Julia's star opens up about getting naked, being a diva, and how she loves
to hit men.
In Being Julia, you get to have an orgy of a romp as a saintly-to-slutty,
foolish-to-wise, imperious-to-needy theatre diva. Are you practicing your
Oscar speech yet?
Thank God the waiter just handed me the menu at the perfect moment. [laughs,
turns to waiter] Do you have a Caesar salad?
so fast. Dont you care if youre Oscared?
Do I care? [smiles demurely] I guess the truth is that I am wisely reluctant
to comment on that. But this diva, Julia, is a dream role, no question.
get to play one, but do mommies of four get to BE divas?
Good question. Im sure my children would say yes sometimes. And my husband
[Warren Beatty] might say that, too. But I dont think too often. [to
waiter] Could you kill the music? Weve got a tape recorder here.
you have said if you werent able to have a life separate from the family,
youd be one of those women with a pistol to her head, or having
a nervous breakdown.
Like Hedda Gabler. [laughs] Acting to me is like lifes blood, its
so important, but . . . well, I completely lost my interest [after my first
child], so when it came back I thought, Okay, this is what happensits
cyclical. But I know its always inside me percolating.
says, Real actresses dont make films. You ever feel that
I just knew nothing about movies. I wasnt someone growing up who thought,
Thats my dream! And once I got interested in acting, I aspired
to the theater and people like Eleonora Duse and Maggie Smith. Hey, I even
did a whole movieRichard III just because Maggie
Smith was gonna be in it. Anyway, when I started seeing movies as a young
adult that were really powerful, I thought, Okay, someone has to make
these things, so maybe I could.
voilà, you ended up giving a performance in The Grifters that
began your run as the thinking mans sex symbol.
And that was fantastic and fun. But the fact that I was almost 30 before I
made a film was a huge advantage: I had years of happily making a living in
repertory and plays, so I dont have a romantic notion about being in
movies and all the things that come with thatmoney, prestige, famebecause
I know that Id be perfectly okay if I didnt have all that. I had
a life before.
you didnt have Warren Beatty and Bugsy, the film that gave you
your fabulous, signature movie line, which is . . .
Why dont you go outside and jerk yourself a soda. Its
a damn good line.
it led to the next Beatty-Bening collaboration, Love Affair, which
is a Jeopardy question waiting to happen: Who is, literally,
the last person ever to share the big screen with Katharine Hepburn?
Wow. Its an honor. She was an intense lady, thoughI remember walking
onto the set the first time, and her looking up and saying [doing a scary
Hepburn], How tall are you?
enough to bitch-slap grown men to the ground in films like The Siege
and Open Range.
I love to slap, yes. In Open Range, there was originally no slap
in it, and I said to Kevin [Costner, the director], Uh, Kevin . . .
, and he said, You want to slap him, right? and I said,
Yes! I tried not to do too many takes, though. [laughs]
silly American Beauty question coming up: Are Peter Gallaghers
They are. [laughs] Peter is hilarious. We have a sex scene, as they say, in
American Beauty, and we were hysterical all day long.
regarding The Grifters, you do first-rate naked work. Any more nude
Annette Bening sex frolics coming up?
Well, I certainly hope so. [laughs]
Listen, besides being Mrs. Warren Beatty, whats the most Hollywood thing
about you? Being the face of the Columbia Pictures logo lady or . . . ?
Yes, I was at a screening, and a guy whod worked on it told me theyd
used my face to compose her face. Very flattering.
is it having Shirley MacLaine as a sister-in-law?
[big laugh] Thats pretty Hollywood!
2015 Brantley Bardin. All Rights Reserved.