David Bailey: Truth, Beauty, Bailey

‘Are you filming or am I wasting my fucking time?’ In a candid interview, the legendary photographer talks feminists and heroes

In our latest Doc X, filmmaker Jamie Roberts spends the afternoon with David Bailey ahead of Bailey's Stardust, an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Though Bailey says "never meet your heroes", Roberts disagrees; Bailey in person is greater than any legend – the jibes sharper, the eyes more piercing, and the "fuck"s dropped more frequently. As his assistants dutifully fuss around him, Bailey talks of beauty, "silly feminists" and why he’s glad no one at the Tate asked him to exhibit. Roberts daren’t drop his gaze: “Are you fucked again? Are you stopped? Well, look like you’re interested, keep your eyes down,” Bailey snaps, his face crooked in a grin.

Bailey's Stardust, sponsored by HUGO BOSS, National Portrait Gallery, London, 6 February - 1 June 2014