Bo derek hot in fashion house
My new man's gorgeous and funny. Pity my husband wasn't: Bo Derek on the Sex And The City hunk who's given her a new lease of life
Okay, so, according to Bo Derek, there are women that do and those that don't.
Bo doesn't - do plastic surgery, that is. Oh, and while we're at it, she doesn't do Botox or collagen, either. There are times, she says, she's tempted to - days she sees a photograph of herself and 'gets scared'. But no, at nearly 53, Bo remains gloriously filler-free.
'When you look at women who have had plastic surgery, they have lost something - usually an expression, something unique to their faces,' she says.
Beach beauty: Bo Derek, who is against surgery, shows no signs of ageing at 52
'They start to look the same. I've always admired the women who didn't do it, so I have to keep reminding myself that I'm one of them and not the other. When I look at some photographs of myself, I think, "Oh, I look all right." But, in others, I scare myself; I wish I had my old skin.'
Believe it or not, it's 30 years since Bo, her hair braided and wearing a flesh-coloured swimsuit, was filmed running along the beach in Blake Edward's 10 - the highest score a woman could achieve for desirability.
The movie, she says, was a defining moment in her life; more so than any other roles, more so, too, than her extraordinary 22-year marriage to the late film director John Derek.
Love at first sight: Bo with new boyfriend John Corbett
Bo was just 16 when they began their affair in Greece, on the set of his film And Once Upon a Love. A notorious womaniser, Derek was 30 years her senior and married to Linda Evans (his previous wives, Pati Behrs and Ursula Andress, were also actresses).
Because Bo was considered a minor in the US, where Derek could have been charged with statutory rape, they lived in Germany, only returning when Bo turned 18.
Few believed the relationship would last, but they married in Las Vegas when Bo was 20 and stayed together until Derek's death from heart failure in 1998. Many considered him to be a controlling, Svengali influence in Bo's life.
She denies this, but suffice to say she remained happily single for five years after his death until she agreed to a blind date with the actor John Corbett, 48.
Today, they share a ranch in California.
'I was completely content and settled after my husband died,' she says.
'I had a lot of girlfriends who kept saying, "You've got to meet this person or that person."
' But I said, "No. Some day it'll be love at first sight or not at all."
I was so averse to dating. With some men I felt like prey. I never knew if someone wanted to meet me because they wanted to meet me or whether it was because I was some kind of prize, so I just avoided dating.'
Until, of course, she met Corbett, who played Aidan, Carrie Bradshaw's-boyfriend, in Sex And The City.
'I was going to the Oscars with a girlfriend and heard from a friend that John was also going and wanted to escort me,' she says.
'I thought it would be fun to show my girlfriend the Hollywood experience if we went with someone like John, so I said yes. He knocked on my hotel door and it was love at first sight. I was crazy about him from that moment. He's charming and funny - so different from my husband. And he's younger than me.'
But the other John is not far from her thoughts. For decades, their relationship had intrigued the movie industry and public alike.
Ten out of ten: Bo with co-star Dudley Moore in 1979
Bo says now that she was 'too young to have that experience' of falling in love at first sight with her husband. Instead, she says, she was 'interested and fascinated' by him.
Derek was alone at the couple's Californian ranch when he had a fatal heart attack. Bo had spoken to him on the telephone from New York the night before. '
That was the last conversation we had. The next day I got a call that he'd been rushed to hospital. It was catastrophic heart failure.
'Luckily, within three weeks of him dying, I had the blessing of going off to Hawaii for filming. I'd taken a part on this really fun TV series, Wind On Water. John had been furious that I'd taken it. He never let me know if he was jealous, but other people have said he was when I went off on films. He knew what went on with leading men and ladies on set. I was in Hawaii for three months. It
Bo has her own grooming range for dogs called Bless the Beasts. Products range from detangling shampoo to scented candles
was such a magical place. If I'd stayed at home, it might have been different. I think I avoided a lot of pain and grief.'
Bo admits that their three-decade age gap was beginning to make itself felt and acknowledges for the first time the difficulties that existed between them.
'There were things he couldn't do physically,' she says. 'He was starting to see his own mortality and it was bothering him. It wasn't his nature to be infirm in any way.'
She says she'd never fall for someone so much older now.
'I was so young when I met him,' she says. 'I think people have to be very young to fall in love like that. They're more malleable, and I was to a point.
'He was 46 and that's a great age for a man, so the age thing wasn't there yet. I thought, "I'll deal with the future when it comes. Why worry now?" I was young, I was in love, and it was so exciting and wonderful. When you're young you just think you know everything.'
Naive: Bo with former husband John Derek, who she met when she was 16
Bo, the oldest of four children, was born Mary Cathleen Collins. Her parents divorced when she was 14 and, within a year, she was truanting from school, hanging out on the beach and experimenting with drugs, until she signed with a theatrical agent.
Within a few months, she was introduced to Derek.
'The name John Derek meant nothing to me,' she says. 'But my mum was excited. She said he was very handsome. I was very shy. I think I managed to say hello and that was about it.
Her mother, Norma, accompanied her to Greece to film Once Upon A Time, but soon began a romance with a Greek man, leaving her daughter alone much of the time with Derek.
'I think John and I were meant to be,' says Bo. 'We had everything going against us. My mother was very concerned and wanted me to go back to the US. But I am rebellious. I decided I wanted to stay with him, so I did.'
Happy: Bo and John have no plans to marry
Today, all of Derek's wives are said to be close.
'John was completely honest with all of us,' she says. 'We were never deceived, never embarrassed, never humiliated by him.'
Hang on. Surely Linda was a touch humiliated when he high-tailed it with a girl young enough to be his daughter?
'From everything I understand, there wasn't any lying involved.'
A year after marrying Derek, Bo was offered the role that was to make her an international star.
'I was living with my husband, wasn't working and had no aspirations to work. A friend of John's suggested me for the part. I went in for the audition with no experience. No one expected all this to happen - Dudley [Moore, the British comedian and her co-star] was not a box-office star. That role was such a gift in my life.
'Being in a successful movie opens so many doors and makes your life so magical. It is incredible that such a large part of my life has passed since then.'
I wonder though, whether, as she ran along that beach with those braids, she envisaged a different life.
'I did,' she says.
'For a long time I wanted children. When I was about 30 or 32, I really thought about it. But John had two children from a previous marriage, and it wasn't really natural for him. I had to consider that eventually I would be raising a child alone. So, when the time came, he said yes, we were all set and I said, "No".'
Does she wish that Corbett had knocked on her door earlier?
'No, no, no.' she says. Oh, what about marriage? 'We'll see. I think marriage is a young person's thing, when you want to make a family. We're in a different place at our age.'
Much as Derek was? Bo laughs diplomatically.
'I loved John, but he's gone. I'm intelligent enough to know that my life has been embarrassingly good. Okay, so some people wouldn't choose to be with a man 30 years older - but that was my choice. John Corbett is a bonus - a gorgeous bonus.'
- 10 can be seen on TCM at 9pm on November 1st.