"You are my idol. But I'm six husbands and some big jewels behind," Kim tells the legend

By Stephen M. Silverman
February 09, 2011 08:05 AM
Credit: Terry Richardson/Harper's Bazaar

Call it the meeting of the mighty: The legendary screen beauty Elizabeth Taylor sits down for an interview with reality TV superstar Kim Kardashian to discuss passions, precious stones, practical matters – and giving back.

“You are my idol. But I’m six husbands and some big jewels behind,” Kardashian, 30, tells Taylor, who turns 79 the end of this month, for the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar, on sale Feb. 22.

Claiming “I never planned to acquire a lot of jewels or a lot of husbands,” Taylor tells Kardashian, “For me, life happened, just as it does for anyone else.”

And while Taylor considers herself fortunate to own some beautiful things, she also says, “I have never felt more alive than when I watched my children delight in something, never more alive than when I have watched a great artist perform, and never richer than when I have scored a big check to fight AIDS.”

Her bottom-line advice: “Follow your passion, follow your heart, and the things you need will come.”

I’m Not Cleopatra!

Though Taylor has been famous since the age of 12, it was the role she claimed nearly 50 years ago, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, that put her on every magazine cover in the world – and kept her there for decades. Still, she tells Kardashian, she always lacked royal aspirations of her own.

“I have never wanted to be a queen,” says Taylor. “Cleopatra was a role, and I am an actor, so it was fun to play one, but it’s not real.”

While she admired Cleo’s survival instincts, “The things that are important to me – being a mother, a businesswoman, an activist – are all things that were born out of great passion,” Taylor says.

Diamonds and Emotions

Kardashian also asks “Does size matter?” – regarding diamond rings. Taylor, after all, did amass a 29.4-carat from third husband Mike Todd. Richard Burton, her fifth (and sixth!) husband, gifted her the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond and another 69.42-carat diamond.

“The Krupp is an extraordinary stone,” Taylor says. “It has such life and brilliance when light shines through it. Size does matter, but so does the size of the emotion behind it.”

Taylor also still has favorite leading men when she watches movies today. “I love Johnny Depp, and I love Colin Farrell,” she says, calling them “both brilliant, nuanced actors with great range.”

And when Kardashian inquires, “Do you think if Richard Burton were alive today, you’d be married to him?” Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky answers, “It was inevitable that we would be married again, but it’s not up for discussion.”