The Emmy- and Oscar- winning actress, 67, who made her acting debut in the 1976 remake of King Kong, now takes on another classic. Lange will star as Joan Crawford opposite
Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis in the new FX series Feud: Bette and Joan, premiering March 5, about the notorious rivalry between the two actresses while they were filming the 1962 thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
What was your aha moment researching Joan Crawford? Certainly going back to her childhood, which reads like a tragic Dickens story: poverty, physical abuse, a mother who never wanted her, no father, the sexual relationship she had with her stepfather from the age of 11. Just one thing after another, and if you build on that, you can see where her tragedy lies. Were there any vestiges of Hollywood’s golden era remaining when you began your career? I did grow up in awe of old movies and these women. I remember when I went for my first screen test, at MGM, driving through those MGM gates and walking Andy Hardy street and seeing Esther Williams’ swimming pool and Greta Garbo’s dressing room. Did you ever meet Joan? I never met Joan, but I did meet Bette once. We did an event together. I was maybe 26. I remember her saying to me, “You better court the press, honey.” That was her advice. Did Lange ever experience the kind of on-set rivalry Joan and Bette did? Go to Parade.com/lange to find out.