Superstar direct0r (and actor/musician) Clint Eastwood tells me his next project will indeed be the remake of “A Star is Born”–without Beyonce as the female lead. Beyonce dropped out of the project last October, citing her tour schedule among other things. Whatever the reason, “Star” is going on, and very shortly.
Clint dined last night in West Hollywood with his veteran Warner Bros. marketing man, legendary Joe Hyams and his beautiful wife. (Hyams, if you don’t know, guided all the great Warners hits and was Clint’s most trusted associate through four decades of filmmaking–at least.)
The setting was out of the way insider movieland hot spot Il Piccolino, one of the few places where big stars can still go without being trailed by paparazzi. It was a great pleasure to run into Clint, who is one of Hollywood’s last giants. He’s also one of the greatest filmmakers. Oscar winning “Unforgiven” is a timeless classic. “Gran Torino” is a masterpiece. And let’s not forget “Million Dollar Baby” or “Mystic River.”
Eastwood, in a great mood, told me a couple of things. First: where is he watching the Oscars this Sunday? “At home, like a sensible person,” he said.
Second, followers of his famous Obama “chair speech” might be surprised that the diners on the other side of Eastwood’s table were former California governor GRay Davis and his wife. The Democrat–who was ousted in a recall vote and replace by Arnold Schwarzenegger–had a long and very friendly chat with Clint when his meal was over, for about ten minutes. The lesson–which I learned more than a dozen years ago– is never try to put Clint Eastwood in one political corner. He’s a man for all seasons.
As for “Star,” Eastwood says he’s ready and “has a few ideas” of who his leads are going to be. Of course everyone has ideas about who should play the parts of an over the hill alcoholic rock star and his rising pop star wife. But I think Russell Crowe and Katy Perry would be ideal. Send me your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org
PS That reality show featuring some of the female members of Eastwood’s family is over. He told me he let it happen because his daughters “really wanted to do it” and he agreed as long as they left him out of it. But it’s history now, which is a relief, I think, to this classy, private star.