You can take Jerry Hall out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of Jerry Hall. The 56-year-old model/actress has lived in England for a while now, but she still has a strong Texas accent, dropping her g's (fixin', huntin') and explaining that for much of the last 15 years she has worked in "the-ate-her."
Hall still has a lot of family in Dallas, and her son, James, is a guitarist whose band played recently played at SXSW in Austin. She recently purchased a home outside Austin, which she decorated with finds from local thrift shops.
"I've always brought my children here so they will get in touch with their Texas roots," she said.
While in Houston to attend the fundraiser for I Am Waters, Hall was fun and flirtatious, answering questions without hesitation on her relationship with Mick Jagger, her search for a man (as she's now single), and her sometimes conflicting view on beauty (she is adamantly against cosmetic surgery, yet she's a heavy smoker).
"I get myself in trouble sometimes for saying what's on my mind."
"I get myself in trouble sometimes for saying what's on my mind," she admitted during the interview at the Omni Houston hotel.
CultureMap: How do you maintain your Texas accent?
Jerry Hall: I talk to my twin sister every day on the telephone. And I have just been in Texas for a couple of weeks. So it's all freshened up.
CM: Why haven't you moved back to Texas?
JH: Well, I would like to come baaaack, but I married an Englishman [Jagger] who wanted his children educated in England, and I've still got one more who's 15. I've got three more years to go and then I'll be back more for sure. But I have a beach house in the south of France, so I spend the summer there. I'm not sure I'm ready to come back for 103-degree summers.
CM: What can your kids pick up from Texas that they can't get from anywhere else?
JH: Oh, gosh, they just love it. They love the way everyone is so nice — and eccentric. They love the whole music scene because music has been such a huge part of their lives. They all play musical instruments — piano, guitar, sing — so they're really into music. Austin is a great music town. And they love the whole hickey thing — the hickier the better.
CM: Your daughters, Georgia and Lizzie, are models. How did you feel when they said they wanted to do that, and what advice did you give them?
JH: I was torn because I didn't expect them to be models or push them in any way. They're both doing really well. I am so proud of them. The only advice I gave them was to be on time and be nice to everybody — the same advice I'd give to anybody, because it works.
CM: I know you get asked this all the time in every interview, but what's your relationship with Mick?
JH: We are really friendly. We get on very well. He comes over for dinner. I go over to his place. I get on well with his new girlfriend. There's peace on all the kids. We agree with everything about the kids. There are absolutely no problems.
"You shouldn't have cosmetic surgery just because you're getting old. [People who do] scare small children, and they think they look really good."
CM: Do you read the tabloids? The Mail says he is furious with you because you want him to sign over the deed to the mansion where you live.
JH: Completely not true. Totally made up. I can't imagine where that story came from. Weird. No, we don't have any problems at all.
CM: What do you think of his latest tour?
JH: I think they're amazing. They are still the greatest rock-and-roll band in the world. There's no one better. They put on the most amazing show. I went to see them in their last show in London. When they played "Painted Black," I got goose bumps and tears in my eyes. That has got to be the greatest song in the world. And their music is so intelligent — the words, they mean so much. He's a real poet.
CM: Do you think he should retire?
JH: Never. Why should he? Those kind of people who have their roots in blues music, they play until they're 80 and drop dead on tour. They don't retire. I think the tabloids are mean to him about that too. They been calling him too old for the last 30 years, 40 years maybe. It's pathetic.
JH: You still look fantastic. What is your secret?
I think I'm especially fit at the moment because I recently did a television show [in Great Britain] called Strictly Come Dancing. It's like y'all's Dancing With The Stars. We had to dance eight hours a day. I did that for seven weeks, so I got quite fit.
Otherwise I like to swim in the summer and garden and do chores rather than go to the gym.
CM: I've read you do not believe in cosmetic surgery.
JH: I don't. I think you shouldn't have cosmetic surgery just because you're getting old. [People who do] look scary. They scare small children, and they think they look really good. And I'm sure it's not good for your health, to have that surgery unless you really, really need it. There are lots of men who don't mind the mature woman, the odd wrinkle. At least you look like a normal person.
CM: But doesn't our society value youth?
JH: I think it's very strange. It's like wanting something that you already had. It's not really yours. I think it's greedy and weird. But that's just me. I don't mind it if the guy I'm going out with has a little meat on his bones too. We're all gettin' older.
But it is nice to look as good at you can. I do take scare of my skin.
CM: What do you do to take care of your skin?
JH: I put a lot of olive oil on. It's from the kitchen. I love a little soakin'. I put a little oil down everywhere [laughs].
CM: How long do you keep it on?
JH: As long as I can in the summer — longer than the winter. I like to give myself a good olive oil soaking, and I use all kinds of creams. I like especially natural ones, the kind you get from the health food store. And I drink a lot of water. But I like smoking, drinking, cigarettes, coffee. I like all of those things too.
CM: Isn't it hard to smoke because it's prohibited in so many places?
JH: It's so hard, and it's so boring. I think they treat us very badly. It's not fair. It's got to be good for the government, all those taxes and then we die sooner so you don't have to look after us when we're older. Why are they so against it?
CM: You're now single. How's that going?
JH: Pretty good. I'm looking.
CM: Any particular type of man?
JH: I like a pioneer man. Bring home the meat. The huntin', shootin', fishin' kind. [Big laugh] I'm on the lookout.
CM: Do you enjoy being single?
JH: Yeah, it's quite nice. You can do what you like. Watch Law & Order till 1 o'clock at night in bed.
CM: You strike me as someone who does what she wants.
JH: It's difficult when you live with someone. You've got to go to bed when they want to. It's nice having a break. But it's nice keeping company too. I think living together is too difficult. I prefer they have their house not too far away. I think that would be ideal.