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For Warren Beatty, reputation not always tied to reality

Web posted on: Friday, May 22, 1998 4:50:39 PM EDT

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- Could it be true? Has fatherhood tamed Warren Beatty, one of Hollywood's legendary control freaks?

After all, Beatty has reportedly been known to dictate the type of film stock and lighting used in his television interviews. And actors who worked with him as he directed and starred in 1981's "Reds" claim he sometimes asked for more than 70 takes on a single scene.

But now Beatty, 60, is a father. He and wife Annette Bening have three young children, and Beatty says he's finding more important things to think about.

Beatty and wife
Beatty and his wife, Annette Bening

'That's fun for me'

"I would say the biggest changes -- it has caused me to get into the present tense, try not to go too far into the future, not too long into the past," Beatty said. "When (the kids) are jumping on your stomach, making a trampoline out of you at six in the morning, that's fun for me. That's present tense."

That's not to say Beatty has slowed down. His latest effort at the box office -- "Bulworth" -- is winning raves. Beatty wrote, directed and stars in the film.

And his co-star, Paul Sorvino, says Warren Beatty is exactly who he wants to be -- Warren Beatty.

"Whatever we know about him is probably true," Sorvino said. "Whatever we hear about him is probably true. That he is one of the great lovers of the 20th century or a tryster is certainly a fact. And that's obvious. I don't think he would hide that. ... But that gives me no problem with the guy. Hey, we're men."


See the trailer from "Bulworth"

(3.5Mb QuickTime movie)

Beatty and politics

Politics have always been a passion for the actor, and "Bulworth" gave Beatty the stage to lampoon the current American political institution.

He credits Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Newscorp/Fox empire that financed the film and has strong political views of his own, for not interfering with the plot line.

"My politics, you would have to assume, are pretty antithetical to the politics of the people and the person who controls Newscorp," Beatty says. "I am told I can't speak for Murdoch's politics, but he financed the movie and I got to do what I wanted to do."

It seems nothing and no one can tame Warren Beatty -- except, of course, fatherhood.

Correspondent Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.

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