An article I couldn't resist reading after the headline caught my eye -
"Elissa Landi Unloads." Variety. 13 Mar 1934, 3.
I do not feel I'm a genius misjudged, but I do feel I have been badly treated—made to do stupid roles when stupid girls were put in roles I should have had. When girls like Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn or Miriam Hopkins, good actresses, all, do roles I should have liked to have done, I'm happy for them.
"But when a nobody does a role I know I could have given so much more to, I'm hurt. And I've been hurt. The only four good roles I've had have been in 'Warrior's Husband,' 'Candlelight,' 'Sign of the Cross,' and 'Yellow Ticket.'
"They say I can't get along with any company? That's absolutely not true. I've worked for four companies here. Two have been unfair, stupid, I thought. I had no trouble with the other two.
"You can't get a spring model in Paris for a second rate price. Well, it's like that with stories. I know. I write myself. Nor am I the type of star who has to be stereotyped. I can do comedy commendably well, I believe. I can play a quiet, sweet girl, like I did in 'The Sign of the Cross' or a role like Agnes in 'David Copperfield,' which I would sincerely like to do [Sorry, Madge Evans got that one]. Or tempestuous foreign women, actresses mostly.
"Quite modestly, I believe I can do costume roles better than almost anyone in Hollywood. I mean the kind of thing that entails knowledge of a kind that you do not learn out of books; a knowledge that had its incipiency in your cradle days ...
She goes on a bit about her background, some of which I captured in this biographical post a few years back, then concludes:
... I've studied gestures and costumes exhaustively. I adore costume plays. And more than anything, I've always wanted to do Joan of Arc. But I see someone else has been chosen for that."
The someone else was Katharine Hepburn—so much for Landi being "happy for them"—in a project that didn't come off.
The article concludes by mentioning Miss Landi's "career is veritably at a standstill," but to shed no tears for her because she's made good money during her brief Hollywood run. The author concludes by suggesting "she may sit herself down and write another novel," if no further movie offers come along.
The original article is here.