When these pictures of Sienna Miller appeared in the press last week, I first thought they had been taken by an ‘art’ photographer who was seeking to capture that naked-fairy-in-a-sunlit-forest-glade look.
It turns out they were taken by a paparazzi lurking in the bushes on the set of her latest film Hippie Hippie Shake.
Based on the memoir of Australian journalist Richard Neville, the movie “will take the audience on a psychedelic trip through late-Sixties London.”
Neville was one of the defendants in the landmark Oz magazine trial. He was found guilty of breaching obscenity laws, but later cleared on appeal. Sienna Miller is playing Neville’s girlfriend Louise Ferrier, who once posed naked on the cover of Oz.
The film evidently provides plenty of opportunity to show off Sienna’s pert little bottom. Not so little in fact, if reports are true that directors “have asked her to cut down on her exercise regime to develop a more rounded physique, in keeping with the less gym-honed women of the era”. Hurrah!!
So far so good.
But then it struck me that Sienna is playing the wrong hippie chick in the wrong adaptation of a 1960s memoir.
Published last month, Wonderful Today by Pattie Boyd would have made a much more interesting choice. Together with her sister Jenny (left), who Sienna closely resembles, the Boyd girls were both more influential figures on the period than Louise Ferrier ever was.
Pattie was the first wife of George Harrison, and later married Eric Clapton. Jenny dated Donovan before eventually marrying Mick Fleetwood. Between them the two are credited with inspiring some of the most famous songs of the period including Something by George Harrison, Layla and Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, and Donovan’s Jennifer Juniper.
Sienna Miller would be an ideal choice to play Jenny Boyd in a film based on her sister Pattie’s new autobiography.
Mick Fleetwood once recalled the beginning of his relationship with Jenny:
“I’d see Jenny coming home from school, a stunning fifteen-year-old in white stockings. I lost my heart to her immediately. I had a massive crush on her, but was so shy I couldn’t say anything to her.”
This would have been in 1962 before the era of free love and psychedelia, when the Boyd girls, who had another sister called Paula, were still living at home and subject to discipline from a more austere era by their step-father Bobbie:
We were occasionally beaten for small misdemeanours. he would tell us to bend over and we would say we were sorry, knowing what the sting felt like.
Paula remembers him delaying the beating. He had clipped the edges of the lawn round the flowerbeds and asked her to pick them up. She decided it would be simpler to bury them which she did. When he discovered that she had not done it properly he was furious.
Bobbie told her that her would beat her in 3 hours time. Three hours later, he gets Jenny to fetch a stick, but he said the stick wasn’t thin enough, and the whole thing turned into a game.
Paula begged him not to hit her. She promised she would give him all of her pocket money for the rest of her life, but her pleading fell on deaf ears.
One day he asked Jenny to close the drawing-room door. She didn’t hear him and continued whatever she was doing, so he repeated himself, and again she didn’t hear him. Finally he ran out of patience, “if I have to ask you to close that door one more time I shall beat you.” Poor Jenny still didn’t hear and ended up being beaten.
(We are then told that the reason Jenny didn’t hear was because she had stuffed cotton wool in her ear during a camping trip to stop earwigs from climbing in, and had been unable to get it all out again.)
Even those who don’t condone the punishment that Jenny was subject to, would I feel not want to turn a blind eye to the sight of Sienna Miller in white stockings and school uniform bending over for a dose of the switch – on her bulked-up booty!
But that wouldn’t be all, because the book also reveals that Pattie herself was regularly rulered at her strict boarding school in Africa.
If this book ever does get made into a film, it could end up with more corporal punishment scenes than The Happy Valley!