She also tells a mean bat story.
In her column for The Guardian on Monday, Greer admits she feared Fellini might die in her bed after being terrified by a bat that flew into her room one night.
Greer gave details of their encounter after seeing parts of Nine, starring Nicole Kidman and based on Fellini’s film 8 1/2, during a flight from London to Sydney.
She decided not to watch the whole film because it didn’t depict the man she once knew.
“I will not have my Fellini rewritten by Arthur Kopit or Anthony Minghella or Michael Tolkin, who wrote the screenplay,” she said.
Feminist author Greer said she first met Fellini in the summer of 1975, five years after her book The Female Eunuch was released and 15 years after his success with La Dolce Vita.
He was adapting Casanova for the big screen, and Greer, then 36, had been earmarked for a small part.
While she was not interested in the role, Greer visited the set where she said 55-year-old Fellini, known as a philanderer, was transfixed by her.
He later arrived at her house unannounced with pyjamas in his bag and every few hours would call his wife, actress Giulietta Masina, Greer said.
Health conscious Fellini was taking beta-blockers, and Greer described his terror when a bat flew into the bedroom.
“Federico was terrified; did I not know that a bat had flown into his hair when he was a child?” she wrote.
“I kept two fingers on his pulse, which was bouncing around like a frog in a bucket. It calmed down eventually.”
I honestly can’t imagine that the sight of the bat would be as terrifying as this (warning: NSFC*).
Incidentally, this is the same woman who had this to say about the late Princess of Wales:
I am also interested in why she couldn’t manage life after being HRH. It still puzzles me that she does that no-no thing: she sleeps with married men … and this is the angel that people want to crown.”
* Not Safe for Coffee