In her films Charlotte Rampling often conveys a sense of severity that is accentuated by her unique beauty: the prominent cheek bones, the narrow mouth, adorned at times by an enigmatic smile and of course those narrow, cat-like eyes whose colour, depending on the light, can vary from green to grey and even yellow.
Meeting her in person is far less forbidding than her films and features suggest. At the rear entrance to the renowned Savoy Hotel in London on a chilly November night in 2010.
Charlotte was a guest presenter at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In fact, it was too cold to be standing around for any length of time, so I left it to the last possible moment to enter the fray.
My arrival coincided with hers. I did intend to go behind the barriers, but didn’t get time. She stepped out of her car, saw the sketch, signed it then added the inscription when I asked. She smiled and said thank you, I returned the thank you. It was very all very symmetrical and pleasant…. I then had to contend with the hunters and collectors behind the barriers, but that’s another story.