Magazine article Variety

Truth-Talking with Warren Beatty

Magazine article Variety

Truth-Talking with Warren Beatty

Article excerpt

I have a good Warren Beatty anecdote. Given that he's the topic of this week's cover story by James Rainey, I thought it might be fun to play back my 1999 encounter with the legendary actor/director after I wrote a rather tough column on him in my former job at the Los Angeles Times.

At the time, the media was awash in rumors that the politically savvy Beatty might make a run for the U.S. presidency. I decided to do a piece examining his leadership skills on movie sets. As I pointed out in the column, overseeing a film production is hardly comparable to being commander-in-chief, but I thought it was eye-opening that he had earned a reputation as one of Hollywood's most controlling, difficult, and self-indulgent filmmakers - a perfectionist who took forever to make decisions, and who second-guessed directors, producers, marketing executives, and publicists.

Like everyone in show business, Beatty cares desperately about his public image. So I wasn't surprised to hear his voice on the phone immediately after my column came out. He didn't yell at me, though; he simply said, "Hi, Claudia. This is Warren Beatty. I hear you're a great journalist. Can you come and meet with me today? …

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