Sharon Tate was an American actress and model that was active throughout the '60s and is a name that everyone, young and old, are familiar with, especially after she was immortalized by Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 opus Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Married to Roman Polanski In the '60s, she was the 'it girl' who starred in such smash hits as 1967's Valley of the Dolls, The Wrecking Crew, and The Fearless Vampire Killers, with bit roles in The Beverley Hillbillies and Mr. Ed. She was known for shying away from the spotlight, meaning that any and all interviews about her work have long since been buried; until now, as a new interview from 1967 has been pulled from the archives with Sharon Tate seen on the set of Valley of the Dolls.
Valley of the Dolls tells the story of three young hopefuls trying to make it big in Hollywood. With Tate's character, Jennifer North, wanting nothing more than to be seen as a human being and not the sex object that all the men she meets take her for. Perhaps for her, this was a case of art imitating life as she goes on to imply the same in the newly released clip. With her last acting credit being in 1969 for Twelve Plus One, many argue that her straight shot to stardom was cut short (which it was). No question. In this never before seen interview it is clear that she never saw herself as the star the world did.
The interview starts with a very demure Tate awkwardly sitting in a chair next to a reporter, on a back lot of Valley of the Dolls. She smiles into the camera, uneasy and unsure. The interviewer introduces her as "Sharon Tate who plays the role of Jennifer" and goes on to ask if she had read Valley of the Dolls before accepting the part. Sharon shyly states that she had and that "out of all of the characters that was the one that I liked the most" and felt the most sympathy for.
Further into the interview she is compared to Marylin Monroe, a title she hastily shakes off. She's quick to state that Marylin was a once in a life time person, someone that was a "one time thing" - all the while failing to realise that she was just that. She continues; "I just want to remain as much myself as possible - and do what I feel like doing".
At the time of the interview in 1967 the Interviewer is quick to mention the Tate has three "pictures" awaiting release, meaning that at the time she was relatively unknown. Something that was going to change all too soon. This gives fans who may not be as familiar with Tate's story more context into the woman we see Margot Robbie portraying on the big screen in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which drastically changes true fact to give the actress a fairytale ending.
The story of Sharon Tate has been told time again, more recently with 2019's The Haunting of Sharon Tate, starring Hilary Duff. Sadly it is also completely synonymous with the horrific retelling of what would eventually be known as the "Manson family murders".
Unlike, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Haunting of Sharon Tate wasn't met with much critical acclaim and as such is seen as a very loose retelling of the events that unfolded that fateful night. In fact, the movie was panned by critics and audiences and it received a measly 19% on Rotten Tomatoes with critics going as far as stating that the nature of the film was exploitive to the point of fiction towards the true narrative. One thing we can all agree on is that the truth is far more tragic than any biopic can portray. this truth was greatly turned on its head in Quentin Tarantino's hands, as Sharon Tate (spoiler alert) lives at the end of his Hollywood fable.
As for the true story, unfortunately, on the night of August 9, 1969, Charles Manson ordered an attack that would shake the Hollywood hills and result in the death of Sharon Tate. She was just 26 years old at the time of the incident. Luckily The Manson Family members responsible were caught and incarcerated shortly after. But not before committing another brutal attack against producer Leno LaBianca and his wife. Over the years the horrific story has been fantasised and almost glorified across all media outlets. With other films such as Charlie Says starring Matt Smith attempting to shine a more sympathetic view of not only Manson's murder victims but the victims of his fanatical Ideologies.
Watching the interview above it is clear to see that Sharon Tate was a sweet and humble light that was snubbed far too soon. Her catalogue of work is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.