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Now and Then: Hayley Mills (1967)


Main image of Now and Then: Hayley Mills (1967)
25 October 1967
16mm, colour, 30 mins
Production CompanyAdanac Productions
ProducersBernard Braden
 Barbara Kelly
PhotographyArthur Provis

Bernard Braden's interview with the former child star.

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Daughter of actor John Mills, Hayley became an actress at the age of 12 and not long after was signed up to a five-year contract by Disney. By 1967, she had been making films for nearly 10 years and had just become involved with the man who would become her first husband four years later, film director Roy Boulting. Boulting was 30 years her senior and the romance caused some controversy; Braden's interview deals in some depth with the media reaction to it. Their marriage was to last only a few years; although she denies it, it's hard not to imagine that Boulting represented something of a father figure to her.

Mills found it hard to shake off her typecasting as a child star, and expresses some frustration at the way the media constantly repeats the cliché that she is still 'growing up'. Looking back at her career, she acknowledges how lucky she was to get the contract with Disney, but wonders if she might have been better off going back to school, then studying drama instead. She ponders how her career would look if she were just starting out, erasing all the films she's already done.

She appears rather fidgety and at times seems put out by some of the more personal questions. Her views on life are perhaps typical of most 21 year-olds and she admits she has little interest in politics or desire to think of the future. One ambition she does express is to do some theatre work, which she hadn't yet experienced. She intimates that she would like to have a large family, but this was not to be; she and Boulting had one son (Crispian Mills of the band Kula Shaker) and she went on to have a second from a subsequent relationship.

Child actors often found it difficult to cross over into adult roles, and Mills was at a crucial point in her career. She never again achieved the success she had as a child, although she has worked consistently in film and television since coming of age.

Josephine Botting

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Video Clips
Complete unedited interview (30:10)
Mills, Hayley (1946-)
Now and Then (1967-68)