Natalie Wood is adored as a legend of the golden age of Hollywood. The San Francisco native earned three Academy Award nominations before the age of 25. And a crop of the films she starred in are deified as some of the best work of ’40s, ’50s, and early ’60s cinema. The classic triumvirate of her career, and that support such claims, are Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause and, the Best Picture of 1961, West Side Story. (I personally loved Splendor in the Grass. Similarly evocative as Rebel, it took on youth culture, peer pressure, and societal and sexual mores of the 45RPM days).
If you ever have the pleasure of speaking with those that knew Wood on a personal level. Say, as a friend, family member,or wife. Next to her genuine talent, she was also a beaming light of sass and heart. Such attributes were evident in her acting and recently confirmed and discussed by one of her two children, Natasha Gregson Wagner.
Gregson Wagner was only eleven years old when Wood tragically passed away 35 years ago in November 1981. The vibrant recollections of the time Gregson Wagner spent with her mom continue to outweigh the pain that remains about her death. The pain, now just a layer within the memories.
Wood’s eldest daughter began her own acting career in the 1990s (check her out in the original Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie, and later Two Girls and a Guy and High Fidelity). In 2016, she enplaned into another fun and demanding field, the beauty industry. Her first offering is a perfume, fittingly created in tribute to her silver screen mom. It is simply named Natalie.
The fragrance is a heartfelt pursuit and in this Q&A with Natasha, a mom herself today to daughter Clover Clementyne, (fun fact ’90s pop culture addicts: she’s married to Barry Watson who portrayed Matt Camden on 7th Heaven!), she shared a lot about the creation of “Natalie.” Along with how she’s effortlessly including and celebrating her mother’s iconic legacy in upcoming projects and items in beauty and art.
Get the Glam Down on Natalie and Natasha below! (Plus, where to purchase the fragrance!)
1: In March of this year, Natasha, you shared with the New York Times that you “knew [your mother] was home [as a child] because [you’d] smell her perfume.” And she was particularly fond of the gardenia scent. She even wore it on photo shoots! For the tribute perfume, was it more or less difficult than you imagined to, literally, bottle such memories? And what’s it like to create a fragrance?
I think fragrances and certain smells have moments. Some last forever. One never knows what will last and what won’t. Just like life.
3. Will “Natalie” expand into other offerings like bath and body and even makeup?
4. What else do you remember or cherish most about your mom’s style? I loved her look during the 70s. In my research, I came across a fantastic photo of her during that decade. Her brunette hair was long and she had on a taupe turtleneck and the eye makeup was a little smoky. So chic!
Natasha: My mom left all her clothes to my aunt Lana [Wood] who sold them shortly after she died. So, unfortunately, we don’t have anything of her awesome wardrobe. But. It’s not her style that I think about too much. What I carry with me is her heart. I feel so safe and loved and seen by her.
5. This question isn’t meant to come across judgmental, but the eras of when your mother was famous sure have changed in comparison to today’s Internet age. What can today’s young woman take from Natalie’s way of being or life that’d you’ll like to share? I think I ask this because Natalie is also associated with an element of class and old Hollywood that is constantly revered. But I also got a kick of this quote from the Times in which you mentioned “She didn’t think she needed to ask permission to do anything” showing that she was a little feisty!
Natasha: I love this question. It’s true my mom lived way before social media. She and my dad came up through the studio system. They learned their manners from elegant people like Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert, Ruth Gordon and Barbara Stanwyck. They worked so hard and they never took any of their success for granted. They wrote thank you notes and created friendships that have lasted a lifetime.
6. What is the one film Natalie Wood fans still obsess about to this day? What’s the true cult fave amongst fans?
Afterwards, be sure to use the hashtag #NamedForNatalie to be featured on the official Natalie perfume social media pages and site!
Below is a fantastic throwback clip of a television interview with Natalie Wood and Lucille Ball!