FEATURE: CHARLIE'S ANGELS

From Ultimate DVD #17 • disc review in issue

Just over 20 years after their last TV investigation, Charlie’s Angels are back – and it’s business as usual...

Featured: CAMERON DIAZ • In print: DREW BARRYMORE, LUCY LIU

Cameron DiazLucy Liu as AlexDrew Barrymore as Dylan

Buy the Region 2 DVD @ BlackStar:
10% discount on pre-orders!

Charlie’s Angels: released on Region 2 DVD on May 21 by Columbia Tristar

Cameron Diaz on watching the original TV series:
“I remember watching my sister on the other side of the kindergarten fence, jumping in and out of the sandbox playing Charlie’s Angels. I couldn’t wait to be an Angel. But by the time I made it over to the sandbox, there was no room for me. They already had three Angels.”

The sales pitch: “I was in my car and got a message that Drew wanted to talk to me. I called her back, and we talked for almost two hours until the battery on my phone ran out. She said, ‘It’s going to be a chick action movie. We get to be beautiful and tough, and we get to wear bad-ass clothes. We won’t have guns, and we get to do kung fu. In this movie, it’s the girls that are going to kick ass.’”

I know kung fu: “I couldn’t touch my toes when I started training. Our trainer was pushing down on my back saying, ‘Pain is your best friend. Get to know him. Just say the words, I love pain.’ I was literally crying, but, by the end of the first day, my forehead was on my knees. It was fantastic.”

Walking in the air:
“It was a common thing for all of us to be suspended from wires half the day. The great thing about movies is that you get the opportunity to do things that you never would have been able to do in any other circumstance. And you get to learn these things from the best people.””

Diaz on her own heroines:
“When I was a layman, before people started recognizing me, it was like, ‘Well this person inspired me, that person inspired me...’ Someone with a name: Cindy Crawford, Jane Fonda... But most of the time your closest friends turn out to be your closest inspirations.”

Natalie

Played by: Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz: on the side of the Angels

Taking on the role: “I wanted to do it, because Drew Barrymore is the best saleswoman in the entire world. If you want somebody to buy your product, get Drew to taste it, wear it, use it... If she likes it, you’re sold.”

Diaz's other DVDs include:

• There’s Something About Mary
• Any Given Sunday
• Being John Malkovich
• A Life Less Ordinary
• My Best Friend’s Wedding
• The Mask

See also our Cameron Diaz DVD discography from Issue #09

In 1976, the ABC network premièred a daring new show: a detective series with three female leads. It was a smash hit. Assigned to their cases by their enigmatic employer Charlie (John Forsyth, who would reprise the role for the film), and guided by the trusty Bosley (David Doyle), Sabrina Ducan (Kate Jackson), Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett), and Kelly Garrett (Jaclyn Smith) braved deadly situations to expose evil crimes.

Charlie’s Angels was a phenomenon that spawned a merchandising industry and propelled its three female stars to international fame. Fawcett, in particular, was embraced as a sex symbol of her generation, but shocked producers by choosing to resign at the end of the first season, resulting in a legal wrangle over her five-year contract. While she would return as a guest star in later seasons, Fawcett was replaced by Cheryl Ladd, while subsequent departures would inspire the arrival of Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts.

Over five years the Angels would go undercover in the most bizarre circumstances, including the fashion industry, a women’s prison, a hospital, a cruise ship and a prostitution ring. Yet the loss of Jackson at the end of the third year spelled the beginning of the end: as ratings began to decline in season four, desperate casting shuffles marked a show that had passed its prime.

An abortive attempt was made to relaunch the series in 1988, and after a nationwide talent scout Claire Yarlett, Sandra Canning, Karen Kopins and Téa Leoni were chosen as the lucky four new Charlie’s Angels. Lucky, apart for the fact that Angels ’88 never entered production.

Richard Houldsworth