Liza Minnelli had a stroke

Liza Minnelli : "I should have listened to myself"

Mrs. Minnelli, we're calling from Berlin. What do you think of when you think of Germany?

Roast pork. The food! And of course the wonderful Fritz ...

… Fritz Wepper, your partner in “Cabaret”.

When we shot the film in 1972, I lived in Berlin and Munich for a few months - these are the places in Germany that I know best and whose changes I have observed over the years. A piece of the Berlin Wall still stands on a shelf in my bedroom.

You must have bought this from a street vendor. Are you sure it's real at all?

Darling, I got it myself on November 9th, 1989! I was there when the wall came down, very close to the Brandenburg Gate. I thought it was great to witness such a historic moment.

What kind of songs will you sing when you are back in Berlin on Monday?

A mix of old and new. Of course I sing classics that people keep asking me about: “Cabaret” and “New York, New York”. You should remember that there is always someone in the audience hearing the songs for the first time - and that's how you have to sing them: as if it were the first and the last time. I approach every song like a small film. I wonder who is singing there, what's her name, what kind of hairstyle does she have? Where does she live, what does she see when she looks out her window? I learned that from Charles Aznavour.

You met Aznavour early on ...

... the first time I watched him, I was 17. Two years later I met him personally. It was one of my first appearances in a nightclub, I sang one of his songs, looked into the audience - and there he was! I thought I was dying! Then he came backstage, and from that moment we were friends. He wrote and translated many songs for me, for example “Liza with a Z”.

Her father, the legendary director Vincente Minnelli, had Italian roots. How Italian do you feel?

I feel very Italian, especially when I'm in a good mood, then I jump around like a fool.

Her mother Judy Garland was also famous. How old were you when you realized that your parents were stars?

15, I came to New York. When I was little we lived in Hollywood, where all the stars were. When they grow up in a coalfield, all of their neighbors also work in mining. At most, I was a little surprised when the tourist buses drove past our house at a snail's pace and everyone was staring out. Otherwise it would never have occurred to me that my parents were famous. Her life was much more ordinary than most people think. They got up, went to work, and came back in the evening.

You have had four marriages. Before you married your last husband, David Gest, you always said you never wanted to marry again ...

I should have listened to me!

Are you sure there won't be a fifth time after all?

Honey, I'm 63 years old! I cannot have any more children and there is no other reason to marry. I believe in love, but I no longer believe in marriage. I've never been as good as now in my life. I live in New York, right on Central Park. I have my dogs and every morning at 7:30 am I dance to music by Mary J. Blidge and Sinatra.

Do you remember your first meeting with Frank Sinatra?

He was one of our neighbors, a great guy. He came over often and played the piano. That was completely normal.

They were addicted to alcohol and pills. There is regular talk of relapses in the gossip press.

So what? Honey, people say what they want anyway. Point! My job is to go on stage and put on a great show. Because that's what people pay entry for. And I guarantee they'll enjoy themselves too. Times are really tough enough. So now I have to go.

Mrs. Minnelli, one more question: what is the most important lesson you have learned in your life so far?

That "no" is a complete sentence. So, dear ones, now it's off to the airport, the plane to Uruguay isn't waiting.

Björn Rosen and Esther Kogelboom asked the questions. Liza Minnelli will perform next Monday at 8 p.m. in the Friedrichstadtpalast.

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