Courtney Love is 43 and in fine shape. Thanks to Madonna's macrobiotic nutritionist, she is back to a size eight. But her weight yo-yos - 'You have to be thin all the time to make it as an actress,' she says. 'But my rock weight is 20 or 30lb more than my film weight.' She juggles the two careers. 'Performing on stage is like great sex,' she tells me. 'Of course you want to be known for giving the best blowjob in town, but you also want to get yours, too.' She has a new album out in the spring and film projects in the pipeline, trying to regain some of the form she lost since her Golden Globe-nominated role in The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) and her equally good performance in Man on the Moon (1999) opposite Jim Carrey. Actually, it's three careers if you include the fashion thing: 'Givenchy is like me,' she says. 'A legendary brand that has had its ups and downs.'
Love's own childhood had no stability whatsoever. A social-services report details the eight different institutions where she was held in care between 1978 and 1980. Her case folder bore the phrase: 'Parents' whereabouts unknown'. Aged 16, she became a stripper.
Does she consciously avoid repeating the mistakes her own parents made? 'Oh my God, so much. We went to Trudie and Sting's the other night, because Trudie has a daughter who is Franny's age, but it was hard. For one thing, they were going to see the film Control and I wanted to show Frances that she could go out in London without a nanny or a bodyguard, so they went by themselves. I wanted to get her a cake because it is the first time she has gone anywhere on her own. She came back so disturbed because - daaa! - I forgot what the movie was about [the suicide of the lead singer of Joy Division]. Anyway, Sting was there and he was reading his book, and there were all their other kids there who had a mom and a dad, and Franny felt the odd one out.' She wipes her tears. 'I'm sorry. I just want things to be good for her, but she's a lot like me and a lot like her dad. I think she got the best of both of us, so there's that.'
Good cheekbones, I imagine. 'Yeah, she is a very good-looking girl. I don't want to put her in a burka. But I want to protect her from your tabloid press.
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