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Friday, 30 June, 2000, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
Jerry Hall: Graduate role model
By Chris Jones of the BBC's News Profiles Unit

It is a question that apparently does not cause Jerry Hall a moment's concern.

Of course, she affirms, she can handle the part of Mrs Robinson when she assumes the role of the middle-aged seductress from Kathleen Turner in the London production of The Graduate in a month's time.

Jerry Hall with Josh Cohen
With her Graduate co-star Josh Cohen
"It's not a stretch. I know how to do it with my eyes closed", she says. And the Gielgud Theatre knows all eyes in the audience will be wide open each night for six months as Hall bares her statuesque 6ft body to lure a nervous young man, to be played by 26-year-old Josh Cohen, to bed.

But Hall is aware that her reputation as an actress - only once before has she starred in a stage production, Bus Stop - will also be fully exposed under the full glare of the West End lights.

The former supermodel has kept her body in trim with rigorous work-outs. So much so that some critics have suggested she may need to reinterpret the role.

"Mrs. Robinson is a mature, ripe, voluptous woman", says Mail on Sunday theatre critic Georgina Brown. "Jerry Hall could get away with being 30".

Apart from help from an acting coach from the Globe Theatre, she is engaged in voice-work with another tutor aimed at "keeping in touch with your emotions and fine-tuning the instrument".

Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger
Jerry and Mick - still good friends despite their divorce
Hall's emotions have been fully explored in her relationship with Mick Jagger, which she believes might provide the key to her intuitive understanding of what makes Mrs Robinson tick.

For Hall, The Graduate is about "sexual powerplay", a contest in which she feels she has herself been engaged with Jagger.

The new Millennium has brought Jerry Hall a new confidence. 1999 was "a really bad year", bringing the end of her 23-year marriage with Jagger through divorce, or rather annulment.

It transpired that their 1990 Hindu wedding in Bali was not valid under English law.

Jerry Hall had already been struggling to cope with her twin sister's breast cancer, and when medical tests proved that Mick was the father of a Brazilian model's baby, the latest in a long line of infidelities, her tolerance was exhausted.

Jerry Hall on the catwalk
Jerry in her lucrative career on the catwalk
"Living with a womaniser doesn't do a lot for your self-esteem", she reflects.

Not that Mick has disappeared from her life. He still lives in Hall's 5m mansion on Richmond Hill. He is the obvious baby-sitter for the younger of their four children, aged two, eight, 14 and 16, when mum becomes Mrs Robinson.

"Mick is not a horrible person", says Hall. "I like being with him, and as a family we've never been closer, in a strange way".

Her crises have enabled her to put things into perspective. The girl from Mesquite, Texas, daughter of a lorry driver, who ran off to Paris at the age of 16, now seems to have her life in gear.

Jerry Hall, a member of last year's panel for the Whitbread Book of the Year, and contributing editor to Tatler magazine, is a woman of many talents, as Tatler's editor, Geordie Greig, has discovered.

"No one knows the fashion world better than her, and she also knows about business, politics, sex, drugs and rock and roll", he says. "She's dynamic, intelligent - a sophisticated woman of the world".

Jerry Hall
Jerry Hall - beauty and brains
She is now the dominant partner in her new relationship with Mick Jagger, as the great womaniser helps her to learn her lines at home by taking on the unlikely role of the fumbling Benjamin. She thinks it's "quite nice" that Jagger is still "madly in love" with her.

Georgina Brown says "Jerry Hall's casting is literally naked commercialism. But it is understandable given the desperate need to fill theatres during the summer months".

While Benjamin will be putty in the hands of Mrs Robinson, it remains to be seen if Jerry Hall can seduce her audiences.

See also:

13 Jun 00 | Entertainment
13 Aug 99 | UK
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