War­ren Beatty back in cine­mas af­ter 15 years

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in New York

War­ren Beatty is stand­ing out­side an early screen­ing of his new film, Rules Don’t Ap­ply — def­i­nitely not a Howard Hughes biopic, he wants to make clear — dis­cussing his con­nec­tion to the fa­mously reclu­sive in­dus­tri­al­ist and movie mogul.

“I never met him,” he says, grin­ning. “And I met ev­ery­body.”

At 79, and 15 years since his last film, the man af­fec­tion­ately known as “the pro” is back. Beatty, whose ex­ploits on and off the screen made him an un­qual­i­fied Hol­ly­wood leg­end, has fi­nally made theHowardHughes film he’s con­tem­plated on and off for 40 years. sur­prise of Rules Don’t Ap­ply, which 20th Cen­tury Fox will re­lease on Nov 23, is not only that Beat­ty­hasat last com­pleted it, but that he’s made a snappy, vi­brant film, car­ried by its young stars and mem­o­rable for its por­trait of Hol­ly­wood power play­ers and their pawns. Sex plays a sig­nif­i­cant role. “I felt it was time to make an­other movie and time to make a movie about a big sub­ject — what I would call the com­i­cal and some­times sad con­se­quences of Amer­i­can sex­ual pu­ri­tanism,” Beatty had said in an ear­lier in­ter­view. “That at­ti­tude, I don’t think it’s ex­pired. We have to ad­mit it’s made us the laugh­ing stock of France, for in­stance, where the chief of state gets into some mis­chief and his num­bers go up. Here the op­po­site is true.”

There’s some­thing fit­ting about one of Hol­ly­wood’s most renowned play­boys mak­ing a movie about sex­ual re­pres­sion. Be­fore mar­ry­ing An­nette Ben­ing, Beatty was linked to ev­ery­one from Diane Keaton to Madonna. Peter Biskind’s 2010 bi­og­ra­phy, Star, tried to es­ti­mate the women he’s slept with, com­ing up with 12,775 — a fig­ure Beatty dis­putes.

He and Ben­ing have four nearly grown chil­dren. Of his 180-de­gree turn from bach­e­lor to fam­ily man Beatty says: “The idea of di­vorce ap­palled me and still does.”

Fam­ily has been his pri­mary in­ter­est in the years since his last film, the 2001 dis­ap­point­ment Town & Coun­try.

The ti­tle “Rules Don’t Ap­ply” is also well suited to Beatty, who reigned over 1970s Hol­ly­wood and later with dis­tinctly un­con­ven­tional films like the era-defin­ing Bon­nie and Clyde.

“I don’t know that I’m such a coura­geous rule­breaker but I do like it when you say it. I’ve been very lucky. The words that might sum it up are: The ac­cess that early fame and for­tune can bring one if they are alert. Rules will be changed. Rules will be bro­ken.”

He’sbeenat­tend­ing screen­ings of Rules Don’t Ap­ply partly to get a bet­ter feel for to­day’s movie dis­tri­bu­tion.

Asked how it feels for him to fi­nally be re­leas­ing his Hughes film, Beatty smiles. “Old,” he says.

Yet Beatty has al­ready nav­i­gated a se­ries of eras in­Hol­ly­wood. What’s one more?

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