I feel like Geri Halliwell — who’s actually going by Geri Horner now that she’s married — was always the “eccentric” one in the Spice Girls. She was brash, outspoken, didn’t really give a shit what anyone thought of her, and I liked that about her. However, you would think one would mellow after a time, and that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happened in this case. If anything, Geri is crazier than ever.
In an interview with The Guardian, Geri absolutely confounded the interviewer, making comments on Sophie’s Choice, the amazing book A Little Life, and… well, I don’t actually know what else she was saying half the time. Here are some choice excerpts…
On film history:
We are introduced, and she says my name is lovely, “like Sophie’s Choice!”. I laugh and mutter about it not being all that lovely really, the film where Sophie’s choice is which of her two children will be gassed at Auschwitz. “Mmmm, but Robert de Niro,” says Horner cheerily, while having her lip gloss applied by a makeup artist, even though De Niro isn’t in it. Thus we enter an interesting conversation about two entirely different films.
On modern culture and unhealthy standards for women:
She cares about younger women, too, “with this peer pressure of airbrush – it’s an airbrushed world, where we’ve all taken 20 selfies before it’s been uploaded, and it’s all been filtered, or all this,” she does a funny American accent: “‘You gotta have the perfect body! The perfect life!’ Actually, no,” she adds quietly. “We’re all spinning plates and dropping plates. Otherwise it’s terrifying. I really feel for that generation of, let’s say, 28 to 35-year-olds. The message I try to give to anyone in my life is that you’re enough. It’s OK. You’re enough.”
But I have to point out that all this image stuff made the former Geri Halliwell hugely famous and wealthy, too. Don’t all pop stars sell a dream? She repeatedly says she “doesn’t understand” what I mean, finally declaring: “My experience is that we live in a material world. Also, it’s inside and out, it’s the polarity of both, aesthetics is the shop window, ultimately, if there’s nothing in that shop, it has no longevity, do you know what I mean?”
On Hanya Yanagihara’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted book A Little Life:
“Oh my God, it is the most – I picked this book up by accident. I’m old-school, I like going into Waterstones and browsing, what’s the No 1 bestseller, what’s been picked up for the Man Booker prize, tell me. I love being recommended all sorts. Anyway this book – I was actually on the way to the grand prix in Bahrain. I was accompanying my husband … I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s reeeeally dark, and the description of some things are so unsettling that I had to skim-read. Awful. I think she could have done with more of an editor on some of it, actually. It’s about 700 pages!”
She didn’t enjoy it, she says, but felt compelled to finish it. “I’d be reading it at dinner, my husband would say: ‘Would you just put that DOWN,’ and I just couldn’t. If he suddenly had to take a phone call, I’d pick the book up again, just to get another page in.”
Well, that was certainly… enlightening. I think my favorite part was the rant about “the polarity of both” and the empty shop window aesthetics… like, what is happening? I don’t know, and maybe I don’t have to. I should be content to drift along on Geri’s crazy train. It seems like a great place to be.