(Robert Henry Rubin)
Can love vanish without a trace?
No. I dont think it can. If it can, then it is not love.
Can a dead person be hated?
I wonder. God, that would be terrible, wouldnt it? I have no experience in this so I cant say. I, right at the end, want to forgive people and let them go. And let me go, too. Especially me. I am far too much of an egotist. I dont want to be hanging on to hate, revenge and all that. I want to be freed of that. So I want that person to forgive me. Even if that person cant forgive me, I will ask for forgiveness.
Is there anything you should be forgiven for now?
No. I dont think so. I think I have been a schmuck a lot of my life but, I mean, is that really something I should ask people to forgive me for? I just have to get on with that and sort it out myself. Forgiveness, to me, is on a major scale.
Are you amazed by the mistakes you have made?
Well, not amazed, but just sort of Well, actually, amazed is the right word. Yes. Mistakes or bad decisions. But I very quickly have a theory about that, anyway, which makes it bearable. Which is that it doesnt really matter. It actually doesnt really matter because what is a mistake? Who is to say it is a mistake? Maybe it is not a mistake. Perhaps, in time to come, it will be actually what was the useful course of action.
Have you been physically lost?
Yes. On auto routes. Where you dont know where to go out, or where to come into, or where you are, and you are fucking lost, and you could go on forever, and just be on a great auto route and you will never know how to get off it. I feel trapped by not knowing where I am. I mean, I dont know where I am most of the time but when I am in that situation it is a panic situation because I am trapped by a huge, great absurdity. I hate that. I dont like being trapped by absurdity.
Do you have the fear that your children might disappear whenever your children are not with you?
I never think about that. Otherwise, I would never leave home. And, already, it is difficult to leave home.
Must pain be associated with life?
Well, yes. But if there is any kind of aim in life it is being able to find a good measure between the two. So that you have great moments of joy and happiness - and great moments of pain. But that you always know that the joy is going to come back. That the pain is not going to leave you in a dark black hole forever. If you feel that, you are in trouble. I have been in that kind of trouble so I know. But then, if you do come out, then you know that you can have great moments of joy. But that doesnt mean that it is going to last. But who gives a fuck whether it lasts? Nothing lasts.
Do you look forward to each new day now?
I do now. I never did. Or I did when I was a kid. I did until I got to twenty. I thought there was a great hope and anticipation. And then it all went out the window for me [Editorial note: Charlotte Ramplings two-years-older sister Sarah died when Charlotte Rampling twenty one years old.]. And I do now again. I wake up, and I feel pretty groggy, and then I suddenly feel great and I think, Wow. Lets see what this day has to bring. I never felt that, or I cant remember feeling that, for about thirty years.
Why do you look forward to each new day now?
Because I have worked through a whole lot of shit, and I have got rid of it, and I am much freer now. But it is me that has done it. It hasnt just happened without me doing it.
Did anyone tell you anything that helped you to emerge from the mental depression you endured in the early 1990s?
Nobody. Not one person. I think there are good words that you can give someone, and a kind of good sound, but nobody can get you out.
Do you know how you made yourself emerge from the mental depression you endured in the early 1990s?
No. You dont know. It is a matter of time. Its a matter of wanting to, too.
Did you and your two-years-older sister Sarah perform together as The Rampling Sisters when you were teenagers?
Yes. We sang French songs. Because we lived in France and we spoke French. We sang little French songs on stage. Cest Si Bon, and all that.
Did you and your two-years-older sister Sarah intend to become professional performers together?
We did. But we were so silly and young. And we did actually get a contract but my father was against it because we were still in school. So we gave it up. Because it just wasnt possible. Not in that day and age. You couldnt go against that kind of resistance.
Did you sing with the Canadian cabaret troupe you lived with in Spain when you were a teenager?
No, they sang. I passed the hat. I did sing a bit but it was pathetic. They sang the songs.
What did you learn when you lived in Afghanistan in the mid-1960s?
That was about being with moving people. I lived with the Gypsies for quite a long time. And I didnt speak their language. So that was about communicating without necessarily understanding in words. It was learning to live with silence. Which I had learned to live with as a child. So it was not that unfamiliar and it was quite comfortable to me. It was before all the atrocities happened in that country. The country was wild, and beautiful, and open as it had been for hundreds of years.
What did you learn when you lived in a monastery in Scotland for two months in the mid-1960s?
I learned how to meditate. I learned how to be still. I learned how to spend quite a few hours not talking and just being silent. That was enormous, to learn that.
Did the notoriety which occurred when it became public knowledge that you were living with two men in the mid-1960s have a significant effect on the later development of sexual freedom around the world?
It might have. I wonder. People still talk about it. All through my life, people have talked about it. But then you think, these things get talked about because they are slightly controversial so they will always be mentioned. I dont know the effect it had. It could well have. You dont know how much impact these things have, do you? Its still a bit difficult to judge.
Have numerous men tried to steal a kiss from you?
To a certain extent, yes.
Does it make you feel creepy when a man tries to steal a kiss from you?
Yes, it does a bit. It is an intrusion, really. They think that it is up for grabs, I suppose.
Have you told a person that you loved that person when you did not love that person?
Yes, probably. Not often. Ive probably done it once. I dont know why. Because, I suppose, I thought it would be better that way.
Were there bad repercussions when you told a person that you loved that person when you did not love that person?
Probably, for yourself, really, but not for the other. And, in the end, then somebody could also say, Yes. But you said you loved me. And then you say, Well, I dont now, two days later, and it all gets a bit stupid. But then it is all a bit stupid, all of that stuff, anyway. Always trying to fathom out what the hell relationships are about. And even trying to figure out what a loving feeling is all about. I didnt know much about that. I never had much of it. Me, not knowing what that feeling was. Im talking about with men. Im not talking about with children or dogs.
Do you know the feeling of love with a man now?
Oh, yes. Now I know.
How do you know that you know the feeling of love with a man now?
RAMPLING: I just do.
Is love eternal?
The first question you asked me was does love even go beyond death? The feeling you have for somebody doesnt stop. I cant imagine it does. Even if you are betrayed. I had a pretty rough time with Jean-Michel [musician/composer Jean-Michel Jarre, married Charlotte Rampling in 1978, unfaithful to Charlotte Rampling, separated from Charlotte Rampling in late-1990s]. But, I imagine, I still love him. I dont think anything has changed. I mean, I dont want to be married to him. But, I imagine, I still love him. Why would that stop? He is the father of my kids and we had great times together. The fact that somebody does something to potentially harm a relationship doesnt mean to say that you stop loving them. Does it? I am bit too forgiving sometimes. It is a bit yucky. It is like I am so afraid to harm myself. I dont care about them. It is about myself. My way is rather weak.
Did you and the actor Dirk Bogarde extensively rehearse scenes for the motion picture The Night Porter?
Yes. We did. Because we were really doing it on our own. We were going a little bit against what [Liliana] Cavani wanted. We did our versions. She wanted it, especially the rather violent love scenes, to be done in a different way. Her perception of the film was slightly different to ours. I wasnt sure what my perception was, except I wanted to make it a love story. I didnt want it to be historically talking about the Third Reich, and the Nazis, and all that. It was really Dirk that guided me.
Have you been in mental synchronization with numerous actors?
No. Not a lot. Certainly, with Bogarde, I was.
Why were you in mental synchronization with the actor Dirk Bogarde?
It is just about, why do you fall in love with certain people and why are certain people your friends? Thats all. Its just that you feel so familiar, somewhere within you, that you are in synch. Some people I find so different from me that it is very difficult to feel in synch.
What do you do when you have to act with an actor with whom you are not in mental synchronization?
Well, you adapt. If you are supposed to be in love with an actor, with everything he is doing and this-that-and-the-other, you adapt. That is what we do. It is the job. You just adapt. We are chameleon creatures. It is not a problem, really. You do not put your personal self in - you forget all that.
Does the time you spend acting become reality to you because acting requires your personal emotions?
Acting isnt anything about your real life. Acting is not your real life. Most of the people I am with, when I am acting, I do not even want to be with. But you are with them, and you are really close to them, and you spend time with them, and you spend weeks with them, and you are living with them, and you are talking with them, and they are like your best friends. Whether you like them or you dont like them it does not make any difference when you are acting. Thats not even the point. The point is to make it truthful and convincing. So all you have to do is believe in what you are doing. I dont give a fuck what the other person is doing. He is on his own agenda. If he doesnt want to join you then he wont join you. If he does join you then that is great and you can do a good scene. But if hes doesnt want to join you, if hes on his own thing, reciting his own words, in his own world, then you have got to make sure that you are okay in your world. You make believe that you are connected with him. Thats all. Its all about make-believe. Its all about lying. There is no truth in this acting.