INTERVIEW — TAPE #57, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell BellD: Diana Widom, friend
Q: I’m with Diana Widom who is the department head I first started working with when I joined the staff at Paramount. And we were always very close. She would do wonderful things for me like bring me in to meet producers. Like I remember she once brought me in to meet Herbert Ross and Larry Mark. And the director of “Fat Man And Little Boy.”
D: Roland Joffé.
Q: Frank Marshall was another one that we —
D: Yeah. (“SO”)
Q: It was so nice for me to have a boss who really respected good writing and (“APPRE”) expressed appreciation for me. I missed her so much when she left. We both were laid off at the same time and I’m sure she agrees with me that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to both of us because I think that, at least in my case, I developed more of an appreciation for life. I just got out of the corporate system, which was really — I don’t even know how to describe it. Maybe I’ll ask Diana to describe it.
D: Well, actually, the corporate system is really sort of indescribable in its loathsomeness. (“YOU KNOW”) It’s full of games — mind tricks, mind games, (“YOU KNOW”) actual funny business, trouble, blackmail and all kinds of funny things like that going on. And Mark definitely doesn’t belong there because he obviously is a much more spiritual person, as I always thought he was. And that is the last place you would expect to find a spiritual person. And, by the way, I, Diana Widom, am also a very spiritual person and when Mark said we got laid off at the same time — we did but I can’t say anything about Paramount because they’ve been very generous to me. I got laid off because I have multiple sclerosis and couldn’t work, couldn’t stand on my feet and run around the way I used to. And I have had a wonderful time since leaving the studio. And, obviously, Mark has too.
Q: Despite the multiple sclerosis.
D: Yes — 'despite the.'
Q: Sometimes I think too — (“THAT” “I MEAN”) you have to wonder — for example, you have a twin sister like I have a twin brother — (“RIGHT”)
Q: And, for example, Michael has had illnesses and I haven’t. (“AND”) You have had multiple sclerosis and Charlotte hasn’t.
D: But you see, I tend to believe — it’s strange, really —
D: — and I’m sure anybody reading this — (“WILL” “YEAH”) “Ha! Silly Woman.” I tend to believe in reincarnation. In fact, I do believe in reincarnation. And I think that each soul on the other side chooses the obstacles it wants to overcome. I’ve just finished reading a wonderful book by a woman called Marlo (“MA”) Mason, I think. Isn’t it awful — I can’t remember her name but the name of her book is Mutant Message Down Under. And she talks about wandering around for three months with real people as they call themselves — Bushmen in the Outback — and what that’s like and what they have to teach her. And one of the things that struck very great resonances in me was you can’t pass a test unless you take a test. It’s full of really incredible observations about what’s going to happen to the world, what’s going to happen to the people of the world, what they’ll find on the other side, the way they approach life. And (“WELL”) it was a very meaningful book to me, anyway. I would never have had time to read that book if I had been at work. For example, that’s one of the advantages. (“THAT”) I have time now, which I’m using to read and get my thoughts together. And work on getting rid of this thing, whatever it is — well, I know what it is. It’s multiple sclerosis but I don’t want it — somebody else can have it. No, nobody else should have it. It should just go away. So I’m working hard on doing that, at the moment. That’s, more or less, where I am and where I’m putting the focus of my energy.
Q: And, of course, (“ADA”) I prayed for you numerous times because I sincerely believe that prayer does help if not alleviate altogether. (“AND” “YOU KNOW IT’S”) I believe what you said, too, about how we choose certain challenges to overcome in this life to remove the karma from the planet or however you want to say it. (“YEAH” “BUT”) We can’t remember these challenges at the beginning of life.
D: Well, we don’t — no. And, perhaps, it’s a good job, by the way, as Mark has just said about the choice that we make on the other side of the challenges that we have to overcome. Perhaps, it’s a very good thing that we don’t know what they are. Therefore, they come to us and we deal with them in our physical bodies in the best way that we can, hopefully. And we do manage to overcome some, if not all of them. I know some people who have literally, in one sense, lived unfulfilled spiritually lives. They don’t seem to have made any progress on any front but progress is made even if you don’t realize you’re making it. You were over there and suddenly you’re over here. You don’t quite know how you got over here but you’re over here now. And so I think things do happen as we walk along. One thing I’m realizing is how short a span is allotted to each of us in terms of living (“ON”) on the earth in a present life. I mean I can’t believe I’m the age I am. It’s gone so quickly and it accelerates and accelerates as you go closer — as you get closer and closer and closer. And the one thing that I have learned from all my reading and studying and observing — because my mother died in August and I was able to be by her bedside; I observed her going to the other side — is that I’m not afraid of dying at all anymore. In fact, I look forward to it. It must be a wonderful thing. I wouldn’t want to die in great pain and I wouldn’t want to die under torture and I wouldn’t want to die in all the horrible ways — (“TO”) cancer or something slow-moving. Something like that would be horrible. But, in fact, I have chosen to give myself a disease that’s not a killer. It forces you to move more slowly, look around you, think about things, take things easier. It’s brought me closer to my friends. I’ve enjoyed them so much more because now I have time to be with them and I never did before. So I’m the last person in the world —
Q: In comparison, (“THIS IS”) you enjoy this more than working at Paramount.
D: It’s a different thing. I think that you live completely compartmentalized lives — many lives within the same life. There was a me that was working at Paramount — there was that me. And there’s a me that’s now got multiple sclerosis — so this me. And there was me as a child — that’s another thing. And I think I could break this one life down into about six different lives within a life and that’s just — and I’m halfway through. I’ve got half of the way to go.
Q: And what religion are you?
D: I’m Jewish. For some reason, I’m not observant Jewish but I’m glad I’m Jewish. I wouldn’t want to be anything else. I mean for some reason that strikes certain chords in me. Actually, I had a psychic reading over the phone—if this isn’t too weird, Mark—with somebody I respect very, very much. I’ve got everything she told me on tape and one life that she told me about, I started sobbing absolutely uncontrollably. I was so there — it was like I was back there and actually it was a life at the time of Christ and involved being one of his lesser disciples. There was a lot of other stuff around —
Q: Do you have a name?
D: Did she give me a name? She did give me a name and (“GO[TTEN]”) I’ve forgotten what it is but she actually did give me a name. There was that life and the other lives. And I’ve always felt (“THAT” “IN”) I was in some way — (“THAT”) she described a life in Russia. She described a life in Wales. She described many different lives and then this life at the time — and death of Jesus Christ, she described. And Mark had been saying earlier in the discussion before we turned the tape recorder on that he’s not so sure that God is a God — is a thing but more an Energy, I think—if that’s what he was saying—working within our present existence — an Energy that put us on this planet, anyway, and (that) eventually we’ll go back to. And I think we are aspiring to be the perfect Zen circle. I know perfection’s a very difficult thing and a very limiting thing because when you try to think of perfection — (“IN NINE”) you try to make yourself perfect and then beat yourself up for not being perfect. That is working against yourself. And I think, from what I understand — from the book I’ve just finished reading, Mutant Message Down Under, that you have to be nice to yourself, you have to like yourself. You can’t beat yourself all the time, which I certainly have done. I don’t know if Mark has done it. It’s very interesting. And then — (“YES”) Yeah.
Q: We all have done that.
D: All have done that — beat yourself on — you think, “Okay, I’ll just whip myself one step more, one step more. I think it’s also fascinating that Mark has a twin brother, Michael, and I have a twin sister, Charlotte. And I know a lot of research is being done (“PSYCHO”) psychically and technically. And through technology and medical technology (“IDENTICAL”) and psychology —
Q: You’re identical, of course.
D: No, we’re not. We’re not. No. But we might as well be. (“OKAY” “BUT WE”) We look exactly alike and sound exactly alike but, in fact, we come from a divided egg — (“OKAY”) not a single egg so we are not technically identical twins. But I find that very interesting and it lends credence to the theory that we’ve chosen our own paths from the other side, which is why a twin — (“IS”) got to face different hurtles than we (“YES”) are facing.
D: And they’re put there because they were (“OF VA”) have always been a very important person in our life — in other lives, previous lives. And so they come back as a twin in this life but with their own road to follow and (“YES”) that’s another whole story. (“THIS”) We could (“RIGHT”) spend hours and hours — (“TALKING ABOUT”)
Q: This is what I like doing. It’s so hard for me to say anything because I always think of (“LIKE”) how do I be politically correct? I mean I want to encourage people to be totally honest the way God has encouraged me to be totally honest about their sexuality. I don’t know really what to say about drugs. I mean we all know drugs are bad. (“BUT”) A little bit isn’t bad (“I MEAN IT”) if it’s medicinal.
D: Right. (“YOU KNOW”)
Q: Again, I mean I would encourage people to be open about their sexuality.
Q: In our business, we all hear stories (“OF” “ABOUT”) just about everyone we’ve worked with really being gay or whatever so I don’t want to ‘out’ anybody —
Q: — even though I am getting some great stories from people. (“YOU KNOW I MEAN I HAD”) Before I realized that I was going to give verbatim transcripts, I talked about a few people like Sharon Stone — which I wouldn’t have talked about if I had known. (“BUT IT’S LIKE”) Every time I try to cover something up with my tapes, my tape gets destroyed. So it’s like the Entity wants me to be totally honest (“PROBLEM”) and that’s something I still have a problem with — but at least I’m honest about that. So —
D: Yes. (“WE TOOK”) The first step along the road.
Q: In fact, for example, people that we’ve worked with together (“I”) I keep hearing rumors about. I won’t name them. (“YOU KNOW” “UM-HUH”) But you can — (“NA”) some of them you know.
Q: It’s just interesting to me. One of the interesting, fascinating things that you said which I think will end up in a movie version or my book version — and I don’t even know — you probably won’t even remember this. It was just a little thing but at the time I was working on a book about The Bell Witch — or around that time — maybe before — No, I think it was around the time. (“AND IT WAS”) A funny little thing you mentioned about Cheryl — because when I interviewed Cheryl she told me she was a witch. And I said, “No, Cheryl, you’re not a witch. You’re psychic.” And she said, “No, I’m a witch.” And one time I think you had a little fight with her, which is normal in those — (“YOU KNOW” “IN THAT”) environment. And you were washing your coffee cup (“AND SHE S[AID]”) and you said, “She’s a wicked witch and I hate her” or something just because you were upset. And I was thinking — and I was reading about The Bell Witch at the time. And now, of course — (“HELLO”)
D: Hello. Okay, Gladys. Thank you, darling. I’ll see you tomorrow.
G: . . . Bye-bye.
Q: Bye. But, anyway, at the time — (“AND NOW”) symbolically, for our time, for whatever reasons, Cheryl is a witch. I haven’t quite figured this part of it out.
D: When you said —
Q: A good witch, maybe.
D: A good witch.
Q: I guess.
D: Well, there’s only two possibilities, I suppose. You can be a black witch or a white witch so if she’s one of the two — I don’t think she’s a black witch because (“SHE”) I don’t think she goes around causing people harm.
Q: Exactly. No, she was (“T”) telling me about her own religion, Boonesadong, which is sort of like karma — (“WHERE”) everything that you put out comes back to you.
D: Right. (“SO ANYWAY”) Boomerang karma. (“IT’S”)
Q: I can’t — (“FIGURE THIS” “I MEAN”) it’s very, very difficult. These things. But that was sort of — sometimes I think (“LIKE”) God as an Entity channels through each of us individually and so maybe that time that’s what you were feeling as well but it was also sort of a wake-up call for me in terms of foreshadowing what was to happen later on. It’s very hard to explain.
D: Well, I’m getting the (“THE SOME” “YOU’RE GETTING”) glimmers of what —
Q: Glimmers of it. (“AND SO I HAVE A”) I do have a 1,500-page first part of my book and twenty more tapes I haven’t transcribed yet. I dropped it off on Sherry Lansing’s desk in a sort of sneaky fashion. And she gave it to one of her V.P.s to read — my book, my Testament, which is sort of like the new Testament for mankind. Basically, (“IT’S”) the Entity in Oklahoma was named Michael so he’s sort of like the archangel Mighael.
D: How funny. Because I was told that he is my guardian — the archangel Michael.
Q: Well, I’m sure He is. (“HOW PERFECT”) Because that’s why we were brought together.
D: Well, that’s strange. (“FILM”)
Q: And so, unfortunately, there were a lot of illnesses in that (“UM-HUH”) department.
Q: With Mardi —
Q: And (“YOU KNOW”) I don’t know (“QUITE HOW TO FI[T]”) how it all fits in. It’s just that through all my life (“THERE’S” “TH”) I’ve been around a lot of this. It’s almost like God’s trying to prove His existence through me by working various miracles. I wish He would cure people like you. (phone rings) I mean I wish He would. (“BUT IT’S”)
D: We’ll let — (“NOW”) I’ll let the machine get it.
Q: Yeah. (“YEAH” “WHAT I”) What I would recommend to you, though, is — at night just sort of — when you go to bed just say — (“JUST”) pray to God, “Please make me well, God.” Actually, what I tell people to do is — He’s still apparently upset about Adam and Eve even though that sounds silly to us. (“WHY”)
D: Why is He upset about —
Q: He just can’t get over it.
D: Well — (“YOU KN[OW]” “THAT THEY” “I’VE LEARNED”)
Q: You’ll have to read my book. (“PETE” “O” “YEAH” “PARSON” “REICH”) He’s also upset by the fact that the Jesus myth — this is my impression — (“THAT”) people all felt sorry for Jesus and didn’t feel sorry for God when, in fact, Jesus was more fiction than truth — so people should feel sorry for God.
D: Why does He need people to feel sorry? (“THAT” “LOOK LIKE”)
Q: Because He’s just like us. He has emotions just like we do.
D: Yes, I suppose so but I (“THAT”) find that remark very curious and hard to understand. That God is looking for pity from the world.
Q: Not pity. I don’t know what it is. (“WELL IT DEPEN”) Honesty — (“LO” “EV KEY”) everything we have and experience — from this chair you’re sitting on — to this Beatrix Potter cookie tin — I have one just like it at home from Trader Joe’s — to all your beautiful artworks in the house, this beautiful antique chair. I have some beautiful antiques which he has brought me. I mean everything we have is a gift of love and we just take it for granted. (“THEY’RE ALL”) It’s directly from — everything we have and eat and say and do is a direct manifestation of His love. So can you understand in that respect why when we read the Jesus metaphor and feel sorry for Jesus, He might be a little offended? (“IN”) In that respect.
D: Right. Okay.
Q: Okay? (“IT’S A”) It went over my head too. But He’s a very emotional Being. I think He’s plutonic. I think He masturbates as we all must at some point in our lives. (“I”) I mean He’s sort of selected me to be one of His public relations people. (“YOU KNOW”) Because I was in therapy with my hypnotherapist and he said, ‘Well, you’ve had an experience with God. And people (“WHO HA”) who have had more of an experience with God than you —’ And the Entity said, “NO.” So, in other words, I’ve gotten to know God on a closer level than anyone else has, which is — I mean it’s hard to — (“I MEAN”) from moment to moment it’s really hard for me to understand the predicament I’m in. (“IT’S”) It’s like I — once in a while I just forget this is all happening. I can’t even fathom it. I mean I know it’s true and I know it’s my assignment to do this — (“WELL YOU KNOW”) the Paramount mountain is a symbol, obviously, that is very important to Him. And—remember?—we even worked on the movie “The Ten Commandments.” (“RIGHT”) I mean the re-issue.
Q: And all these other films like “Dead Again.” Anyway, they all relate to me in some way or the other. “The Butcher’s Wife.” (“WA”) Was Maria the psychic you spoke to? I’m just curious.
D: No. (“IT”)
Q: No. Okay.
D: Nobody that you know at all and I’ve even forgotten her name. It’s on the tape that I have there.
Q: Of course, before going to Oklahoma, (“I DIDN’T”) — I mean I sort of believed in everything but I really didn’t much believe (“IN MO”) — I thought most of it was bunk. Now I’m beginning to believe that most of it is true but there are a few opportunists involved. (“SO MY”) My viewpoint of the ‘New Age’ has totally changed.
D: Turn that off a moment because (“OKAY”) I’m going to make a cup of tea.
D: Would you like a cup of tea?
Q: I would love it.
D: Would you like regular —
Q: I’ll come out and visit with you.
D: Come visit.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: UPON CONTINUING THE INTERVIEW, I ASKED DIANA TO DISCUSS SOME OF THE THINGS WE SPOKE ABOUT WHILE HAVING TEA.)
Q: So I was just telling Diana about one of the themes of my second book being that people should give back in life as much as they take and (“SHE’S” “SAID THAT”) she found another word for that.
D: Well, I think it’s Mormons or if it’s not Mormons it’s some religion (“THAT”) believes in tithing — giving a tenth of what you make back to the church. But I definitely believe that you can have unlimited worldly goods as long as you put out — as long as you spend money or whatever —
Q: Give back.
D: Give back in some way. (“LIKE YOU WERE”) It does not necessarily (“YEAH”) to do with money.
Q: You volunteered reading at a library. (“RIGH[T]”)
D: Right. That actually didn’t work out well but I did try it. But I think the thing that Mark’s doing is giving back and so he’s going to get an abundance because he’s giving an abundance. (“AND”)
Q: And I don’t need an abundance because the love I have is so much that I don’t need anything else.
D: I know you don’t but there is a good feeling to know that if you need something it will be there for you —
D: — which it will and that you will never go in want. And I think that’s been the case. In my case, I’ve lived a charmed life. Having multiple sclerosis is really a bummer, as they say, but if not me who? I mean why not you? If you ask the question, “Why me?” Somebody’s got to have it. I might be a guinea pig for something. (“RIGH[T]”) I might be the way that they find a cure for the disease. In fact, they’re very close to finding a cure for this disease. I get frightened and depressed and angry sometimes. (“BUT”) Other times, I don’t. I find peace. I find comfort. I find happiness and laughter and all kinds of good stuff.
Q: Does your sister ever think (“WHY”) why Diana and not me? (“WELL”)
D: Well, I think she does and I think any twin person — Michael would probably feel the same about you if you had some disease.
D: I know Charlotte feels tremendously guilty for the fact that she’s fine and healthy and I’m not. But that’s just what was meant to be. I mean that’s what I have chosen. I chose it. (“NO”) So I call in for Chet —
Q: People aren’t going to believe you and I totally believe you.
Q: But people reading my book are going to think, “That’s impossible. (“I KNOW”) Who would choose this?” (“I KNOW”)
D: I know. I know. I think it’s part of a whole — you have to understand the whole (“I”) ethic — (“OR”) ethos, I should say, of what you’re talking about bound up with reincarnation and living in the other world. And choosing your fate from the other world. (“I MEAN”) It sounds like the ravings of a maniac to anybody unless it doesn’t and then it doesn’t. And the fact is that what I believe in—and I suspect what Mark is doing and believing in—is not a proselytizing thing. I mean — well, maybe it I — in your case because you are trying to give a message (“AN”) and you know. I mean basically I’m not really trying to give a message so much as learn something and from that learning be able to give back something. (“AAA”) As Mark mentioned earlier, I was a volunteer teacher. That’s one of the things that I really love doing. (“AND O[NE]”) For one semester, just for one morning a week I was a volunteer teacher in a local elementary school. I loved working with the children and reading. And I loved it so much that I in typical me fashion — a little bit too much is just right for me — said, “Okay, I’m going to do this two mornings a week.” And that’s when I couldn’t do it. (“I JUST”) My strength wasn’t there. And so, of course, now I’m not doing anything and I’m looking around for something to do. But quite frankly when my husband or even my sister or friends say, “Get a life” in the gentle form of the word — I mean I have a life. I’m very happy with my life as it is now. Yes, I’d like (“TO”) it to change and it will change (“IN” “NO I’LL”) as the treatment of the disease — as they find out more and more and more. (“I’M”) I think my life will inevitably change. (“BUT”) I think all you have to do is just open your arms and just be open to what happens to you. That’s all. I don’t think we should get —
Q: What about talking about like the thing that you — (“LIKE” “YOUR”) “personal Waterloo” at Paramount. We all have ‘Waterloo’s in life. Like in the Abba song — (singing) “Waterloo.” My favorite Abba song.
D: Oh, you and Abba. You and “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” which is one of my favorite films —
Q: Were there Abba songs in that movie?
D: Yes. All the time they keep impersonating Abba and doing Abba songs.
Q: Oh, that’s right.
D: I love that film. Anyway, my Waterloo, that I referred about to Mark minutes ago, happened in the form of a person called Deborah Rosen, who was handling corporate publicity for Paramount. And, then, when I got really sick I went to half-time work and she got brought over to run the feature publicity department. And she (“TER”) terrified and terrorized everybody. And she was my Waterloo insofar as I loathed her (“NO” “AND”) and — (“YOU KNOW”)
Q: You knew what was coming. You kept saying —
D: I knew.
Q: — “She wants my job.”
D: What she wanted was my job. And I knew she did. And the way that I knew she wanted my job. I was standing with Frank Marshall as it happened — giving a presentation on “Indy III” to the press in Los Angeles and to do it — no, sorry, it wasn’t “Indy III.” It was “The Godfather” — that’s right. It was “The Godfather, Part III.” (“NO”) And I happened to look up and I saw Deborah Rosen standing at the back of the theatre listening and I said, “I’m Diana Widom. I’m in charge of publicity at Paramount.” And I knew at that time — she left the room then. So I knew that she really was after my job and did want my job. (“SHE”) As far as she was concerned, she was in charge of publicity at Paramount. I mean (“THERE WAS”) I was talking solely about the feature film division. But she was talking about the (corporate) entity. And Andrea Jaffe, another person that Mark knows as well, was my personal —
Q: For Michael — (“SHE WAS” “MY”) my brother’s Waterloo.
D: Well, (“A”) if you can call it a Waterloo. Or maybe he was hers. (“WELL SHE WAS WORK”)
Q: He was working with her and, basically, they didn’t get along so he ended up leaving Twentieth Century Fox because of her.
D: Right. Yes. I’m familiar with that story. So she was another Waterloo. I loathed and despised her. And we had terrible fights about somebody Mark referred to earlier — Roland Joffé, that she got as a client and it was on the film called “Fat Man And Little Boy.” And I was totally at odds with her.
Q: By the way, remember how I busted my ass doing that press kit at the last moment for him?
D: Yes. (“WHEN I WENT”)
Q: When I called him about reading one of my scripts, I never got a reply.
D: Oh, that’s awful.
Q: He wanted to do a film about females so he does this shitty “The Scarlet Letter” when I had this beautiful Julia Pastrana story for him. (“BUT”) He didn’t take the time to respond.
D: Well, unfortunately, what Mark’s referring to is very prevalent in the world of production in Hollywood, etc. (“I MEAN”) There are real menschen and then there are people who just aren’t. There aren’t very many real menschen. In fact, one could probably count them on the fingers of one hand. I would put in there — (“NO”) and you have to take this with a pinch of salt because they’re menschen but they’re still working in the film business. I think Sid Ganis is a mensch insofar —
Q: What does ‘mensch’ mean?
D: Mensch means a real person. And another person will be Ron Howard, for example, that I have worked with (“UM-HUH”) that I think is spectacular.
D: Gale Anne Hurd I like a lot—who was married to James Cameron—produced “Aliens” and other films. She now has gone on to produce her own material. But, really, they can be counted up on the fingers of one hand.
Q: And then there are the ‘yentas.’
D: Oh, well, there are plenty of those. (“YEAH”) And then there are the really evil people like a producer called Art Linson. He is a horrible, evil man. Dan Melnick — another horrible, evil man.
D: Yeah. (“AND THAT’S”)
Q: You don’t usually — (“USING” “EITHER”) you use understatement usually.
D: Bill Murray.
Q: So for you to say these things —
D: (groans) Bill Murray — (“I FIT”) I always accuse him —
Q: Do you remember that story once — I don’t know if it’s true or not but someone said that he gave Cheryl the finger.
D: Oh, I think so.
Q: Do you remember that story?
D: Yes. For a long time —
Q: What a nasty thing to do to someone —
D: Oh, but —
Q: — who’s working for him.
D: I think he’s really stressed out on either drugs or drink or both or some all mixed up or whatever. But I really loathed him and I always accuse him unfairly because obviously I’ve had – – (“ON” “I SAID”) and nasty yes — (“BUT I WAS”)
Q: My book is also a tell-all book about Hollywood. So I love this. You know that.
D: Well —
Q: And I’m not the one who’s doing it, for a change.
D: Well, when you say it, don’t identify me.
D: Oh. He’s looking sad now.
Q: Well, the spirit voices. (“I”) It’s like — see, that’s the one thing that I’ve done in all my interviews so far is that I just don’t hold anything back.
D: Right. (“I MEAN”) I’ve talked about Sharon Stone. I’ve talked about Bette Midler. I mean — even though I try. I don’t know. It’s hard. Well, then, in that case —
Q: I like naming names.
D: In that case, let me rephrase what I just said in a form that Mark will be able to reproduce. The actor Bill Murray and I, as the head of publicity for feature films at Paramount — we came to have a very tortured relationship over the film “Scrooged.” And I —
Q: A comedy.
D: A comedy. Right. And, of course, Bill Murray was the star and it was (“PRO”) produced by Art Linson, two of my bêtes noires —
Q: (small laugh)
D: — and at one point I remember Bill Murray saying to me, “You’re sick. You’re sick. Better go and put yourself into the hospital.” And I remember laughing at him and saying on the phone, “Oh, that sounds like a really wonderful idea, Bill. Which hospital? I think I will do that. Sounds great. Peace and quiet.” Which wasn’t the answer. And then he went raging on and on and on. But I think he’s probably a very disturbed person or maybe it’s an altered state of consciousness that actors have. But, anyway, (he’s) somebody I find it very difficult to work with because in working you can have a lot of fun and you can tell the truth and that’s what I did. I had a lot of fun and I tell the truth and that doesn’t always sit well with the more Machiavellian mind. (“I”)
Q: Joel Schumacher I thought was very nice. I remember when I interviewed him (“WELL HE IS”) for “Cousins.”
D: Well, he is very nice but he’s one of those people (“WE CHOSE”) who’s “Darling, darling —” while you’re working with him. And the minute that you cease to have importance to him or work with him, he forgets you. (“PUN”) Joel is —
Q: Everyone’s that way to some extent.
D: To some extent. And Joel will be another person I think who’s really very sweet and very loving. I liked him but that’s something that is up to me to come to terms with. I always think that when I work with people like Chris Plummer — I’m naming names now — Chris Plummer and Joel Schumacher and you seem like you’re forming a very special relationship to them. But it’s only special within the context of their film. (“SO”)
Q: I found that out. Like when I wanted Sherry to read my script after doing all of her films’ press kits, (“SHE DIDN’T RETURN M[Y]”) she didn’t respond to my letter or my phone call. So I just dropped my book manuscript off on her desk and got called in to the head of security’s office.
D: That is unfortunately the way that it works. I mean “I love you today, baby” is part of the ethic of Hollywood life. And you are hopelessly naive and stupid, which I was if I think it could ever be any different. But the thing about Bill Murray and Cheryl — Cheryl had and now has many more, I’m sure, special people that she’s especially good with. One of them was Harrison Ford. One of them was Bill Murray. She accompanied Bill Murray on a European press tour and he was — (CUEs begin)
Q: That means the tape side is coming to the end. You can keep going.
D: He was very nice to her for most of the time until he suddenly turned on her, which was inevitable, really. And I feel sorry for Cheryl because she was sucked into the myth (“THAT”) they really realize who she was. (“CONGRATU”)
Q: A few times (“SHE WAS HURT”) she did that.
D: Yeah. (“THING” “YEAH”) But, you know, that’s Hollywood for you. It’s funny — I was watching the Golden Globes on Sunday evening just to keep my hand in. And, you know, it’s just so monumentally sugar puff — the whole thing. I mean people come up and they say things and they always say the same things. (“AND”) I mean you’ve seen it 7,000 times — somebody receiving an award. (“YOU KNOW”)
Q: Did you see the 666 on the art design? (“UMA”)
D: No, I didn’t.
Q: The Golden Globes sign looked like 666.
D: Damien! “The Omen”! No, I didn’t. (“BUT”) It might as well be. But I mean they’re really silly but then it’s a silly business. But it’s an extremely profitable silly business.
Q: And they have to give back—in equal proportions to what they take—to the world. That’s the theme of my new book.
D: But which they don’t. Now I highly doubt that anybody —
Q: They better.
D: Well, I highly doubt — (“THING”)
Q: Just to be safe. Just to be on the safe side.
D: Well, look what happened to Don Simpson. I mean for example.
D: I mean somebody who never gave anything back, I think.
Q: Look what happened to Don Simpson.
D: Look what happened.