"I know what I can do but others don't," Redgrave now argues, at 31. "I'm no prude and actually I've even played whores before, but lovable, virginal ones. I've just never been the real motivator and played a character who goes around and gets people to do sexual things. By the end of the movie, I'm pretty butch too." Lynn won't detail how explicit her scenes are. "Let's just say they are suggestive. I'm sure we'll have an R rating because if we get a PG nobody will come. Remember Blow-Up? The best thing that happened was when the Catholic Church condemned it." Of course, her more unbuttoned sister, Vanessa, stripped in that picture—something Lynn will not do, even in Hooker. In any case, she sees the role as "an insurance policy of sorts. I mean, if it doesn't come off it'll be just another movie down the drain. But if it works or if I'm at least good in it or if the movie just makes money, preferably all three, then immediately I'll be thought of professionally in a totally different way."
The biggest challenge was not the against-type casting but the shooting schedule, since Lynn continued to appear in her comedy My Fat Friend, then on Broadway but now on national tour. For five weeks she did eight live shows a week, with the filming fitted around matinees. She also saw very little of her family during this period, a compromise for Lynn, who is the most domestic of the Redgraves. Her first and only husband, of seven years, is John Clark, a former child star ("He was England's male Shirley Temple after the war") who has become her manager. And she insisted on carting their two children, Benjamin, 6, and Kelly, 3, on the play's tour. "I'd truly love to have a third," she says. "I love being pregnant. I guess I'm all those things the English call 'broody.' "
As for her famous relatives, "Well, we have less point of contact than we used to, but there is always this sentimental fondness. Professionally, I'm the one though who will try anything. I love Hollywood Squares, but I can't see Vanessa sitting in one of those boxes. Yet here my popularity comes from appearing on that show and $10,000 Pyramid. Last summer I was even recognized in a bikini at Jones Beach, all because in America fame rests with television. I want to have all these things—out of pure greed—my career, another baby. I'm just a happy mixture." Happy Mixture, a heartwarming, G-rated life story to be sure but, even Lynn would concede, unsalable as a book, much less as fodder for Cannon films.
Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch could not be coaxed to terms, so Cannon films finally settled on a less uppity star. She accepted the property, The Happy Hooker, as "almost family entertainment, depending on the kind of family you have." That was rather cheeky talk coming from the star in question, a scion of the first family of English acting, Lynn Redgrave. Hey, there, not Georgy Girl? Yes, the same lorry-sized actress who for years seemed to carry a learner's permit to play not hookers like autobiographer Xaviera Hollander but rather Dames like Margaret Rutherford.