As moviegoers gear up for the late-summer release of Conan The Barbarian, in which Rose McGowan plays villain Marique, the actress and star of the oft-remade pic has discussed at length her love of Old Hollywood.
In a recent interview at her Beverly Hills bungalow, McGowan spoke of how the lack of interest in the history of modern film “breaks [her ] heart,” and that “so many people in the film industry have no clue who paved the way for them.” The star decried what she says is “almost a willful ignorance on their part.”
An entryway in McGowan’s home is adorned with a relic of the era- a vintage purchase of RKO studio memorabilia. The studio was a vestige of Old Hollywood, and McGowan was happy to talk at length about her admiration for the celebrity culture and Hollywood scene of yore. Of the letters, McGowan draws a parallel between the studio for which she has such an affinity and her own eclectic career:
“RKO was always a bit schizophrenic. They kind of just threw stuff at the wall to see what stuck.”
McGowan discusses the demise of the studio- linked with its affiliation with the notoriously eccentric Howard Hughes- as part of what drew her to the pieces :
“The color of the letters seems very Howard Hughes,” she says, referring to his penchant for sultry actresses like Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth. “He was the ultimate eccentric. He had women stashed all over town.”
Conan The Barbarian hits theaters this Friday, and an initial look certainly reveals the kind of retro B-movie feel RKO later became known for. Trailer below: