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By Andy Argyrakis
Ann-Margret - A new leaf for a local turned legend
"One on One"
Feb 27, 2012
With five Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy Award, plus multiple Academy and Grammy nominations, there's little legendary entertainer Ann-Margret hasn't accomplished. After rising to fame in silver screen blockbusters like "Bye Bye Birdie," "Viva Las Vegas" (alongside Elvis Presley), "State Fair" and The Who's "Tommy," she became one of Hollywood's most sought after actresses with recent credits as diverse as "Grumpy Old Men," "Any Given Sunday," "The Break-Up" and "Law & Order: SVU." On the recording side of the coin, the Swedish star turned Chicago transplant just put the finishing touches on God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions 2 (Greenhaw Records), which she shared with Concert Livewire, amongst other colorful subjects, during a recent phone chat from home in Los Angeles.
Livewire: Who do you hope your new album's audience will be- exclusively gospel fans, those familiar with your past work or a little bit of both?
Ann-Margret: A little bit of both. I hope and pray that it touches some people and they can feel that emotion that I feel coming out of me into those songs. The album was done in a sanctuary with those high ceilings, the big pipe organ, the 130 person choir, and at one point, just a violinist and a piano. It was thrilling to do it.
Livewire: Do you have any fun recollections of growing up in the Chicago area?
Ann-Margret: When there was a huge snow storm, I remember mother and I used to get on our skis and ski downtown [from the suburbs] and get whatever we needed and ski back. People just thought we were crazy! Oh yes, I come from a very adventurous family.
Livewire: How does it feel to introduce yourself to new generations? I just noticed that "Men's Health" named you one of the "100 Hottest Women of All Time."
Ann-Margret: What can I say, I'm just bewildered. It's of course very flattering. If a man says that he finds you interesting, I would think that every woman would feel good [and vice versa]. If a woman thinks you're interesting, don't you feel good? So that's how I feel about the whole thing.
Livewire: What advice would you give those going into show business nowadays?
Ann-Margret: You have to learn to take criticism and failure and you just learn from it and go on. You have to have the passion. I always ask "are you passionate about this?" If somebody waits a second, then I know they're not passionate. If I wasn't passionate about the things I do, I'd leave just as quickly as I came in.