Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Shirley MacLaine comfortable with sexuality

Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine is comfortable in open relationships as long as her partner doesn't "sneak around".

The actress is known for her outspoken and no-nonsense nature and has always been happy to do as she pleases when it comes to men.

The star was married to businessman Steve Parker until their divorce in 1982, and the couple enjoyed an open relationship, meaning they were both free to sleep with other people.

Whether a partner is monogamous is something that has never affected Shirley.

“Oh, I really don’t know. I don’t think it would bother me, really. I’ve never really had sexual jealousy. Well, maybe once. If they sneak around I don’t like it. It’s the sneaking part that I don’t like," she explained to British newspaper The Telegraph.

In her latest film, Bernie, Shirley plays a possessive and demanding character.

The 79-year-old can't relate to these traits in real life and dismissed a question about whether partners had ever taken advantage of her laidback attitude.

“Well, so what? I really don’t think I would have minded. Usually, I didn’t have to test out that theory because they were too busy with me and I’m a handful. But you know, that’s an interesting question about possessing another person," she mused.

“I was never possessive with my husband or him with me. That’s why I had so many affairs when I was married.”

Shirley also stars in popular UK series Downton Abbey as Martha Levinson.

Although she had her eye on one particular actor on set, she insists the days of romancing co-stars are long gone.

“I love doing Downton... I loved it from the moment I showed up on set. We were all out in the rain and the wind and everybody was acting away and so good. I have kind of a crush on Brendan [Coyle, who plays Bates]. He’s quite mysterious. You don’t really know what he’s up to," she smiled.

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