As the tabloids have us over hs,

WARREN BEATI'Y; ' isanewman. Alan

Hollywood superstar actress wife 2' about babies anatheirnew gangster j .J .

hen Warren Beatty deigns to give an interview, the media acts as if some god had come down from Olympus on a day trip. A legend in his own bedtime. Beatty has pushed his erstwhile reputation as the prime bonker of Beverly Hills behind him and has embraced fatherhood and marital bliss with an almost born-again relish. At the age of 54. he has banished his libido to a Hollywood graveyard and settled down with his three-month-old daughter Kathlyn and wife Annette Bening. But three decades of sexual prowess don‘t die easily. and anyone accidently overhearing Bening as she lists Beatty‘s qualities could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow and suppressing a juvenile snigger: ‘He‘sterrific. . .because he‘s got so much stamina. You need to be challenged, you need someone to help you to go out on the edge of the limb because you want to be surprised. you want to be spontaneous and do things you haven‘t done before. He‘s very good at that . . . He has that kind ofenergy and it means a lot because you‘re only as good as the person you’re with.’

Ofcourse. she‘s talking about the thespian abilities he showed opposite her during the filming of Bugsy - Barry Levinson’s glossy account ofthe life of gangster Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and the setting is not some girls‘ locker-room confessional but one of London‘s classier hotels. And where is the recipient ofthese fine praises? Good question; he was due here an hour ago.

Maybe the re-crowned King of Hollywood is upstairs on nappy shift.

‘People started writing about us when we had barely met,’ Bening continues. ‘We decided to be discreet about our relationship in order to serve the film. When you become a public person. you learn to cherish your privacy.’ For Bening. however. little known Loutside theatre circles until her 1991


Academy Award nomination as Best Actress for The Grifters. such privacy has become a rare commodity. Earlier that day. she and baby Kathlyn had sent the British paparazzi into a flashbulb-popping frenzy. and. for a while at least. her own notable acting talents will be hidden in the shadow cast by the man at her side. Perhaps Beatty will be able to give her a few tips on how to shroud their domestic lives. if not in privacy. in enigma.

‘Anytime you respect someone‘s work. I think you‘d be inclined to increase your amount of respect for them.‘ he says ofhis attraction to Bening. ‘I consider myselfvery lucky. . . and I don‘t want to get caught giving you too corny a quote because I can see the headline and it makes me nervous. so I. eh . . . 1. ch. . . youjust met Annette. yes? Then you see my point .‘

Obviously a man well versed in waffle. Beatty has raised evading the question to an art form. When pressed on how he feels about being a father. it's as ifhis pause-laiden script has been prepared by Harold Pinter: ‘She's going great and it‘s the best time I‘ve ever had.‘ Massive pause. ‘I could go on and on and on about it. but . . .‘

Madonna humbled him on screen in her tourdocumentary, reducing him to a figure smallerthan the lookalike Dick Tracy dolls

that still gather dust in a Disney warehouse.

Slightly shorter pause. ‘Okay. I'll give you your headline. . . Iwould say that God is kind because he doesn‘t let you know how wonderful this is until it‘s happened to you.‘ That‘s it? I found more incisive maxims on the meaning of life in last year‘s Christmas crackers. But Beatty has some justification for being wary of the press. Over the years he has taken the attitude that. if he doesn‘t

say anything. he can't be misquoted; hardly surprising. then. that some of the more unscrupulous tabloid hacks just make it up

anyway. . . and ifit’s really outrageous. attribute it to his increasingly wacko New Age. real life sister. Shirley MacLaine.

The point is that. until recently. the average cincma-goer knew Beatty for his gossip column exploits rather than his -— admittedlyimpressive «cinematicC‘V'. Winner of a Best Direction Oscar for Reds. the ambitious biopic of American Communist John Reed. and recipient of another ten nominations since 19(17 as an actor. writer. director and producer. it was the inside of his little black book that held fascination for his legion of fans. It's also interesting to note the correlation between hisleadingladiesandhislovers—ayeritable ' Who '3' Who that begins with Natalie Wood in Splendourin the Grass ( 1961) and includes Julie Christie in Me( 'abe and Mrs i Miller ( 1971) and Diane Keaton in Reds i (1981). J

His most recent fling came post-Dick

5 The List 27 March - 9 April 1992