FROM THE ARCHIVES: Exclusive Interview with…Diana Ross from 1973 (Right On! Magazine)

Interview taken from Right On! Magazine, 1973:

“Diana Ross has reached super-star status…not only through her singing, but her acting as well. And the fact that she´s a wife and mommy makes her not just a super-star , but a super-woman! Read on to see what she says about her career life and her home life…!”

by Laura Deni.

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RIGHT ON!  You have had two children right in a row. How do you keep your lovely figure?

DIANA:   “I don´t eat very well and sometimes I don´t sleep well. In the morning  it´s hard for me to have breakfast. I have an instant breakfast or an avocado in a mixed drink. I´d like to gain a little weight, but I guess I keep burning it off.”

RIGHT ON!  Do you plan to have any more children?

DIANA:  “I don´t know . The first ones weren´t planned. This is the first time in two and a half years that I´ve been on stage that I´m not pregnant. Of course, I haven´t been to see my doctor in a couple of months. I´d be safer if I said I hadn´t seen my husband in two months! Anybody got some pickles and ice cream?”

RIGHT ON!  Do your children travel with you?

DIANA:  “Yes. When we´re in Las Vegas we lease a house. My husband (Bob Silberstein) come in when he can. When I´m not on stage I´m at the house with them.”

RIGHT ON!  Who´s the boss?

DIANA:  “I´ve never made many of the decisions regarding my career. I listen to Berry Gordy, the former president of Motown Records. He personally guides everything I do. My husband is the boss in the house. I´m a good artist to manage because I take direction well.”

RIGHT ON!  Do you have brothers and sisters? Are you close to them?

DIANA:  “I´m very close to my family. My brotehr Freddie come to Las Vegas for my show at the Caesar´s Palace. He is just home from three years in Vietnam. I really kept close to him during that time. I wrote to him telling him to keep his chin up. I knew he would come home safely and he did. I´m happy that he is here and that the war is over.”

RIGHT ON!  What is one of your happiest childhood memories?

DIANA:  “The Christmas when my sisters and I all got majorette boots. We lived in Alabama then,”

RIGHT ON!  How do you feel about Women´s Lib?

DIANA:  “I´m liberated. I´m somewhat in favor of Women´s Lib…equal pay for equal work. Frequently I hear statements like ‘You can only expect so much from her because she´s a woman’ and that bugs me. I guess I´m somewhere in the middle about Women´s Lib…not really on one side or the other.”

RIGHT ON!  What are your hobbies?

DIANA:  “I´m a real fight fan. I go to every fight I can when I´m not working. No matter who the champ is, Muhammed Ali is still my favorite. I´m thrilled to be in Las Vegas now because he is here training. He came to see my show opening night. Also, I love to gamble and I´m pretty good at it. I play blackjack a lot and I´m ahead.”

RIGHT ON!  How do you feel about discrimination?

DIANA:  “People discriminate and don´t know they´re doing it. It bugs the hell out of me when people point out that I´m married to a white, Jewish man. I wish people wouldn´t bring it up any more.”

RIGHT ON!  What do you think of today´s music?

DIANA:  “Today´s music reflects the time. We are in the time of racial problems and drugs…and movies reflect the same thing. I´m happy blacks are doing movies now.”

RIGHT ON!  What are you doing to help blacks?

DIANA:  “We made a point of hiring as many talented blacks as possible for Lady Sings The Blues. Unfortunately, the lack of experience prevents many talented people from getting jobs. We tried to give as many people experience as possible.”

RIGHT ON!  As a singer turned actress how do you feel you did in the movie?

DIANA:  “It was my first picture and I was surprised that I did so well. I am not an actress, I am a singer.”

RIGHT ON!  Do you have an special method for acting?

DIANA:  “I had a system for studying lines that I´m going to keep to myself ´cause I want to use the system again. I made notes on my script, then I hid the script so nobody could see how I worked.”

RIGHT ON!  What was your reaction when the movie was released?

DIANA:  When the movie premiered I couldn´t go because it was time for the baby. I told everybody to go without me and not worry about me. Then I had a fit until Berry called me! I think the baby (Tracee) was born the next day.”

RIGHT ON!  What was your favorite song in the movie?

DIANA:  “Of all the songs I did in the film, ‘My Man’ is my favorite.”

RIGHT ON!  Do you understand or relate to Billie Holiday?

DIANA:  “I didn´t fully understand Miss Holiday, but I had a message of my own to convey.” 

RIGHT ON!  What was that?

DIANA:  “I know what  my message is…love and affection. Drugs today are worse than in 1930. If I can hep in someway…”

RIGHT ON!  If you didn´t understand Billie Holiday how did you prepare for the movie?

DIANA:  “I was pregnant when I got the role of Billie Holiday so I had time to listen to her records, read the album notes and her book, so I could identify with her. When I first started studying her music I didn´t understand jazz. I talked to jazz people. They explained melody to me and improvisation. When I got the role I made a memo that my most important goal was to have my baby, and my second most important goal was to do this script.”

RIGHT ON!  What are your plans now?

DIANA:  I´m going on a European tour. I have no plans for a television special because of my family. I´m tied up with the children. They´re still babies and they need me. I´d like to do another film. I think the second property is more important than the first. We´re also looking around for a Broadway play.”

RIGHT ON!  If you had to make a choice between your career and your family which would you choose?

DIANA:  “I enjoy being a mother and a wife. When it´s time for school…if there is a choice between my family and my career…although I don´t think there will be…I´ll choose my family.”

Editor´s Note: 

Diana didn´t take much time out to mope after she lost the Oscar. Right away she boarded a plane that took her to London and the successful premiere of “Lady Sings The Blues.” Diana had planned a concert tour of Europe this spring, but now has put that off until late summer when “Lady” opens all across Europe. In the fall it´s back to Paramount to film the romantic-comedy with music, “A Couple of Swells”.  

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