This month’s guest interviewer is Miss Donna DeBlasio from Youngstown, Ohio.
Q. If you could be anyone you wanted to be (past or present) who would it be and why?
A. I think I would really like to be Errol Flynn. I think he was a great actor, and I used to dream about taking his place in the dueling scenes of his movies.
Q. Do you consider family life important?
A. Family life has always been important to me. You might think because I left home at 15 that I wasn’t happy at home, but it wasn’t that way at all. My mother had passed away just before that and I felt it was time I made my own way in the world. I try to get back to England to see my father and sisters as often as I can. I’m looking forward to having a family of my own some day and it will be the most important thing in my life.
Q. What is the one thing you hate to do most?
A. I really can’t think of anything I hate that much, but one thing I’m not too crazy about is talking on the telephone. To me it’s like a necessary evil. The reason I don’t enjoy it is because when you talk to someone you can see their eyes and their expressions and how they’re reacting to what you say. But you can’t do that on a phone. That’s why I like to talk to people in person whenever it’s possible.
Q. Was it very difficult perfecting a Cockney accent for the part of the “Artful Dodger” in “Oliver?”
A. Not really. I had a Mancurian accent and the Cockney accent isn’t too hard to learn because it’s a very heavy accent. All the pronunciations are definite so once you master it—you’ve got it.
Q. What was the most difficult thing you ever had to do?
A. I think the most difficult thing I had to do was realize that my mother was gone after she passed away. When she died I was so hurt and I hurt for my father and sisters, too. I didn’t want to see anyone for weeks and weeks. It was very tough to realize I had to go on living and make something of my life, but I did.
Q. Do people often criticize your curly hair style?
A. I was very surprised at the big reaction from fans about my hair. I was upset because I got so many letters putting me down about it. What I could have done is change it to please some of my fans, but I felt that wasn’t being a very strong person. I am most comfortable with my hair falling naturally and I feel I must live the way I am most comfortable.
Q. If you could be anywhere you wanted to be right now where would that be and why?
A. This very minute I’d like to be back in Hawaii. The reason? It’s raining in Hollywood today, which makes me think about the great weather I enjoyed while I was in Hawaii after Christmas.
Q. If two of your girlfriends came over to your house at the same time what would you do for entertainment?
A. One thing I can tell you—they’d both be welcome and since I’m seldom alone (there are usually several friends around), I’d expect them both to join in whatever we were doing at the time for fun. I really do expect my girlfriends to be open-minded enough to know I have many friends that I share my time with. They have to understand this.
Q. What was your most embarrassing situation?
A. I have been such a ham and a cut-up all my life, I can’t truly remember ever being embarrassed.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional character?
A. Lately it’s been Alice from “Alice In Wonderland.” I re-read the book and sometimes I show the movie on my home projector. It’s really a gas!
Q. What do you think of married life compared to being a bachelor?
A. Comparing the two all I can say is that since I’ve been married I have been a complete person. Before I think I was half a person. Phyllis now makes up my other half and makes me whole.
Q. If one of your fellow Monkees became engaged what advice would you give him?
A. To follow his mind and his heart and not to listen to advice from anyone.
Q. If you and Phyllis were going out and she had on a short dress, how would you convince her to put on a longer dress?
A. I wouldn’t. Phyllis has a fantastic, slim figure and she looks great in short skirts. I love Phyllis to wear short clothes.
Q. What is your attitude toward life?
A. Simply, to live it to the fullest while you are on this earth. This means something different to each individual person.
Q. What is the one thing you intend to get out of life?
A. Hopefully, a feeling of accomplishment. I think we all wish for happiness and love and peace, but to get these things without earning them or working for them (and here comes the feeling of accomplishment) then they mean very little.
Q. You once said that fear frightened you most. Why?
A. Fear is a hang-up on its own. If you are afraid of some “thing,” then you have two hang-ups—first, some psychological hang-up about the “thing” and second, the hang-up that you fear it.
Q. Do you consider the Monkees the height of your musical career? Why or why not?
A. I hope I never reach the height of my musical career. If I put a limit on how high I can go and then I reach it, from there I can only go downhill. Right? But, if I set no limit, then I can only go higher and higher.
Q. Now that you are famous do you enjoy the simple things in life? Why or why not?
A. I enjoy them more than ever. When I lived in the Village I had to live very simply, because I wasn’t making very much money. Then I would daydream about how “the other half” lived and the day I would have money, and what I’d do with it. Now I have the money, but because I’ve seen and experienced both elegant and simple living, I appreciate the simple life much more. To me there are less material distractions and you can get down to the nitty gritty and create and grow as a person.
Q. If your girlfriend was a terrible writer how would you convince her in a nice way that she should not go into journalism?
A. I wouldn’t try to stop her. I believe you can do anything you want to do and be anyone you want to be. It’s all a matter of how much you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it.
Q. What one certain thing intrigues you the most?