Warren Beatty on his philandering past: ‘I never mislead anyone’


Watching this election has me going back through elections from my voting past. I remember when Warren Beatty toyed with running for president for the 2000 election as a possible Reform Party candidate. He ultimately said no, that he would “stick with his day job.” One of the things plaguing Beatty’s run back then was that even though he’d married Annette Bening, people were hung up on his Lothario ways prior to marriage. It was once rumored that Beatty had bedded 12,775 women before Annette. Among those were Natalie Wood, Cher, Diane Keaton, Julie Christie and Madonna. With the exception of his possibly being the subject of Carly Simon’s song You’re So Vain, the women from his past just don’t have bad things to say about him. Beatty is starting early promotion his first film in 18 years, Rules Don’t Apply, about Howard Hughes. He sat down for AARP Magazine, who do a really good interview, by the way, and spoke to his philandering past, his 24-year marriage and how much he loves being father to his four kids Stephen, 24, Benjamin, 22, Isabel, 19 and Ella, 16.

On Howard Hughes: “It amused me, the idea of a man being so public yet so private. I was fascinated by my fascination with this person.”

On making movies: “I have often compared making a movie to vomiting. I don’t like to vomit. But there are times I think, Maybe I’ll just feel better if I go ahead and throw up. So then I make the movie.”

On the rumor that he had 12,775 conquests: “Think about it, sleeping with 12,775 people. That would mean not just that there were multiple people a day, but that there was no repetition.”

On why no one is mad at him: “Look, I never misled anyone. And … and I’m a nice guy.”

On being asked why Bening was different: “To answer that would be reductive, and she means too much to be reductive.”

Bening on Beatty: “There’s always a part of what he’s doing that’s private but we talk a lot about everything. Some people pay lip service to listening to others and they’re really not listening. He does. He loves actors, and while he’s shooting he’s always interested in what people are saying. He’s a terrific audience.”

Bening on getting Beatty back to work: “Are you kidding? I was like, ‘I am ready to kill you. Just make the movie, please, please, please.’ But like other people at his level of talent, he does it when he’s ready. And no one’s saying anything made a difference, including me.”

On his children: “… by far the best thing that happened to me. I always knew I wanted to have children. I wanted to do it well, and I wanted to do it with someone who felt the same way. I’m an attentive father, I have to struggle somewhat not to be overly attentive.”

On traveling: “I want to see the world through the eyes of my children. They’re so different; they all want to go to different places. The big question is, will they want me there with them?”

On a Dick Tracey Sequel: “I liked the original very much, and it was very profitable. Jeffrey Katzenberg once asked me to do a sequel. At the time, I thought sequels were beneath me. Now I realize how far below sequels I am.”

On his next potential role: “I would be very interested in playing Warren Beatty as a young man.”

[From AARP]

Side-note: the interview took place at the Sunset Tower Hotel in LA. One of the biggest movies of Beatty’s career (and where he met Annette) was Bugsy. The Tower Bar restaurant at the Sunset Tower was Bugsy Siegel’s former apartment (not the one in which he was shot, though). They don’t mention that in the interview but I thought that was cool enough to mention.

The whole article is a really good read. Beatty is such a rake. I thought his quote about Annette being too important to be reductive spoke volumes about his admiration of her. I share his desire to see the world through his children’s eyes. I loved traveling before kids but it’s like you get to rediscover all these wonderful things – travel, art, literature, films – in a whole new way. But my favorite is his unapologetic stance that he was not wrong for being a playboy. I agree with him too – if he was exactly as advertised, then who’s getting hurt? If you ever had a thing for Beatty, which I have ever since I saw Heaven Can Wait, you probably read all these quotes in his raspy voice and pictured every wink and half-cocked smile he added. Lord, this man was gorgeous. He still is. Perhaps with some help? He looks awful “smoothed” in the article’s photos. So either he had some work done or that 18-year rest did him a world of good. Whichever it is, it’s working for him.


Photo credit: Fame/Flynet Photos and Getty Images

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21 Responses to “Warren Beatty on his philandering past: ‘I never mislead anyone’”

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  1. ravensdaughter says:

    AARP sex machine!

  2. brooksie says:

    Oh, hell yes.

  3. mia girl says:

    There are few men more handsome than Warren Beatty was in Splendour in the Grass.
    The man was beautiful.
    I think he aged well.

  4. BeBea says:

    That’s right Mr. Beatty ! She is the One for you because she is don’t pull her apart so other people can fill their need to know! I like that !

    • SKF says:

      My mother said years ago that she thought it was dangerous to pretend that Annette is/was such a special unicorn that she made Beatty go straight and become monogamous. Whilst they undoubtedly love each other and are a very good match, what is more likely is that he was bored of screwing everything that moved and was ready to settle down when he met a girl that he could happily settle down with. I wholeheartedly agree and I think this happens a lot with men. Women shouldn’t beat themselves up that they aren’t/weren’t “special” enough to change these men when they were in lothario mode but later on someone else seemingly was. These men settle down because they’re ready to, not because someone else is magical.

      • boredsuburbanhousewife says:

        You nailed it SKF.

      • beauxblue says:

        I also think he was in his 50s when they met, his sex drive had probably diminished quite a bit making it easier for him to be a one woman man.

      • Black Beauty says:

        He was ready to settle down while dating Madonna. It’s well documented he asked her to marry him. According to her brother’s tell-all book, when she didn’t give him an immediate answer, he became paranoid and started going through her trash can looking for evidence that she was cheating. He broke up with her before she had a chance to break up with him. Then had rebound flings with women younger than Madge to boost his ego (Stephanie Seymour, Elle Macpherson) before settling for Annette, who btw was still dating geeky actor Ed Begley Jr. as of two weeks before she decided to get pregnant by Warren.

  5. Little Darling says:

    He may not have mislead anyone but I bet his dong did!

  6. LinaLamont says:

    Worked with him in the late 80s, early 90s.
    He was (is) very tall, good-looking, gentleman, nice… at least, that was my experience with him.
    Love the “vomit” quote… so true about any artistic endeavor for me.

  7. Neelyo says:

    I knew I was gay as a child when I had a dream about Warren Beatty in HEAVEN CAN WAIT. We were floating on a cloud together….Sigh.

  8. Rapunzel says:

    Beatty is the definition of rake and I love it.

  9. Penelope says:

    He was SO hot in his Bonnie & Clyde days!

  10. holly hobby says:

    Warren Beatty was definitely handsome back in the day. He may have had some work done but his face isn’t overly done. You can still tell he’s not 30!

  11. MickeyM says:

    This was a good read! Have missed seeing him on the screen. Love him and Diane Keaton in REDS!

  12. Really? says:

    “Look, I never misled anyone and I’m a nice guy.” Loving father and husband. Honest. Talented. Handsome. Intelligent. Fabulous wife. He played the field. No accusations from women alleging impropriety. This man is a genius..

  13. SM says:

    He is a legend. I would be very interested in playing Warren Beatty as a young man.” – that was awesome. And his comparison of acting to vomiting – I think most actors would have a heart attack because hello, ART!!!

  14. sunshine gold says:

    Yes. So much work done. You will find very few people in Hollywood, men or women, who haven’t. But a vain guy like this? OF COURSE.