Joan Collins on Her Famous “Dynasty” Fights with Linda Evans: 'I Thought They Were Stupid' (Exclusive)

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The actress and author dishes exclusively to PEOPLE about her time on the 80s nighttime soap — and her image as the iconic villain Alexis Carrington Colby

<p>Ryan Pfluger/The New York Times</p> Joan Collins in her apartment in Beverly Hills, Calif. on March 22, 2022

Ryan Pfluger/The New York Times

Joan Collins in her apartment in Beverly Hills, Calif. on March 22, 2022

Joan Collins is not her character on the 80s nighttime soap opera Dynasty.

She's many other things, of course. Actress and author. Mother of three and sister. Wife. Icon. And, in an upcoming biopic: Wallis Simpson, the controversial spouse of former King Edward VIII.

And yet, right now, speaking to PEOPLE for this week's issue from her home in London that she shares with her husband, actor Percy Gibson, Collins, 90, is indeed giving full Alexis Carrington Colby, delivering witticisms in the vein of her character on the ABC series that ran from 1981 to 1989.

Case in point: When asked if she’s a fan of Madonna — they both dated Warren Beatty — she deadpans in her crisp English accent, “I’m not a fan of anybody,” and lets loose a quick, if haughty, laugh.

It’s hard to know if Collins is kidding, but that’s part of the fun. And, as she's just released her memoir Behind the Shoulder Pads: Tales I Tell My Friends, which she’s also adapted into a cabaret performance in England, she's ready to have a little fun.

Getty Joan Collins
Getty Joan Collins

Related: Joan Collins on the Dynasty Costar Who Kissed Her 'So Hard' She Bled — and Why She Rejected the Spinoff

The actress has been working professionally since childhood but broke through as a juvenile delinquent in a 1952 British prison drama, I Believe in You.

She was soon “sold” — her term — to 20th Century Fox in Hollywood, where she played mostly forgettable roles while remaining unforgettable for her beauty. (She was named the "prettiest girl in England" in 1958 but says studio execs told her early on that she was "fat and ugly.") Then along came Dynasty.

"The first time I heard of the show, I said, 'What’s that? A Chinese restaurant?'" she recalls to PEOPLE. "But I was a fan of Dallas, I knew Larry Hagman, because he was living in London when Mary Martin, his mother, was doing South Pacific and and he was a chorus boy. We used to see each other at various parties. And when I watched him in Dallas, I thought, 'I'd love to have a role like J.R. Ewing.'"

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty</p> Heather Locklear, Pamela Bellwood, Linda Evans, John Forsythe, Joan Collins, and Pamela Sue Martin in 'Dynasty'.

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

Heather Locklear, Pamela Bellwood, Linda Evans, John Forsythe, Joan Collins, and Pamela Sue Martin in 'Dynasty'.

Related: Joan Collins' Mailman 'Constantly' Delivered Her Letters to Neighbor Lily Collins When They Lived in Same L.A. Building

"And, of course, God heard me and gave me Alexis," she continues. "And honestly, I absolutely loved playing her. I adored her. In fact, if you gave me the scripts of Dynasty and said, 'What do you wanna play here? Do you wanna play Fallon? Or you wanna play Krystle? Do you wanna play Alexis?' I'd say, 'No question. I want to play Alexis.'"

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Fans adored Alexis right back. The one-liners, the fashion, and the fights. There were many between Collins' Alexis and Krystle Carrington, played by Linda Evans — not that Collins enjoyed filming them.

"First of all, I hated doing the fights. I thought they were stupid. I told [the showrunners], 'Alexis uses tongue, not her fists, to get the better of people,'" Collins shares. "Because Alexis was very witty in many ways."

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment</p> Joan Collins on 'Dynasty' in 1987

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment

Joan Collins on 'Dynasty' in 1987

Related: Joan Collins Says Sister Jackie's Death 'Left a Void That Was Impossible to Fill' Despite Their 'Ups and Downs'

When reminded that Alexis always seemed to lose the physical fights, Collins says, "Of course, Linda was taller than me. I didn't care whether I lost the fight, so no, it didn't bother me at all."

"In fact, I've never even thought about that," she says and lets loose a hearty laugh.

For more on Joan Collins, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here

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