Warren Beatty’s portrayal of fugitive from justice Clyde Barrow in the classic ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ secured his place in Hollywood history, but now he’s revealed that he initially thought the role of the charismatic criminal would sit better on a very different type of superstar.
Warren, whose film ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ is in UK cinemas this week, tells HuffPostUK:
“I’m not really like Clyde Barrow at all. Neither is Faye (Dunaway) like Bonnie. When I first saw the idea of Bonnie and Clyde, I thought Bob Dylan would be the ideal Clyde.
“My self interest always comes around to me, so I played Clyde, and now I play Howard Hughes.”
Warren is explaining why he feels he can take certain liberties with his portrayal of Howard Hughes in the film that he also wrote and directed. Howard Hughes – aviator, inventor, film producer among many other epithets – has previous been brought to screen, by Oscar-nominated Leonardo DiCaprio among others, and Warren is convinced no one really knows the truth of the man:
“The Howard Hughes that I play is probably nothing like Howard Hughes. We all have our own version of our own history, let alone somebody else’s, so that’s why I justify all these liberties of emphasising what I think is this narcissistic need to be a mystery that applies to Howard Hughes.
“It can be interesting, it can be amusing, it can be fascinating… I had a terrible crush on Greta Garbo, I never met her, she was incredibly beautiful and then I would hear these stories and I liked hearing these stories, but who knows if they’re true or not?”
Alongside Warren, the film stars Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins as a pair of star-crossed lovers, trying to make their way in Hollywood as they navigate their Bible-belt Christian values, along with the whims of their mutual employer, Mr Hughes.
Warren explains: “It’s not a movie about Howard Hughes, it’s a movie about what I consider the consequences of American sexual puritanism, that makes us the laughing stock of Europe and other places and the obstacle for these two kids who come to Hollywood, a business that is interested in selling sexy, there’s a lot of conflict in American thinking.
“And I always felt that the dominance of money in American politics and in business, etc, that that’s always worth ridiculing.
“Plus, if you take a young couple who have made the transition from Bible-Belt America to Hollywood, I thought there would be a lot of rules that would not apply.”
‘Rules Don’t Apply’ is in UK cinemas now.
Warren Beatty with Joan CollinsBettmann via Getty Images
Warren Beatty with Natalie WoodBettmann via Getty Images
Warren Beatty with Leslie CaronKeystone-France via Getty Images
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Warren BeattyMichael Ochs Archives via Getty Images
Warren Beatty with Julie ChristieRon Galella via Getty Images
Warren Beatty with Lauren HuttonRon Galella via Getty Images
Warren BeattySilver Screen Collection via Getty Images