Warren Beatty back in cinemas after 15 years
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?