“To be more beautiful, Leonard, you have to be happier.” Rebecca De Mornay Invokes Gandhi To Offer Beauty Tip To Leonard Cohen; Leonard Responds

How do you maintain your pure & rosy complexion?

Leonard Cohen to Rebecca De Mornay


In 1993, Leonard Cohen, the singer-songwriter and poet who was perhaps the world’s greatest interviewee, switched roles to interview Rebecca De Mornay, the gorgeous movie actress who was, for a time, Mr. Cohen’s fiancée. The following excerpt is from From Knowing Rebecca de Mornay Like Only Leonard Cohen Can by Leonard Cohen with William Claxton. Interview magazine. June 1, 1993:


Leonard Cohen: How do you maintain your pure and rosy complexion?

Rebecca De Mornay: What’s inside really reflects outside, there’s no question. I’m happy to know that, having been through considerable difficulties when things were really bad–in terms of my career, in terms of experiencing the death of someone I loved very deeply, in terms of different wounds and scars inflicted on me–and suddenly feeling the seed of bitterness rolling around in my mouth and thinking, Oh my God, here it is, it’s on my tongue. Don’t bite into it, whatever you do. Spit it out. ‘Cause if you bite into that seed, you’re lost, and, incidentally, your face will show it.

Leonard Cohen: That’s a wonderful beauty secret. I intend to use it.

Rebecca De Mornay: You always wanted to be more beautiful, huh? You want a tip?

Leonard Cohen: Yes, I do.

Rebecca De Mornay: O.K., let me tell you: to be more beautiful, Leonard, you have to be happier. Gandhi said–I have it on my bulletin board–that happiness is when what you say, what you think, and what you do are in harmony.

Leonard Cohen: I’ve heard he also chewed a root, rauwolfia, that grows by the side of Indian roads and is used to treat hypertension. That probably helped him a great deal in achieving this harmonious balance of which you speak.

Rebecca De Mornay: [laughs] You’ve got to find some fly in the ointment, don’t you?


Credit Due Department: Rebecca De Mornay (1993), Photo by Christof Graf (taken from Christof`Graf`s new Leonard Cohen book “Zen & Poetry” – The Cohenpedia Series Vol. 1).

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Feb 21, 2018.

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