In Candice Bergen’s new memoir, A Fine Romance, she writes about her experience on the groundbreaking TV show Murphy Brown, her relationship with her late husband, the director Louis Malle, and raising her daughter, Chloe. But Bergen got a lot of flack for her refreshingly frank discussion of the way her body has changed over the years (namely because of that “f” word: “Let me just come right out and say it,” she writes. “I am fat.”).
EW talked to Bergen about her thoughts on body image, and whether she feels her writing was a little too honest.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You talk about weight a lot in the book—how much you gained when you were pregnant, how you feel like you’re heavy today. Did you have any trepidation about putting that in the book?
Candice Bergen: Well, didn’t that come back to bite me on the ass! You know, some of the things I wrote, I wrote so fast, and it was late at night, and I wasn’t really thinking. But at my age it’s just like, “Eh, who cares?” Obviously I erred on the side of frankness and should have pulled back, but nobody saved me from myself. I think some didn’t want to interfere with my “creative process.”
When I read that [those passages] went viral, I just thought, “What?” May I just say this? I don’t even know how to follow social media. I’m such a primitive person. And I frankly think that people who do follow social media need to get more of a life. But look, I feel that if you’re going to commit to doing a book like this, then the least you can do to salvage some kind of self-respect is to be honest about things. Otherwise you just sink into a slough of self-narcissism.
But do you think your focus on feeling bad about your own body is at odds with your Murphy Brown persona?
I don’t see my comments about loving food as negative. Obviously, it’s not something you shoot for if you’re working toward optimal health. But I just feel that some women go too far in the other direction, in terms of never eating out of enjoyment.
I don’t enjoy eating with women who only eat kale.
To read more from our honest, funny conversation with Candice Bergen, pick up this week’s issue of EW on newsstands Friday, or download the digital edition at ew.com/allaccess.