Castaway

Films are no mystery to actress turned rock star turned actress again, Toyah Willcox. She sets off on the journey to her desert Island with one of the best collections of videos you could wish for. Some are serious, some are just good fun - but they are all films worth a second look. 

The multi-talented Toyah Willcox is no stranger to the world of film and video. She first came to the public's notice in Derek Jarman's controversial "punk" film Jubilee. She was a big hit in The Tempest by the same director, and played Monkey in the cult film Quadrophenia

Her International success as a pop star has given her the freedom to work in a number of different areas. She has just completed a movie with Roger Daltrey - Murder, the Ultimate Grounds for Divorce - which is available on video, and K-Tel have released a rock compilation of her in concert (entitled Toyah, Toyah, Toyah

Currently starring in the West End stage hit Three Men on a Horse, the busy Toyah found time to talk about her ten favourite movies, all out on video. 

"Life on a desert Island would be brightened up by frequent screenings of Ken Russell's Altered States. I usually reserve watching it for the early hours. What a weird movie but there is the mark of genius there. William Hurt, the star, has a great screen presence. 

"Russell is a very controversial director, but like Derek Jarman he takes risks, and the result is usually stimulating to say the least!  Russell film is always worth watching - you know you're going to see something out of the ordinary. 

"I've always had a real soft spot for An American Werewolf In London. I think mainly because it really shows the difference between English and American mannerisms! Also, the special effects are extraordinary. 

"It's a real 'state of the art' horror film. A great mixture of horror and tongue in cheek humour. 

"My next choice is a little more serious, I suppose. If you want to sit down and watch a really well-made film, then A Man For All Seasons is one of the finest around. The acting is outstanding in all departments, and there is a chance to catch avery young John Hurt. 

"I like the combination of historical subject matter and a very modern script. It's not too wordy and the director, Fred Zinneman, really knows how to handle actors. There is also a great cameo by the marvellous Orson Welles.

"Talking about well-made films, I love A Letter To Brechnev. It shows that we are capable of making really good movies in this country. When I really want to be cheered up I like nothing more than to slot in Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Great team. Great film. 

"I think the Python team have a universal appeal. They were at their peak in the 1970s, but they still have a huge following from the generation growing up in the 1980s. 

"I have to include Time Bandits in the list. Again, a really good combination of humour and effects. And a great cameo appearance from John Cleese. 

"That seems like a good time to mention Fawlty Towers. The whole series is a must. I don't think anyone has came close to being as funny as Cleese as Basil. I could watch them 
over and over. 

"I particularly like the Basil the Rat episode. If a foreigner wanted to get an impression of a hair-crazed, eccentric Englishman, then Basil is a perfectly good example. 

"I wouldn't go far without U2's Under A Blood Red Sky. It's a wonderful rock video, and I think one of the most important ever made. 

"I think there should be an 'epic' in there somewhere. Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus is an all-time favourite. Tony Curtis looks brilliant in a mini-skirt! 

"If you get bored with looking at Tony Curtis' legs, then there is always the added bonus of seeing Kirk Douglas actually act! It was one of director Stanley Kubrick's earliest films - he went on to make 2001: A Space Odyssey." 

Toyah's last choice stars the actor she would most like to work with. She picked Harrison Ford in Blade Runner

"Harrison Ford is a very versatile actor - highly underrated. He is very convincing as the policeman in Witness, and is also a good comedy actor. His performance as the 'Replicant' catcher has to be one of the best of his career so far. 

"I'm a sci-fi buff, and I think it's an excellent film, one of the very best of its type...I think I could exist quite happily on a desert Island with that lot to keep me going!"

Screens Magazine, 1987