The star of A Taste of Honey reflects on her 60-year career, not standing for Oliver Reed’s ‘games’ and swinging London as depicted in her new film Last Night in Soho

It was 60 years ago that Rita Tushingham made her film debut in A Taste of Honey. “I’m expecting a gold clock or something,” says the 79-year-old actor over the phone from her London home. In the absence of a commemorative timepiece, the anniversary will have to be marked instead by a new movie set partly in the decade in which she became a star. In Last Night in Soho, Edgar Wright’s fantasy-horror, Tushingham is one of three 1960s icons (Terence Stamp and the late Diana Rigg are the others) who lend the film prestige and authenticity.

I wonder how it feels to personify an entire era, but she isn’t telling. “Can you imagine walking around thinking, ‘Ooh, I’m an icon’?” she scoffs. “It would be dangerous. It’s just nice that people know your work from that far back. Terence still looks fantastic, doesn’t he? The extraordinary way he walks! He’s like an old bear claiming his territory.”

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