Get To Know Rita Hayworth, The Reluctant Bombshell


“Men go to bed with Gilda, but wake up with me”

In our column "Get to Know," we discuss cultural icons of the past, whose legacy continues to influence art in our world today.

The 1940s movie “love goddess” Rita Hayworth was born 100 years ago today as Margarita Carmen Cansino. A photo of Hayworth kneeling on a bed in a negligee with a saucy expression on her face certainly helped to win World War II, maybe even more so than Betty Grable’s famous pin-up photo in a bathing suit. But that iconography has its darker side.

Hayworth was furious when she was told that her image was being put on an atomic bomb that was being tested in the Pacific in 1946. “Rita almost went insane, she was so angry,” said her second husband Orson Welles to Hayworth biographer Barbara Leaming. Hayworth wanted to hold a press conference and get her image off the bomb, but Columbia studio chief Harry Cohn vetoed this as unpatriotic, and Welles tried to convince her that it was a sincere tribute from the flight crew.

This was only the most extreme example of Hayworth’s lack of control over her image and her life, which was rarely a happy one. She reached her apotheosis in Gilda (1946), as a femme fatale who finds hatred exciting, but Hayworth’s most famous quote put the lie to that movie. “Men go to bed with Gilda, but wake up with me,” she said. The image that had been created for Hayworth was one that she felt she couldn’t live up to off-screen.

Hayworth’s mother was Irish and English and had been a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl; her father Eduardo was Spanish. Hayworth was given dance lessons from the time she was three. When she was 12, her father started doing a dance act with her, and he exerted control over every aspect of her life. According to Welles, he also sexually abused her, and sexual display in her dancing was something that was expected of her at a young age.

She was signed to Fox studios and caught the eye doing a highly sexual dance in Dante’s Inferno (1935). Her face opens like a flower here into a smile and, at one point, she lifts her skirt and looks upward and communes with her own sexuality. There is always that moment in Hayworth’s films—especially when she is dancing—when she breaks away from the expectations of others and takes power for herself. These moments are usually fleeting, but they are precious and beautiful, and they explain why her name and image can still inspire such fondness. Her made-up face looks ecstatic in Dante’s Inferno, and when her hair comes streaming down, the effect is so incendiary that the club she’s dancing in actually catches on fire.

Her look was wholly created. Hayworth’s first husband, Edward Judson, was an older man who molded her into a movie commodity and treated her harshly and cruelly. She underwent electrolysis to raise her hairline, and she took her mother’s maiden name when she was signed to Columbia. In her first major role in Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Hayworth’s character is talked about for almost an hour before she shows up looking very elegant in a fancy hat and belted dress. She is soft-spoken and cautious, and the quality she has on screen mixes vulnerability and wantonness in a very fetching way.

Hayworth had what used to be known as “it,” and not many people do in movies. Her style of dialogue delivery is 100 percent artificial—breathy and created—but always there is a real person peeking from behind the artifice, and that real person often seems touchingly stunned but also perverse and ready to strike and attack. Everyone loved watching Hayworth in her movies because she offered that key movie experience where we have to ask, “What is going on with her? Who is she?” There are times in her films where she seems to be a mirage, beckoning us in some sheer dress that elaborately shows off her figure—a dream woman.

She was most at home on screen as a vamp, as she is in the Technicolor Blood and Sand (1941), where she is tantalizingly costumed in purple and black. Probably her most important collaborator was Jack Cole, a foul-mouthed and very tough-talking gay choreographer who understood and liked Hayworth and staged all her musical numbers (as he later did for Marilyn Monroe). She tried to be sweet in her musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, but she was more memorable in Gilda, a distinctly unwholesome picture, filled with portents and subtexts, where she taunts the camera and her co-star, Glenn Ford.

Hayworth’s Gilda is all sexy long red hair and innuendo, an appreciator of pretty men, and a lover of masks and fetishwear. She gloats over her own allure and physically swaggers, and she is both a powerful woman and Cole’s gay male projection of female sexual dynamism. Her “Put the Blame on Mame” number where she slowly takes off her black gloves is justly famous, but equally stirring is her rendition of “Amado Mio” in a white dress with a bare midriff. Hayworth was always dubbed for musical numbers, for this was one more way of controlling and embarrassing her by Cohn. But no matter how many shackles they put on her, Hayworth usually manages to escape them somehow on screen. She is saying, “My body is mine and my movements are mine and my pleasure is mine… so have a look.”

Welles used her as the center of The Lady from Shanghai (1948), where she wears short blonde hair and reveals some existential angst; this is most likely her best or most coherent performance, especially in the scenes where she allows herself to be bored and crabby. And she was at her most animated in the underrated The Loves of Carmen (1948), one of the most beautiful Technicolor movies ever made, where she is very active and in charge. There was a slow decline after that, which involved a marriage to Prince Aly Khan and a return in Miss Sadie Thompson (1953), where she was exuberantly physical and fleshy singing “The Heat Is On” for sweaty, horny soldiers.

Hayworth still worked in movies after that, but it was clear that she was tired, and her face started to look very grim and severe. She turned to alcohol, and she began suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease by the early 1960s, but it would not be diagnosed until 1980. In these last very difficult years before her death in 1987, Hayworth was cared for by her daughter Yasmin, who has continued to do charitable work in her mother’s name.

Maybe Margarita Cansino never wanted to be Rita Hayworth. Cole said she worked very impersonally, obediently. But hopefully, there were times when she enjoyed being Rita Hayworth as much as we enjoyed watching her and the erotic paradise she seemed to be offering us, always just beyond our reach.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

Asset 7

These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.