After nearly eight decades in show business, Angela Lansbury has finally worked with her first female director at the age of 92.
The Murder She Wrote star opened up on the Masterpiece Studio podcast with Jace Lacob about the experience of working with director Vanessa Caswill on PBS’s upcoming Little Women miniseries.
“That was an interesting experience for me, and a first, and I’m so glad I had it,” she said in an exclusive clip from the upcoming interview. “It was a very intimate relationship with a director which I had never really encountered before.”
Lansbury added, “She was quite wonderful in her ability to come to us actors — not in a loud way, from a distance she would come and whisper in our ears. And in that way, she was able to impart very subtle things that otherwise perhaps as a woman she might not have wanted to, for everybody to hear. But for the actor to hear it was delightful and I loved working that way with her.”
The actress said the difference between working with Caswill and other male directors was stark. “I’ve worked with some of the loudest, shouty directors believe me,” she added.
Lansbury, who grew up during the blitz in London, started acting as a preteen. “It was thanks to my mother who recognized in me an ability to cut up, to make believe, to run around being somebody other than the little girl that I was,” she said of getting into show business. “It made her realize that I was a natural, and she, bless her heart, made the decisions for me very, very, very young.”
Almost 80 years later, Lansbury isn’t planning on slowing down. Asked if Little Women will be her last act, she said, “Well I wouldn’t say it’s my swan song. It’s not the last thing I’ll do. I’m already doing other things but it’s been said this would be my swan song. But it isn’t.”
She added, “I know at 92 I should be thinking in terms of swanning out, but I don’t know if you have the energy and the enthusiasm and the interest, I don’t think you ever really stop.”
Little Women is airing in two parts on PBS’ Masterpiece, on May 13 and May 20, at 8 p.m. ET — and Lacob’s full interview with Lansbury will premiere on the Masterpiece Studio website Sunday.