live.'

Mostly, she tolerates my questions and addresses them with killer solemnity, but at one point she puts down her latte and says: 'I suddenly realised... I don't really do interviews so much any more. I find it quite exposing in a way. I have a friend who will not talk about anything to do with his personal life, nothing. If anyone talks about anything other than his work, he'll just sit there. He's a very hard interview.'

I say that he must be a bit of a superstar to get away with that.

'Yes, he is,' says Amanda, proudly.


'Oh, Keanu. He will just look at people. He will not answer the question.' It's a nice moment: Amanda, smitten with Keanu's mystique, effectively blowing her own.

Hello! UK interview

Watching Amanda de Cadenet ease her horse-mad six-year old daughter Atlanta into the saddle, her face glowing with maternal pride, it is difficult to imagine that this was the 80's most celebrated 'Wild Child'. For Amanda, 26, daughter of French racing driver Alain de Cadenet, crammed more excitement into her teenage years than the average adult manages in a lifetime. She first drew the media's attention when she was a pupil at Benenden, the exclusive girl's school attended by the Princess Royal. Aged just 14, Amanda was caught sneaking out of school to go clubbing.

The following four years saw here placed in care (by her father), land a lucrative job presenting Channel Four's The Word, and marry Duran Duran's bass guitarist John Taylor. Two years later she proudly presented him with a baby daughter, Atlanta. It was an event that was to alter her outlook on life completely. "With Atlanta's arrival I closed the door on my past. I now look back on that part of my life as being totally irrelevant. I've moved on from there," she says quietly.

As part of her desire to shake off her "wild child" past, Amanda and John moved to Los Angeles five years ago with their small daughter. And although the couple spilt up some 12 months later, they still live just a few blocks apart and remain close friends. "We are both Atlanta's parents and it's important for her to spend time with each of us," says Amanda.

But like her racing driver father, Amanda is not one to sit back and take life at an easy pace. Soon after arriving in LA, she took up acting and within a couple of years had successfully reinvented herself as an actress of some note. She has already starred alongside actors Antonio Banderas, Tim Roth and Madonna in Four Rooms and has several new films due to be released later this year.

With her ever-increasing work commitments there has been little time for relationships of late, although it appears Keanu Reeves, on whose arm she was photographed for a spell, is far from being out of the picture. Recently she returned to England for the first time in two-and-a-half years and was surprised at how much she'd missed her homeland. "I love my life in L and I love my work, but I now realise how great it is to be home, here in London," she says. And you can see she means it."

Before jetting back home to Tinseltown, Amanda took time to relax with her daughter at the Stag Lodge Stables in Richmond Park and later spoke to HELLO! at the St James's Court Hotel of her past escapades and plans for the future.


Amanda de Cadenet Interview

Amanda, what brings you to London after such a long spell away? "Basically I hadn't been in England for nearly three years and I wanted to see if perhaps I could work over here. I needed to know what acting opportunities would be available to me. I've been working hard over the past two weeks and it's great to be back.

"Another reason I'm here is that my daughter asked if she could come to England for her birthday treat. She's very American but she has this thing about being British, and wanted to return to her birthplace. It's also been great to see my mother and brother again - there's been so much to catch up on." What was the catalyst that forced you to leave England in the first place?

"I wanted peace and quiet in which to raise my daughter. The anonymity factor was important to me. I also think I needed a change, I'd lived here all my life and I wanted to study acting and I found a great teacher in LA whom I'd known since I was 16, so it was a place that I could go, study, and really take care of my kid." You've been quite critical of England in the past, saying it's full of suffering and misery with none of the "good life". Do you still feel that way?

"I think my perspective has changed. I'm not sure whether England has, but my perspective certainly has. I'm a very different person from the one I was. I've really enjoyed being here and so has Atlanta." Is there a temptation to return for good, having been here these past two weeks? "I have to say I am very tempted. London is where I'm from. I grew up here and I love it. It always feels like I'm coming home whenever I return, even if my real home is in Los Angeles."

Do you sometimes worry that LA isn't the best of places to bring up your child?

"Yes, and in many respects it isn't. Hollywood is very fickle, but I suppose you could say that of anywhere - it depends which circles you choose to mix in.

"There are aspects about it that I love thought. We live in a very quiet street with lots of trees and it's only 20 minutes drive from the beach. If you go an hour in the other direction you can snowboard. It's full of variety. In a way it offers a very free and natural life for a child."

You have brought up Atlanta as a single mother for four years now. Has it been tough on occasions? "I think it's hard being a single parent wherever you are. I'm lucky though because John is an amazing father and still remains very active in her life. He lives very nearby so she does have both of her parents around, which is great for her. We're both very involved.

"It can be hard though. I had to simplify things and ask myself what life is about. And I decided my life is primarily about my daughter - that's what is important - then my work and friends." How often does John get to see Atlanta?

"He sees her at least three times a week and we're always together for school events. We had a very amicable divorce and are good friends. In fact, we got divorced without lawyers and just figured it out between us! "We've worked hard to maintain an open communication because we are both Atlanta's parents and we have a lot of history and time together."

Is there any chance of the two of you rekindling your relationship? "Who knows? I never say never to anything but I should think it's extremely unlikely. Basically we're very good friends and I really care about him." What was it that drove you apart?

"John and I grew up together and however much we may love each other, when you're with each other from such a young age you suddenly realise you want different things out of life.

"I was only 17 years old when we started going out. We were married in Chelsea registry office when I was 19 and didn't have any idea what marriage was all about. What marriage means to me today and what it meant to me then, at 19, is entirely different. I now look on marriage as being a major commitment which involves honouring someone and taking serious vows in the eyes of God.

"If I were to get married again, I think I'd probably be more comfortable with a Buddist or Hindu ceremony. I'm more familiar with the beliefs of these two religions and I practise them. What I like about Buddism and Hinduism is there are no strict doctrines. It's about consciousness and your higher self and honouring that in people. "Having said all that, I like that fact that I've had a husband and that John's been my husband." Following your break-up, you've been linked to a series of desirable men from Keanu Reeves to Ashley Hamilton. Are you involved with anyone at the moment?

"I hate this question! Of course I still see Keanu, but as he's in Australia for eight months, it's a little difficult right now. But we stay closely in touch. Keanu doesn't like to discuss his private life and I have to honour that. Just asking me about it puts me in a difficult position. I'm just keen to let whatever happens, happen. I'm not holding onto any one idea or person, I'm just letting my life unfold naturally." It must be said that you achieved more notoriety in your teenage years than anyone to date. What drove you to behave in such an outrageous manner?

"A lot of my behaviour, I admit, was completely unacceptable to society, but what did I know? I went against the rules because other people were trying to make me into something I wasn't.

"Looking back I can now recognise that my behaviour was not on a par with what a 15-year-old should be doing. But who knows why I did everything earlier than anyone else. In a way I'd got it all out of my system and by the age of 19, I was done. I was sick of it. I've had a career now for 12 years and not many 26-year-olds can say that." What was your wild child lifestyle born out of - a desire to please, to get attention or just to have fun? "I have no idea. I could be in therapy for years trying to figure that one out. As far as I'm concerned, it's just what I did and thank God I'm alive and healthy and in the place that I'm in.

How would you feel if Atlanta were to follow in your footsteps and tread the same precarious path? "If that's her path, I wouldn't try to stop it - you can't. You can only educate your kids to see the cause and effect of certain actions. And either they adhere to it or they don't. You can't lock them up. I raise my daughter in a very open manner. There are no secrets. Atlanta is a really smart, loving little soul. She's a wonderful kid. And she's a great mix between John and me - she's got the best aspects of both of us." Were you close to both your parents as a child?

"I had a great childhood until I was about nine, then my parents split. After that my world rather collapsed but I can't blame my behaviour on that. Although they both had custody I lived with my mum and for a while I wasn't at all close to my father.

"Having Atlanta has changed all that though. He now has a house just up the road from me in LA and I see him frequently."

There was that obviously terrible spell in your life when you were put into care, just how much did that affect you?

"At the time I resented it, but looking back it was probably the best thing for me. The mere fact of being put there was an enormous shock, but I realise now it all happened the way it was supposed to. Basically, the past is the past and I feel it is irrelevant to the reality of today."

How was your childhood different from the way you're now bringing up Atlanta?

"I don't really know. In fact it's probably pretty similar. Atlanta has two parents that travel a lot and I raise my daughter with a lot of love, openness and acceptance, the same way I was raised." What drives you?

"I enjoy life. I enjoy making and creating things and I'm naturally curious. I hate to do nothing, which is why if I'm not working on a film, I'm writing poetry or articles, studying photography and of course attending acting school.

"The bottom line is that whatever I'm doing, if it doesn't bring me peace or happiness then I don't want to do it. I don't want to be tortured by what I do. And of course I want to do my best at all times." What projects have you been working on recently?

"I've just finished a number of films, including Implicated with Billy McNamara and Brokedown Palace with Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale. But whenever I'm not working I go back to acting school. I need to keep up with what's going on and to stay on top of the profession."

What, to date, has been the proudest moment of your life?

"I have to say raising my daughter. I long for more children, but right now the time isn't right. I have so much to work on and being the kind of mother I am, I want to wait a while until Atlanta's a little older and things calm down, so I can be totally committed to looking after a baby."

How would you describe yourself?

"I just try to live truthfully and be open with myself. You have to be able to put your head on the pillow at night and be OK with your day. You have to look at how you interacted - what you gave, as opposed to what you took - and how you treated other people you came into contact with. All that's important to me." What ambitions do you have for the future?

"Probably to remain as content and happy as I am now."

If you could turn back the clock is there anything you'd change?

"Not at all. Everything happens the way it's supposed to happen. My life isn't what people imagine. It couldn't be more different from what it was all those years back. I changed completely after Atlanta and I'm disinterested in my past. It's over. Basically my life consists of my daughter and my work and that's it."


Amanda de Cadenet (ex Presenter of Channel 4's 'The Word' and Celebrity Wild Child) states in Sunday Telegraph
that she has been suffering from M.E.

Most people remember Amanda de Cadenet as a teenage 'wild child', 'yoof-TV' posh presenter of Channel 4's 'The Word', model and wife of John Taylor, the bass-guitarist of pop group Duran Duran. However, now 27, she works as a photographer and in a recent
article in The Sunday Telegraph she states that she has been suffering from M.E., and has spent the entire summer in bed, hardly able to move. According to the article, Cadenet believes that it is as a result of being subject to constant pressure and scrutiny over
the last 14 years. She reports having had exhaustion, flu-like symptoms, headaches and memory loss. Initially she had thought it was jet-lag. "It affects you neurologically" she says, "your brain as well as your body. Your cognitive skills start going. You'll aim to
walk thorough the door and you'll hit the wall. You feel like a right twit as well."




An actress steps out of the spotlight to create a new career behind the camera, because, as she says, photography is what gives her joy.

There are photographers who plumb their past for ideas, and there are those who shun their past to find creative freedom. Amanda de Cadenet does both. The daughter of French race-car driver Alain de Cadenet, she became a public figure in the 1980s as a teenage "presenter" on England's Channel Four ['The Word' show], as a model, and as the wife of Duran Duran bass guitarist John Taylor.

The couple moved to Los Angeles, divorced and de Cadenet began acting in movies like The Rachel Papers, Four Rooms, Mascara, and Brokedown Palace. She turned up in celebrity sip columns in 2001 when she dated actor Keanu Reeves.

"I've spent a great deal of my life in front of the camera in one way or another," she says, "and I think that gives me an understanding of how to deal with people when I approach them as a photographer."

But getting taken seriously as a photographer after having been a bold-faced name in the press for so long as required her to reinvent herself. "When you've been well known for doing one thing, it's incredibly difficult to change people's perception," de Cadenet says of her new career as a fashion and celebrity photographer. "Changing those perceptions of who I am has been a huge part of the job for me. I've had to keep myself out of the public eye so that editors can pereive me in this new role."

That is just what they have begun to do. In the past few years, de Cadenet,
has had her work published in such magazines as Dazed & confused, Tatler, Entertainment Weekly, Jane, Arena, and Rolling Stone. Her photographs of models, flowers and her own friends (like Reeves) celebrate beauty - oftenwith a haunting sense of beauty's fragility.

"A photograph is an amazing thing - it captures a moment that will never, ever exist again, and an emotion that will never ever exist again," she says. De Cadenet says itwas a friend of hers, photographer Mario Sorrenti, who taught her to see beuaty. "We've known each other since I was about 16 and he was just starting to take pictures," she says,. "We went out for a walk and he would say, 'Look at that old man's hands over there; they're beautiful', I would have been like, 'Yeah, whatever.' But that day I got it; the blinkers came off. I saw the beauty in everything - in every person and situation."

It was the birth of her daughty Atlanta, 13 years ago that spurred de Cadenet to begin "obsessively" taking pictures. "I made Polaroids of her every day for four years," she says. "I realised then that this was giving me a lot of joy." But it was while filming the 1999 film Brokedown Palace, in which she played an inmate in a women's prison in Asia, that de Cadent decided to change professions entirely. "I was miserable and coming to the conclusion that I didn't like acting," she says. Between scenes, she wandered around the prison shooting the real-life inmates.

After that, she says, she just quite acting. "I called my agent and said, 'I don't want to act anymore. It doesn't make me happy. Photographer makes me happy.'" De Cadenet began auditing a photography class taught by a friend, Los Angeles fashion photographer Paul jasmin, at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.

"hat I love about Amanada's pictures is how she puts something of herself in them, "Jasmin says,. "I always tell my students you can't succeed just by taking good pictures; you've got to have a life also and use that life in your work. Amanda does that. Her understandig of both women and men is right there in her pictures. Her images can be sweet and emotional, or really sexy, because that's who she is. It also doesn't hurt that she's got a real sense of fashion and style."

Perhaps because she came to photography after her previous career in front of the camera, de Cadenet says, she still finds it a little miraculous to work behind it. "When I'm done photographing someone, I always thank them for letting me shoot them," says says, "I want to thank them for their willingness to be seen. That's a great gift they're giving me. I understand that."

De Cadenet shot actor Keanu Reeves, who she once dated, for Arena magazine. "He's been seen many times, but I wanted to represent him in an honest way," she says. "There are many aspects to him, and this is one - he's a die-hard hard rock music lover."

De Cadenet shot with a Hasselblad H1 on Kodak Portra 400NC film.


Amanda has always been honest and upfront in interviews, but now seems to exhibits the cautiousness of being burnt by the press one two many times.





HOLLYWOOD LOVERS, produced by September Films, is a Meridian

presentation for  ITV. The series, devised by David Green, was

produced by Jannine Waddell and directed by David Cumming. The

executive producer is Paul Buller.




As a single woman living in LA, Britain's original `wild child'

and former presenter of The Word Amanda de Cadenet finds herself

a target for predatory men.


"Over here, men are certainly of the opinion that women are easily

available," says Amanda in Life Without Men, this week's edition

of HOLLYWOOD LOVERS. "I feel bad generalising about it but it's

really true. I went to a Hollywood party the other night, not

having been out in a very long time. It was scary. Men are just

like piranhas. It's as if they think everyone has a price. I

just thought, `I don't care what kind of car you drive, I don't

care what studio you work for, I ain't into you.' But some people

are so desperate for success they get suckered into it."


At the age of 19 Amanda married one of Britain's most successful

rock stars, John Taylor of Duran Duran, and settled down to life

as a housewife. But after moving to LA and giving birth to a

daughter - Atlanta - the marriage broke down. Since then she has

dated, but only recently met someone special - on the Internet.


"He's a guy who's in a band who I think's really hot," says

Amanda, who refuses to name her new love. "I'd seen him around

but I'd never had his `phone number. He said in a letter that he

left on my computer that he'd split up from his girlfriend and

someone had given him my e-mail address.


"The Internet is a much more impersonal medium for people who

don't know how to interact when someone they like is in front of

them. So yes, I'd recommend dating on the Internet - it's worked

for me!"


Amanda believes she has more privacy in LA than she had in

England, and that she is able to be far more discreet. It's one

of the reasons she moved there in the first place.


"I can live my life without looking over my shoulder," she says

in the Californian twang she has developed. "I've been seeing

someone for a while and no-one knows about it. If I lived in

London and had the friends and relationships that I have here,

I'd probably never hear the end of it."


But however much Amanda is enjoying her life and freedom in LA,

she still has a huge amount of love and respect for John Taylor

- they are not divorced.


"I think marriage is the ultimate expression of your love for

somebody. I love my husband immensely. We don't live together,

but he is still my husband and I am still his wife. It's

something that's special. We married because we loved each other

hugely and still do and, you know, I always want him in my life.


"So I consider my marriage lasting. We don't hate each other and

he's still my best friend. If you love someone you want them to

be happy, to achieve their hopes and desires. I wish everything

for John that he wants. And if a woman comes into his life who

loves him the way he wants to be loved and vice versa -


Woman's Weekly (UK), November 20, 1995 

Keanu's wild child love

by Kate Russell

Can Hollywood's most private man handle Britain's wildest woman?

Keanu Reeves is planning to break the habit of a lifetime and go public about his love affair with blonde British wild child Amanda De Cadenet. In the past Keanu has shrouded his private life in secrecy, but friends say he's so crazy about Amanda that he can't stay silent any longer.

"They've kept their relationship quiet so far but it looks as if they're ready to go public," says one.

Shortly before he flew to New Zealand, to perform with his band Dogstar, superstar Keanu (30) was spotted enjoying an intimate motorbike ride with Amanda. The pair then sat right out in the open at a Beverly Hills pavement café and shared a drink or two.

"Keanu's just mad about her - he has to be, to be seen out with her, because he's such a private guy," says a friend.

The first public glimpse of Hollywood's hottest new couple came some weeks ago at the premiere of a new play, Four Dogs And A Bone, Amanda was snapped at the wheel of her Mercedes as she drove Keanu away from curious photographers who'd only ever seen him out in the past with his sister.

Friends reveal that this was hardly a first date - the couple have been meeting secretly ever since Amanda split from her husband, Duran Duran heart-throb John Taylor, early this year.

Keanu - who was interviewed by Mai FM's Robbie Rakete and Paul Holmes while in Auckland - has certainly earned his reputation for discretion. He shuns the limelight and no longer reads any articles written about him. "I get too angry at being misrepresented, misquoted, manipulated, being put on a pedestal and then knocked down."

He also tends to keep a low profile in Hollywood. "I hate being the centre of attention and I loathe my private life being discussed in public," he insists.

"I've never been part of the party scene - I don't have enough personality. And I really hate the idea of being recognized everywhere I go."

The same can hardly be said of notorious Amanda who's famous for packing more living into her 23 years than most people manage in 70.

ˇ  At 12 she dyed her hair blonde

ˇ  At 13 she smoked dope

ˇ  At 14 she became a fixture on the London party scene

ˇ  At 15 she was taken into care by the local council

ˇ  At 17 she posed for Playboy, met John and became a TV presenter on the cult youth show The Word

ˇ  At 19 she became pregnant and decided to marry John

ˇ  At 20 she moved to Los Angeles in search of movie stardom.

In the three years since then, she's concentrated on bringing up her daughter Atlanta and finding small parts in several film - the latest being a role in Four Rooms, directed by Quentin Tarantino. Her antics have including posing for photographs totally naked from the waist down. "It's all about being in control of your sexuality," she pouts.

Before her marriage break-up, Amanda was romantically linked to a series of stars, including Jack Nicholson, Liam Neeson and Ashly Hamilton.

"I fall in love so easily," she says, "Once in a while I get carried away - I get irresponsible.

"I have lots of eligible men friends and, for me, intimacy isn't difficult."

But Keanu, it seems, is special.

"I can go over and see Keanu and talk to him about the most truthful and honest things about myself," she admits, "I don't have to hide anything."

The one thing that's certain is that, for the moment, neither she nor Keanu is interested in marriage.

"My parents split up when I was young and I've seen nothing to recommend marriage," says Keanu firmly, "I expect to be single for quite a while yet."

As for Amanda, she's decided she needs some time to grow up alone.

"I have my own life to follow, my own path," she insists. "I just really want to work."

But neither of them is worried that the vast differences in their personalities will make a long-term relationship impossible. "Opposites do attract," says Amanda firmly. 

Strokes book

She's only 30, but beautiful bad girl Amanda De Cadenet has long sought the limelight with the dedication of a green plant. Now, the actress-turned-L.A.-based photographer, who was once married to John Taylor of Duran Duran, is cashing in on her latest rock-star fling. She has just made a deal with PowerHouse, the art-book publisher, for "Just a Boy" — a book of photos of Nick Valensi, the 21-year-old guitarist with New York's hottest band, the Strokes.

De Cadenet, the naughty daughter of a sports-car-racing French duke, ran away from boarding school half a life ago and gained infamy by dancing on nightclub tables at age 14. She posed for Playboy as a teen, divorced at 22 (after having a daughter she named Atlanta), and then hooked up with the likes of oldster Mick Jagger, age-appropriate Keanu Reeves, and Nick Kamen, a Levi's jeans model. Along the way, she appeared in a few movies, was the host of a British TV show called, oddly, "The Word," and was photographed at the 1999 Academy Awards locking lips with Courtney Love. Different strokes for different folks.

Originally published on February 22, 2003


Wild child Amanda de Cadenet. (interview with actress)(Interview)
Interview, August, 1995, by Courtney Love


One of the great things about technology - and, in Interview's case, that usually means a tape-recording device - is that it can let you be a fly on the wall in places that would otherwise be inaccessible to most of us. Well, here's one story where being a fly on the wall really opened the door. That's because ever since they showed up on Oscar night wearing matching dresses, Amanda de Cadenet and Courtney Love have been the kind of item that sets everyone abuzz. There were rumors that de Cadenet - a former English talk show host, the wife of Duran Duran's John Taylor, and, according to the London tabs who chronicled her teenage years England's "wild child" - and Love were, well, lovers. To get inside their heads, we got inside their bed. With de Cadenet about to make her acting debut the direction of Quentin Tarantino and Allison Anders in Four Rooms, Love interviewed de Cadenet while the two of them were lying in bed in Love's Seattle home. Here's the inside scoop on what these two fast friends have to say for themselves. Oh, they also had a few choice things to say about some other in-the-spotlight subjects - some of them friendly and some of them not.

Courtney Love: We've decided to spend the day in bed, watching movies. The virtues of laying in bed.

Amanda de Cadenet: It's the only laying that we get. [laughs]

CL: We're having a Keanu [Reeves] film festival. We've seen some real gems. What else have we got here? We've got Point Break.

ADC: That's definitely the masturbatory Keanu movie. He looks super sexy.

CL: It's also a precursor to Speed.

ADC: And then we have one of my favorite movies, [My Own] Private Idaho.

CL: Oh, by the way, we're having Gus Van Sant and Hal Willner to dinner in about an hour.

ADC: But we haven't cooked them anything.

CL: No, all we have is sandwiches in the house.

ADC: And we've eaten all the cheese.

CL: So we just have ham. We could serve Gus a ham sandwich and say, "This is for Cowgirls."

ADC: [laughs] But we hear that Gus's new movie totally makes Cowgirls go away. Actually, me and you should be in his next movie.

CL: Maybe we could talk him into that tonight. I could put my Fernando Sanchez on. I've now devoted one side of my closet to my actress clothes.

ADC: That's the grunge-queen wardrobe.

CL: Those are my girlie clothes that I'm getting sick of.

ADC: Which is good for me, because now you have bigger tits.

CL: But they're real.

ADC: They are real. But they're bigger than my tits. So I get to wear the clothes that you've grown out of.

CL: See, I'm a growing girl.

ADC: Every magazine cover, she gets bigger. Well, her ego does. Only joking.

CL: I'm going to get that part in Strip Tease [the Castle Rook film for which Demi Moore is reportedly being paid $12 million to play a stripper] with the 44DDs. Amanda's up for the part of the southern belle. I'm going to go in for the chick with the snake.

ADC: And Courtney's been teaching me to strip. Like I need to be shown. [off-mike conversation]

CL: When Amanda first got here, I put satin sheets on my bed.

ADC: I was mortified. I thought only dated '80s rock stars like Steve Tyler slept in satin sheets.

CL: Now we're lying on a nice cotton duvet, watching our children play with the dog. So, remember when we were hanging out with Quentin [Tarantino] at the Oscars? It seemed a little tense. I think he thinks I'm a freak.

ADC: Well, we'd been to the Vanity Fair thing at Mortons. We were going to leave.

CL: We were trying to leave, I remember.

ADC: We couldn't find our fucking car.

CL: And then we ended up in that room with all the movie stars on the planet. Except for Michael Douglas.

ADC: Unfortunately for you. She has a big crash on Michael Douglas.

CL: Everyone knows that. On the set of the film I'm working on, somebody put a big poster of him in my honey wagon [bathroom]. Everyone was giving me all this shit.

ADC: Why don't you ask Michael Douglas about it? Doesn't he have any comments about your crush on him?

CL: I read in the Hollywood Reporter that he thought it was funny.

ADC: He's probably the first man to find it funny that you had a crush on him. [laughs] They're either scared shitless, or they pretend it didn't happen. Like what's his name - Trent [Reznor, lead singer for Nine Inch Nails].

CL: Don't say that sacrilegious name in this house. So, what was going on with Quentin?

ADC: You and I were in the movie-star room and Quentin was sitting at the table. But I was getting really weird vibes from this crazy lady at the table, who of course turned out to be yours fucking truly, Lynn Hirschberg [who wrote a Vanity Fair article about CL that CL has publicly disclaimed]. This woman was looking like she hated you.

CL: I just thought she was a bitchy manager.

ADC: Anyway, there were three of the directors from Four Rooms sitting at the table - Alex Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin [the fourth is Allison Anders]. And Robert was like, "Look, it's our goddess."

CL: So you play a goddess in a PVC rubber suit in Four Rooms. Is that it?

ADC: Well, not exactly PVC. But I play a virgin goddess. Basically, these witches are trying to resurrect me because a jealous rival turned me into a rock on my wedding night. Not many women get to be a virgin for a second time.

CL: Madonna being one of the witches.

ADC: Yes, she's in Four Rooms. I actually play her goddess in the movie.

CL: I think that everything she did was so goth this season, don't you? Like black Betty Page shoes and fetish stuff.

ADC: Which is what I wear in the flashback scenes in Four Rooms.

CL: Do you remember, at the Brixton Academy concert [in London] when I had to take off my shoes because I had these Betty Page-like Cuban stookings on and they were bagging, like mommy's got elephant ankles. So I stopped the show to take off my stockings.

ADC: It wouldn't have made a difference to the audience. Your clothes were off by the end of the show anyway.

CL: Yeah, they were ripped off.

ADC: But this is about me, not you.

CL: Yes. This is about the joys of staying in bed and getting up once in a while to do a movie or a show. And playing with the Beans [nickname of ADC'S daughter Atlanta, and middle name of CL'S daughter Frances Bean].

ADC: I know. John [Taylor, de Cadenet's husband] always asks me, "What do you and Courtney talk about for four hours on the telephone every day?"

CL: We're not talking about it on this tape, that's for damn sure.

ADC: I know. Maybe on-line.

CL: All right. Let's talk about on-line life. We were just discussing it in the car - that it's perfect for addictive personalities.

ADC: Which we certainly are.

CL: It's almost like masturbating. We've both gotten laid because of on-line. [laughs]

ADC: That was a unique experience.

CL: That was weird - and good.

ADC: I didn't know how my on-line guy looked.

CL: Mine sent a photo.

ADC: I didn't have a photo. But I knew he was in this band. And I checked him out through all my friends. Then I was in a record store and I saw the name of his album. And I was like, "Fucking hell. This must be the guy."

CL: [laughs] Don't get into names, Amanda.

ADC: O.K., O.K. So on-line has been good for us in a perverse way.

CL: But people make this huge deal about artists, celebs, whatever, being on-line. I know that you mentioned the devil Trent. He was kicked off two on-line services because nobody believed that -

ADC: It was him.

CL: The god of darkness, Satan, the Devil, who sits around and reads the sports pages all day.

ADC: He does? How very un-Trent.

CL: He fucking does. He's a beer-drinking Joe.

ADC: Let's take him to Jack Nicholson's to watch the [basketball] game.

CL: That was great of you to take me out to Jack's. Can I mention that?

ADC: You just did.

CL: Amanda took me up to Jack Nicholson's, and her nipple popped out, and I covered it up. Jack said, "Why did you do that?" [laughter]

ADC: I guess he's seen nipples before.

CL: He's very sweet. He's full of all these grimaces and winks and wriggles and wisdom. How did you meet him?

ADC: In London. I was having dinner with supermodels.

CL: Was he wearing sunglasses?

ADC: He was.

CL: [laughs] Of course.

ADC: Anyway, I had dinner with my friends, and then Jack and I ended up going out later that night. We've been friends for a few years. Everyone thinks Jack's a lecherous old man, but he's not. He's a sweet gentleman. He's totally respectful. He's more like a dad to me.

CL: Yeah, he is. And he's, like, the most antifeminist man I've ever met. But his antifeminism almost meets my feminism head-on. I mean, we almost think alike.

ADC: I know. But you'll never figure him out, so don't even try.

CL: It must have been kind of hard growing up in London, in a culture where there are, like, eleven tabloids that come out each day.

ADC: That's why I moved. Every time I got my hair cut, it was a big deal. And when I was pregnant, I got so much shit. Headlines like AMANDA DE FLABBENET.

CL: Your tits were huge in those tabloid photos.

ADC: I know.

CL: 44DD.

ADC: They were 44DD. Like yours. [laughs] Did you ever have anything -

CL: No, I don't have anything in mine, O.K.? So, that's my technical thing. And I noticed on all the tabloid shows, all the women sit there like Tabitha Soren and lift their eyebrows and go, "She had a lift," and smirk. It's like, "Honey, lifts exist. Live with it." Tabitha, you should get one yourself, you thin-lipped little Republican witch.

ADC: Talk about witches -

CL: We're reading The Satanic Witch [by Anton Szandor LaVey] on how to catch a man. There's one thing in here about "By His Automobile Ye Shall Know Him," which is like, Don't dress to clash with his car. That means, if you're going out with Trent, don't wear silver, because his Porsche is silver. [laughs] Sorry. O.K., here are some of the chapters - "The High Heel," "On Prostitutes and Pentagrams," "Bitchcraft."

ADC: You should call your next album that - Bitchcraft.

CL: "How to Charm a Married Man." Oh, let's not get into that. "The Lesbian Witch."

ADC: That's us. The Lipstick Lesbians - not.

CL: The lesbians who haven't even touched each other. Because I'm not a lesbian, thank you very much. But I think that it was kind of cool when we went together to the Oscar parties. Somebody said, "You guys made history as the first two women to actually go on a date to the Oscars." I have a friend who's in a band, and they flew him out to the Oscars to be this actress's date. Talk about a beard. I didn't know beards really existed.

ADC: They do. It's like the casting couch. People always ask me if that exists, and I have no fucking idea. I've never encountered the casting couch.

CL: Well, I slept with a producer once 'cause I thought he was really nice. It was after I got the part. And this thing went on for like a year.

ADC: Yeah, but that's not the casting couch. The casting-couch mentality is more like the guy in the car park today. He wanted you to give him a blow job so we didn't have to pay our two-dollar parking ticket. And you were like, "Yeah, right. I'm going to give you a blow job for two dollars."

CL: All these people that recognize me now, it scares the hell out of me.

ADC: The scary thing I've discovered is that people always know your face because of all the really bad shit, not because of the good stuff.

CL: So, in your case, Amanda, what is the really bad shit? Like getting married when you were seven or something?

ADC: Yeah, getting slammed for having a career and an opinion at fourteen, and then getting married really young to a rock star and having a baby. I hosted this really hip music show called The Word when I was seventeen. Actually, that's when I first heard about you. Nirvana was on the show, and Kurt was saying you were the best fuck he'd ever had. Anyway, I think people just felt threatened by me.

CL: Maybe you should read the chapter in The Satanic Witch bible called "Learn to Be Stupid."

ADC: Well, it's going to take more than a chapter in a book. Or maybe not, according to the tabloids!

CL: [laughs] You know, my first best friend was totally obsessed with your husband, John. And so, when I met him, I wanted to call her and -

ADC: That was the night that he baby-sat the Beans. We have a really big bed in London, and John was reading them stories in bed while they were watching Postman Pat videos. The girls fell asleep in his bed. So he slept in the kiddie bed in Atlanta's room. He's such an amazing dad. [break in tape]

CL: So I met you officially at a party with Billy Pumpkin [Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins] and Michael Stipe.

ADC: Indeed.

CL: And then I met you again, standing by the jukebox at Jones [a restaurant in LA.]. Every time I go in there, the girls always think it's cool to play Nirvana, because I always go in wIth somebody quote "hot" unquote. But it's one thing to sit there at Jones listening to your husband's music. It's quite another one when your fucking husband is sitting in the comer of your room -

ADC: In a Ziploc baggie.

CL: When you saw that baggie you probably thought that the maid had missed the dust.

ADC: [laughs] I'll tell you what I thought. I thought it was like the hugest pile of drags I'd ever seen in my life. 'Cause it's white. I was like, "Whoa, what is this little hidden stash I've found?"

CL: It's Kurt. He's going to go up to the graveyard soon, so that the pilgrimage will start. But let's get back to you. You packed your bags when Atlanta was three months old and just got out of England. And you said, "I'm going to go be a fucking actress in L.A." You've been studying with Howard Fine for two years, who I'm not good enough for, but you are.

ADC: He's a very fine acting teacher.

CL: He teaches Bradley [Pitt], by the way.

ADC: He teaches all the cute boys. But that's not the only reason I go to his class.

CL: Cameron [Diaz] also has someone who's really good. She's going to give me his name.

ADC: Well, let's see her next movie [Feeling Minnesota] before we go to her for references.

CL: Oh, come on. Don't be catty.

ADC: I like Cameron. She's real sweet. We had a good gossip at the Batman [Forever] premiere a couple of days ago. But I just wanted the fucking part.

CL: I wanted the part [in Feeling Minnesota], too. But Amanda, things happen for a reason. Remember I was telling you how, back when I was in my loser years, wearing black leggings and the long rayon shirts because I was stripping, and I had my big hair thing, all the girls who were trying to be alternative, wearing black and -

ADC: They didn't earn any money.

CL: They didn't earn a dime. You had to wear, like, white pumps and pink lipstick and have a name like Kelly. It was so disgusting.

ADC: What was your name then?

CL: Well, I was Crystal for a long time.

ADC: Like the champagne.

CL: Crystal, Christie - you know, everything.

ADC: That's when you were stripping at Jumbo's.

CL: Yeah. I made that place really hip. They put my Rolling Stone cover up behind the fucking bar. And now there's that whole strip of strip clubs out by the airport. It's like, NUDE NUDE NUDE.

ADC: That's what we were talking about with Jack [Nicholson] the other night.

CL: Yeah, that place.

ADC: He said, "Oh, I've seen that sign." [laughs]

CL: Right. Like he's never been in there.

ADC: It was funny. I was like, "You've seen it? You probably stop by there on the way to the airport all the time."

CL: I'm sure.

ADC: But anyway, you've got to stop talking about you.

CL: All right. So, you did this movie, Four Rooms. How was the audition? Were you surprised that you got the part?

ADC: Actually, the film is a collaboration between four directors. And when they were each writing it, they had the people in mind that they were going to use. So they wrote the part for me. I feel really fucking lucky that the first movie I'm going to do involves really amazing people - actors and directors. Because the kind of films that I'm into are from Fellini and Truffaut to Scorsese.

CL: Not Point Break.

ADC: I can never make it through those action movies.

CL: What? I've seen Speed, like, sixty-five times. If I'm on tour, it's the only thing I watch.

ADC: I fell asleep watching it on the airplane.

CL: I can't believe you weren't intrigued by that movie. How about When a Man Loves a Woman? What did you think of that movie?

ADC: I watched that on the plane as well. I liked it. I felt bad for the kids, though. I probably related to their situation [watching their parents' marriage nearly fall apart because of alcoholism]. It made me cry.

CL: There are all these horrible rumors about your marriage, but I hear that your marriage is fine.

ADC: You know how my marriage is. You hear about it on a daily basis from me when I phone you.

CL: Marriage is a very sacred institution, and it needs to be respected. I'm sick of divorces.

ADC: Yeah. I lived through one as a kid, and it made me look at my own life and the young people that I've been around. Lately, I've realized how fucking dysfunctional a lot of people are, in large part due to their upbringing and their parents' divorces. I don't want that for me or for my child. And I don't think I'm going to ever meet anybody that I love as much as John. I've been with him six years.

CL: What happens when you marry so young is that the whole lust and instant rush thing - it goes away. But what replaces it in a successful marriage - I mean, I have, like, every how-to book on making your marriage work on the planet downstairs and you can borrow them all, because I'm not married anymore - what replaces it is this really warm, great companionship.

ADC: That's what I was reading in The Road Less Traveled. It talks about when the quote-unquote lust is over and when true love has the opportunity to live. People usually say, "Oh, fuck it, I'm not getting laid every day. This isn't exciting."

CL: It's that four-year mammal cycle, because we're so close to animals anyway. They mate, they have the child, they nurture the child, they split up.

ADC: Yeah, well, this is John's whole theory. That women come along and they borrow your sperm 'cause they think you're genetically correct.

CL: Oh well, we are both guilty of that one.

ADC: Absolutely. I met John and, besides the fact that I thought he was really sexy and sweet and smart and kind and loving ...

CL: You wanted his damn sperm.

ADC: Yes. Because I knew he'd be a great father. There's nothing wrong with the idea of "picking your family wisely."

CL: Besides, liberals don't breed enough. That's why there are so many Rush Limbaughs in the world. Liberals need to breed. It's not that hard. It's nine months. You know, just do it. I used to have this fantasy, which is totally gross and whorelike, where I wanted to have a bunch of different children by different men. But the thing is, each of the sperm creates different children, so I ended up realizing that, once you've got a good breeder, go for it. Are you going to have more kids?

ADC: I really want another baby.

CL: Me too. I don't even want the dad. I've got the perfect situation. I've got the money. You give me your sperm. Fuck it.

ADC: But kids do need a dad to grow up. They need a male role model.

CL: I've got a few around.

ADC: But they need one that's there permanently.

CL: Well, I mean, that's just not the way it is, is it, in my case?

ADC: It's not the way it is right now. But the next child - you know, for Frances as well, it would be better for her to have someone that's going to be around.

CL: Lots of kids don't have daddies.

ADC: I know. And the thing is, it's hard enough even when you do have a dad. [break in tape]

CL: So what are your plans now?

ADC: I did Four Rooms. And I just did Grace in My Heart, which is an Allison Anders movie. She's one of my few role models.

CL: Apparently she doesn't like me very much. Which is weird, because I've only had one encounter with her and it was quite pleasant. It was just that I refused to be in AA.

ADC: C'mon. She wouldn't get pissy with you just because you wouldn't go to AA.

CL: Well, that's the only encounter I've ever had with her. And I was incredibly polite. But I was also distraught as hell. It was right after Kristen's [Pfaff, the Hole bassist who died last year of a drug overdose] death. I was a mess. And I did end up going to an AA meeting, but I didn't like it. I don't take to AA. There's a psychologist who says that in certain people, especially young artists, the twelve-step program - which was invented in the '30s for blue-collar working males - doesn't really work.

ADC: I've seen it work. You just have to be willing.

CL: But there's got to be another way. I think that way is through a profound and defined spiritual practice, [one] that's done on a daily basis.

ADC: Well, that's kind of what AA gives some people who aren't able to find that spirituality in their lives - the higher power, that will.

CL: Yes. But I'd prefer to go to a monastery and get it right from the source, so that it all unfolds naturally. I'm net in agreement with the twelve-step programs. Besides, the only time I've ever come close to being raped was by three NA [Narcotics Anonymous] members on Diet Coke. All right? Because that was their excuse - that they were clean and, therefore, they could be crazy. I got jumped in this actor's house by a guy I'd known for years, that I trusted, and there was this other guy who was in this horrendous band, with a huge perm - this was during the Guns 'n Roses L.A. era - and his friend. They put handcuffs on me. And they had a video camera on. And I was crying so hard that they finally let me go without doing anything to me. But when I ran out onto the street, with my clothes all bunched in my hands, looking like I'd been raped, people were honking their horns and screaming shit at me. It was crazy.

ADC: See, in England that would never happen. I worry about Atlanta growing up in L.A., because a lot of the L.A. kids I know, especially the guys ...

CL: They're such fuckups. The children of celebrities. [break in tape]

CL: So, my sister-in-law - in theory, Ms. Barrymore - is known as a big survivor: "I've been through hell and back, ya-di-ya-di-ya-da." I say "in theory" because she's with Eric [Erlandson, Hole's guitarist], who is my hated brother. No one fights like us. So, what are you now, twenty-two or twenty-three?

ADC: I was twenty-three last Friday.

CL: Happy fucking birthday.

ADC: Thanks for the fucking flowers, you bitch.

CL: [laughs] I'm sorry. So, I guess the same could be said about you as Drew, that you're a big survivor. People in the States know the "wild child" stuff about you, as they called you in the tabloids. How did you become this wild child?

ADC: I don't know. I think the whole wild child thing happened to me because of the kind of life I had with my family - a lot of adult experiences at a young age, and probably some internal destructive thing.

CL: Didn't you get taken away from your family?

ADC: Well, yeah. When I was, like, fourteen. I was going out a lot. But only on school holidays, because I was at boarding school.

CL: And you were fucking rock stars.

ADC: I wasn't fucking them, but some of the people I hung out with were rock stars.

CL: How did you fall into that?

ADC: I was fourteen, and I was pretty, and I had these big boobs.

CL: I was fifteen, and I was ugly, and I was also hanging out with rock stars.

ADC: Well, there you go. So you can imagine how easy it was for me.

CL: [laughs] Right.

ADC: But I was also training for the Olympics in gymnastics at that time. My body didn't start growing until I was about thirteen, and then, within six months, I had this woman's body, and it was a real shock to me because I hadn't developed gradually. It was just, Boom! My first boyfriend was a bass player, and I've been stuck with musicians ever since.

CL: He's gay now, right?

ADC: NO. There was that one before John who is gay now.

CL: Isn't that weird how they turn gay after us. It's because they can't top us, is my theory.

ADC: Yeah. I mean, after me, what other woman is there?

CL: [laughs] Me.

ADC: We haven't shared lovers yet.

CL: No, we haven't. I think there was one we were cross-pollinating on, though.

ADC: But ... I mean, if we shared someone, I don't want to have him after you.

CL: But whoever gets him first makes him wear a rubber, O.K.?

ADC: [laughs] Well, in that case, since you don't like rubbers -

CL: I know.

ADC: I'll have him first.

CL: Do you use rubbers?

ADC: I'm married.

CL: Oh, O.K. Did you use rubbers?

ADC: Absolutely. My life is more important than getting laid.

CL: Did you ever not want to?

ADC: Who wants to use one? I always put them on inside out.

CL: [laughs] Have you ever had one break? [phone rings] Oh, God, you've got to get the phone now.

ADC: Hello. Hey, John. [to CL] It's my husband.


She uses her heart fearlessly
She lives life to its fullest