Jacqueline Bisset Remembers Driving Steve McQueen in BULLITT
By Movieguide® Staff
In 1968, an aspiring star in Jacqueline Bisset worked alongside Steve McQueen and drove him around in the crime thriller BULLITT.
Turner Classic Movies announced that BULLITT would play at their 2021 Film Festival and asked that Bisset introduce the movie to audiences.
Bisset recalls working with the “King of Cool” and how his involvement makes BULLITT an enduring classic.
“I remember reading with Steve McQueen. I remember my first impression of Steve McQueen was that he’s terribly handsome,” Bisset told Fox News. “I learned that Steve was quiet, charming and thoughtful. I wouldn’t say shy exactly, but not introverted either. I just felt he was a normal guy. He treated me like a normal woman and it was pleasant.”
Bisset said that what she was most anxious for in BULLITT was the scenes that involved her driving McQueen.
“I knew I was going to have to drive Steve myself,” Bisset said. “I was nervous about that because I knew he loved driving and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. We were actually out there on the freeway and people were spotting us as we drove. He had his eyes closed most of the time. I don’t think he was relaxed at all when I was driving him.
“He said to me, ‘You are a very good driver for a girl.’ And I went, ‘Oops,’” Bisset laughed. “But I was thrilled he thought I was a very good driver. I mean think about it, me, driving Steve McQueen? This huge star? But I did it.”
After McQueen died in 1980, Bisset said that his impact on Hollywood and entertainment became even more apparent.
“It’s a good film. There’s amazing stuff in it. But it was Steve,” Bisset said. “People loved him. He attracted men’s admiration. He’s the ‘King of Cool’ for a reason.”
Bisset hopes the movie’s enduring legacy will attract new generations to McQueen’s charismatic charm.
“I hope they’ll rediscover Steve McQueen and enjoy him. His talent made the film,” Bisset added.
Movieguide® previously reported on how the daredevil turned over his life to Christ:
Hollywood icon Steve McQueen was known as the “King of Cool” to people worldwide. At the end of his life, he met the King of Kings after he accepted Jesus in the late 70s.
After McQueen’s career took off, he became the highest paid actor in the business.
With the success came several marriages, affairs and drug and alcohol abuse.
Eventually, THE GREAT ESCAPE actor developed lung problems in the 70s. His health issues led him to move to the small town of Santa Paula with his wife Barbara Minty.
They lived in an airplane hangar, and while there, he enlisted pilot Sammy Mason to teach him how to fly.
Mason told McQueen about Jesus during their flying lessons, and his comments resonated so much with McQueen that he started attending Mason’s church.
Finally, after months of quietly attending services, McQueen asked to meet the pastor, Leonard De Witt.
McQueen told Pastor De Witt that “When you invited people to pray with you to receive Christ, I prayed. So yes, I’m a born-again Christian.”
As McQueen’s health got worse and he was diagnosed with cancer, he knew he wanted to meet evangelist Billy Graham
He met Graham, who ended up being one of the last people who spoke to the star. During their meeting, Graham gave McQueen his personal Bible for his trip to Mexico for a surgery. Shortly thereafter Graham saw Steve at the hospital and had Steve confirm his commitment to Jesus Christ.
It was on that trip McQueen went home to the Lord in November of 1980. McQueen was seen clutching Graham’s Bible when he died.
As McQueen neared the end of his life, Pastor Greg Laurie detailed that McQueen said: “‘My only regret in life is that I was not able to tell people about what Christ did for me.’”