Movie Article

Who I Was Then...

Ann-Margret talks about the role that started her career -- ''The Break Up'' star shares memories of her lip-synching days in ''Bye Bye Birdie''

Mr. George Sidney — a wonderful director, bless his soul — saw me at a New Year's Eve party at Las Vegas' Sands Hotel in 1961. I was barely out of my teens, having a great time doing the twist, and I had the bright red hair. Ahh, dear! He just knew then that he wanted me in Bye Bye Birdie. Our biggest number was ''A Lot of Livin' to Do.'' Oh, my gosh, the adrenaline! We rehearsed that for three weeks and shot it for three days. I don't think they spend that kind of time now. The dancing — we moved like chickens. I was lip-synching, but I always sang along. It wouldn't look real if you didn't. The outfit was a little daring for that time, the stretch capris. I happened to love that color. I think they called it Schiaparelli Pink. It was the exact color of cotton candy.

Originally posted May 26, 2006 Published in issue #879 Jun 02, 2006 Order article reprints