Her book "Hollywood Wives: The New Generation" has just been adapted to the small screen. Collins and The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen met at a favorite Beverly Hills restaurant, Spago's, the perfect place to "dish."
"I write about it a lot," says Collins. "And of course, the ladies have lunch here."
Those "ladies" who lunch at the legendary Spago's Restaurant in Beverly Hills are Jackie Collins' "Hollywood Wives," women we first met two decades ago. The pizza and Pellegrino might taste the same, but this new "Hollywood Wives" generation has a much different flavor.
Collins says, "'The Hollywood Wives' book in the '80s was very much about women who controlled their husbands from behind the scenes. The new women have careers; they have ambition. If the husband is a mega-producer, the wife wants to be a mega-producer, too. They want to be equal with the man."
In "Hollywood Wives: The New Generation," Melissa Gilbert's character has a lot of secret desires, including her lust for a hot young writer.
From the film:
Husband: Where is this coming from, Tay? Isn't being my wife enough? I thought you were happy.
Melissa Gilbert: Larry, I'm an actor. I worked a lot before I was married to...
Her friend, played by Robin Givens, has a hard time balancing her personal and professional ambitions.
Robin Givens: God, it's hard being famous!
But that's nothing compared to the heartache suffered by their friend, superstar Lissa Roman, played by Farrah Fawcett.
Farrah Fawcett: What I want is to not be here. I have a movie opening in three days. I haven't finished the soundtrack. And I'm hiding in a hotel because I have a psychopathic husband!
Collins says, "I think they're a very interesting group of women. I based it on many women in this town, on the truth. Then I kind of mixed it up so you would never guess who was who."
Collins herself is as confident and ambitious as the women she writes about. She worked behind the scenes as one of the film's executive producers.
The book itself is very racy. Asked if she had to tone it down for network television, Collins says, "It was so funny because we get a list of network notes, because the script was very racy. So I am looking at this list of notes from the network, and I can't repeat them because it's too rude. But they'll say: Can you swap one four-letter word for another four-letter word? You can't see the butt, but you can go right down, if you can't see the crack."
Confused, Chen notes butts have been seen on television. Collins adds, "That's what I kept on saying! Thank you Julie!"
Nothing shocks Jackie Collins. Maybe it's from decades of hearing real-life Hollywood stories.
Collins says, "The other day, I was at a hotel, and a girlfriend of mine is a manager there. And she was telling me stories of a certain famous lady who always likes to have her manicures and pedicures in the nude, and then orders a sandwich. So, down in the kitchen, they're fighting to deliver the sandwich to this famous star. And it's authentic, you know. I always say my books are somebody who's on the inside looking out, not somebody with their nose pressed against the glass looking in. So when you see 'Hollywood Wives: The New Generation,' you're going to get the real deal."
Collins told Chen off the record who that famous actress is, but Chen is sworn to secrecy!
"Hollywood Wives: The New Generation" airs Sunday night, 9 p.m. ET on CBS.