Audio Interview with Warren Beatty

Interview conducted by Tony Macklin. Audio interview originally published on March 7, 2009 @

Listen to the audio interview with Warren Beatty (MP3 format, approximately 25 minutes).

Most of my interviews were one-on-one, but a few times I was in a small group at a table. Such was the case for my interview with Warren Beatty.

I probably wouldn't include this interview, except that it contained one of the special moments in my interviewing career.

I went to Chicago to interview Beatty and see his latest movie Shampoo.

I remember sitting with some fellow male reviewers in a bar across from Beatty, who was sitting in a booth with Michelle Phillips.

They grumbled. One said, "He's nothing." They all agreed.

But despite their disdain, Warren Beatty was a charmer of women. The following day he had the female reviewers swooning.

After viewing Shampoo I spent much of the night thinking about it. And I came up with a salient question.

At the interview session the next day -- after others asked Warren, "Do you sleep in the nude?" -- I sprung.

I asked if he thought of Jack Kennedy when his character walked on the beach. In the film it's a JFK moment. Obviously JFK and WB were liberals.

I said, "just yes or no."

"No," he said. Then he interrupted his next answer to someone else and came back to me.

Later a studio representative told me, Beatty had said about me, "That son-of-a-bitch saw something in my film that I didn't see."

That's the nature of criticism.

The moment in Chicago was second only to a comment someone told me after a group interview with Cybill Shepherd.

At the airport a fellow reviewer told me that after being asked what kind of man she liked, Cybill answered, "That bearded guy who left early."

I almost ran back.

The following is the introduction to the interview as it appeared in Voices from the Set: The Film Heritage Interviews (2000).

Born in Richmond, Virginia. Warren Beatty has acted in more than twenty films, including All Fall Down, Bonnie and Clyde, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The Fortune, Heaven Can Wait, Shampoo, Reds, Dick Tracy, Bugsy, and Bulworth. He has also worked successfully as a director, producer, and screenwriter. Beatty has received several Oscar nominations, including four best actor nods and three nominations for best writing. He won the best director Oscar for Reds in 1981.

The Beatty interview was in Chicago, Illinois, where he was promoting Shampoo, in March of 1975.

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