A lesson in charm

When I was in Cairo, apart from the incredible Nawal El Saadawi, I met and interviewed one of the country’s most famous film stars; Mona Zaki.
She was lovely. We met at her mother’s house where she fed me Ramadan sweets and tea and we chatted to her young daughter Lily. She couldn’t have been nicer; welcoming, sweet, kind, interesting and very pretty. Whenever she laughs her nose wrinkles which is charming. She was like a smaller, younger version of Julia Roberts.
She reminded me of Ines de la Fressange, the former Chanel muse and model. When I interviewed her for my book about French women she went out of her way to help.
“My motto is to treat everyone like your best friend,” she told me.
They are both in stark contrast to another star, Glenn Close, who was in Abu Dhabi a few months ago. We saw her at the Emirates Palace Hotel. I was with the girls.
“Quick,” I told Olivia. “That’s the woman from 101 Dalmations, ask for her autograph.”

dalmations
Olivia approached her, pen and paper at the ready.
“Excuse me please, are you the lady from 101 Dalmations?” she asked.
“No,” said Glenn Close, turning away.
Poor Olivia was gutted and of course thought I had got it wrong. Which I hadn’t, there was a big interview with her in our paper the following day.
She should pick up some charm tips from Mona and Ines.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009

4 thoughts on “A lesson in charm

  1. Disappointing to hear a Movie star like Glenn Close turned her back on a young girl. It would only have taken a minute of her time. She should have been pleased that one so young recognised her and her work.

  2. It’s too bad Ms. Close couldn’t bother to be gracious to a young fan like Olivia. What a shame she had to have her feelings hurt by a supposed adult who should know better.

  3. Call me what you want, but I think the least stars could do for their fans, who after all are their livelihood, is to be polite, and to sign autographs.
    We have a country singer here, Daniel O’Donnell, and you should hear him speak on this topic- he cuts through all the crap and ego, and says it’s part of the job. He is a multi-millionaire, but still spends hours after shows talking to fans and signing autos.
    Poor Olivia, hope she didn’t take it personally.

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