For two years, karate-Emma brought fun and excitement to our screens. Now she’s back on German Television, with a role she didn’t necessarily get applause for.
The new series is called ‘Diana’. The actress plays an Englishwoman who earns her money as a fashion coordinator in a department store in New York, and who gets to experience all kinds of adventures with husbands and bachelors.
It couldn’t have been that good, since the American television network NBC cancelled the show after only 2 months. In England, Diana’s cavorts were consistently thought to be bad by critics, too.
The actress was angry: “How could I have let someone talk me into shooting that crap!” she complained. “I wish I were able to buy all episodes and destroy them!”
The ZDF has a different opinion. Director Willi Kowalk: “I believe that the series will be a success. Chaos, mixups, funny jokes…audiences that want to have a good laugh will like it.”
Who’s right now? What’s sure is that it will be hard for Diana Rigg to top her success as the men-murdering agent. Witty, impudent, casual and sexy – that’s how fans remember their ‘Emma’. Will they accept the new Diana?
HÖRZU called the actress in London
HÖRZU: Diana, your new series can be seen on German Television now…
DIANA: I’m happy about that!
HÖRZU: …but didn’t you publicly state that ‘Diana’ was one of the worst roles you played in your life?
DIANA: I didn’t say it like that. I just distanced myself from the series, because it doesn’t really represent my concept of humor.
HÖRZU: Why did you choose to play the role then?
DIANA: Every actor makes mistakes. After all the work on stage, I wanted to do something in television again. That backfired. Tough luck! – for me.
HÖRZU: What if the series becomes a success in Germany now?
DIANA: Well…that would be nice! I’ve been to Germany seven years ago, at the height of the success of Emma Peel. I know that Germans like to laugh, and be happy. I don’t know if they’ll be able to laugh about ‘Diana’…We’ll see.
HÖRZU: It’s being said that you’re capricious and moody. You didn’t like the role of the karate-girl Emma Peel in the end, either.
DIANA: But only in the end! 36 episodes hitting people, judo, hundreds of bruises from falling all the time. I don’t think you have to be moody to have had enough.
HÖRZU: Is it true that Emma Peel was your favorite role anyway?
DIANA: Yes, not acting-wise, though, but because I liked the role, and her character. Emma Peel has always been a symbol to me: Her independence, her wit, her self-assuredness – all character traits I don’t have myself. I’m way too unbalanced.
HÖRZU: In your private life, you’re said to be unbalanced, too.
DIANA: Because I break up with a man when things don’t work out anymore? Believe me, millions of women would love to do the same if they could…
HÖRZU: Isn’t that a little audacious?
DIANA: When I married Menachem Gueffen (an Israeli artist) he was the love of my life, believe me. I’ve told other reporters, too. Do I have to cry in public and let my tears be photographed?
HÖRZU: Two months after the divorce you were the girlfriend of the actor Clifton Davis. The love of your life again?
DIANA: What kind of question is that? How long a woman mourns the relationship she had with a man, how she finds comfort, and what role sex plays in all of this, she has to decide for herself. I’m 37 now. Don’t you think I have the right to live the way I choose to live?