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An Audience With Warren Beatty

Wednesday, October 4---Warren Beatty would be the first to admit it. When he talks, he tends to ramble and to answer an interview question at such great length that both he and the questioner have forgotten the original query.

At the press conference held on Tuesday afternoon at Alice Tully Hall, following the press screening of his masterpiece REDS, Beatty covered a lot of territory in a wise, witty and rambling style that had the audience eating out of his hand. Such is the power of the movie star who also happens to be a man of engaging intelligence and piercing wit. The legend will also make an appearance at the public screening of REDS, which will be held later this evening, again at Alice Tully Hall.

What follows is an excerpt from the musings and perusings of Warren Beatty:


I never know when something occurs to me….it just sort of happens. I wanted to make a film in Russia. Things tend to gestate with me over an embarrassingly length of time, and I went to Russia to see how feasible it would be to shoot a film there. This was first in 1969, not long after the Czech invasion. I began to think that the only way to think about doing a film in Russia was to simply to start making a film in Russia. Things were thawing slightly.

I became interested in the story of John Reed, one of the few foreigners who is actually buried in the Kremlin. One lucky thing about being a movie star, is that you have a good amount of access. I had access to the Harvard Club of 1910, which included John Reed, journalist Walter Lippman and poet T.S. Eliot, and others….a very famous class.

For quite a while, I thought the film would hinge on the great journalist Walter Lippman, but he had no reason in doing a film, especially in doing a film with me and he was not a big fan of John Reed….he thought he was impetuous and unrealistically idealistic.

I then turned to my friend Averell Harriman, a former Ambassador to Russia, who gave me the slickest and most charming “turn down

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Online Dailies coverage of the 44th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL September 29 – October 15, 2006

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