The 'Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans' star encountered the real-life swans back in the '80s around the time of the author's death
“I got to meet some of these characters, Gloria Vanderbilt and Lee Radziwill, and there was still an aura of betrayal,” Lane, 59, tells PEOPLE of the swans’ fallout with Capote. “This was right around the time when Truman Capote died.”
On the other hand, Lane found “there was still a current of taint that people were trying to say didn't bother them: ‘No, I'm not defined by that. Pay no attention to that little man behind the curtain.’ ”
Capote’s friendship with Manhattan’s top socialites deteriorated after he published "La Côte Basque, 1965,” a chapter from his book Answered Prayers that aired out the women’s secrets, including an affair Babe Paley’s (Watts) husband supposedly had with the wife of a New York governor and an allegation that Ann Woodward (Moore) murdered her husband. (The 1955 shooting of Ann’s husband, William Jr., had been deemed an accident.)
“To be a celebrity was to have a moat around you that meant that you had a private life, which of course invites scrutiny and questioning and wondering,” Lane says of being in the spotlight in the ‘60s and ‘70s. “I think it's at your own peril these days. If you try to pretend that you are not of the people, it's less and less that you can get away with that kind of exclusivity.”
Today, thanks to social media and the internet, intimate details of the lives of public figures reach millions of people each day, whether they want them to or not.
“Maybe Truman was the first domino in the culture shift then,” Lane speculates.
The Oscar nominee prefers to stay away from the likes of Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I can't take the heat, so I don't go in that kitchen,” she says. “I just don't want to know, so I don't participate. It's still 1987 for me, so y'all do whatever you want to do, and I'll enjoy my life, because I'm in denial about the amount of scrutiny. I would never want to read the comments section of anything.”
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Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
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