“John was es­sen­tially brought up mid­dle class. It was Paul who lived in that world of gritty work­ing-class hous­ing es­tates”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

“Oh mas­sively. It com­pletely al­tered my make up and who I felt I was,” she agrees. “I re­ally changed rad­i­cally how I lived my life. I stopped go­ing to ev­ery party and stopped say­ing ‘yes’ to every­one. I lived life to the full, but in the way I wanted, rather than the way peo­ple ex­pected me to.”

I don’t imag­ine hav­ing can­cer once does all that much to pre­pare you for a sec­ond bout. “No, not at all. How­ever, the first time round I was a bit too keen to show the world I was okay. The sec­ond time I stopped car­ing about that and fo­cused upon my­self.”

It’s in­ter­est­ing to hear all this talk about not car­ing what oth­ers think and about not liv­ing life “the way peo­ple ex­pected me to”. A few months ago, it tran­spired that Tay­lorWood, now di­vorced from Jo­pling, had be­come ro­man­ti­cally en­twined with the star of Nowhere Boy. Aaron John­son, who brings cal­low en­ergy to the role of Len­non, is 23 years younger than the artist. No won­der she feels the need to as­sert her de­fi­ance of con­ven­tional at­ti­tudes. I un­der­stand they’re now get­ting mar­ried. “Yes, but we’re not go­ing to rush into it,” she says in­sou­ciantly. “We are go­ing to take our time. Any­way, we are too taken up with pro­mot­ing the film right now. We cross cor­ri­dors in the ho­tel, have a hug and carry on again. It’s nice know­ing he’s right next door all the time.” Aww! What­ever else you might say about Sam, she’s a lot less scary than Damian Hirst.

Yet, for all those ac­tors pulling on round glasses and stand­ing next to Ja­panese ladies, the real Len­non has rarely been glimpsed in th­ese per­for­mances. So many of the in­ter­pre­ta­tions – un­like the frag­ile char­ac­ter in – seem to be vari­a­tions on the char­ac­ter of “John Len­non” that the man him­self man­u­fac­tured for and (In­deed that half-in­vented char­ac­ter even shows through Len­non’s few per­for­mances as some­body other than him­self: check out his Mus­ke­teer Grip­weed in Dick Lester’s zany

The “John Len­non” char­ac­ter in the Bea­tles films – as glib as the real thing, but a lit­tle less pompous – was ev­ery bit as fic­tional as the “ the King in­hab­ited in his in­creas­ingly wretched movies. The key dif­fer­ence, of course, is that John him­self dreamt up the wry, cyn­i­cal “Len­non”, whereas man­agers and ma­nip­u­la­tors knocked to­gether the bland, soul­less “Elvis”. Sadly, both char­ac­ters sur­vived the stars who in­hab­ited them.

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