The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be hosting a tribute to one of my favorite actors, Steve McQueen beginning May 20. Some of his biggest hits will be screened including The Magnificent Seven, The Cincinnati Kid, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, Papillon (a personal favorite and one I already bought tickets to see), and The Towering Inferno. McQueen really is one cool dude as evidenced by the characters he plays.
Unfortunately, one film that won’t be shown is Soldier in the Rain Steve’s rare attempt at comedy where he plays a G.I. with all these get rich quick schemes in tries to entice his superior Jackie Gleason to go in on them with him. Steve’s love interest is played by Fantasy Femme, Chris Noel. Below is what she told me about working with McQueen and co-stars Tuesday Weld and Jackie Gleason:
“Steve was incredible. He was a fascinating and sexy actor. I had a major crush on Steve but I wouldn’t go to bed with him because he was married. One time he invited me into his bungalow and began kissing me. I told him, ‘No!’ He responded, “But I’ve been to bed with every one of my leading ladies!” I very politely left and we became friends.”
Though Chris adored working with McQueen, she got the cold shoulder from her other co-stars. “Tuesday Weld was bitchy and didn’t like me. I even had to darken my hair because of her! And Jackie Gleason liked only who he chose to like. He wasn’t friendly. I’d say hello to him and he’d grunt something back. He didn’t like rehearsing either. But I got used to it. I liked working with Steve McQueen so much that it didn’t bother me how everybody else was.”