It's tough living in the public eye. Ever since TV's Moonlighting and the blockblaster Die Hard,Bruce Willis has hyped his image as a blue-collar guy who made it big, whether spicing up Republican rallies or tooting the harmonica at Planet Hollywood. Fact is, he's one of Hollywood's savviest actors, with a strong will and even stronger opinions. In this month's Interview with David Sheff, he has an uncensored conversation about poverty and crime, the hidden pressures on his marriage with Demi Moore and his own on-screen violence and nudity. So what's Love got to do with it? Well, when the spotlight swings onto Courtney Love, she takes a swing at it--or flashes her tit. Neal Karlen knew her before all that, and his profile Love Hurts presents snapshots of the merrily raunchy widow before, with and after Kurt Cobain. (Get ready to duck, Neal.) Then take Michael Jackson. First there was the skin thing and the rhino-plasty and sleepovers with kids. Then he got hitched to Lisa Marie Presley and HIStory tanked. Luckily, his PR guys weren't asleep at the switch. In his article--uh satirical article--humorist Joe Queenan got a peek at their top-secret Memo to Michael Jackson. For her portrait of the oddest as a young man, Janet Woolley looked for Jacko's soul--and found Elvis.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), February 1996, Volume 43, Number 2. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues, Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 U.S. currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy Subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York 10019 (212-261-5000); Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000); West Coast: SD media, 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310-264-7575); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc. 4651 Roswell road Ne, Atlanta, GA 30342 (404-256-3800); Boston: Northeast media sales, 8 faneuil hall marketplace, Boston 02109 (617-973-5050). For subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
The seething sexuality that England's proper Victorians kept hidden gives Angels & Insects (Samuel Goldwyn) plenty of emotional sting. Director Philip Haas, co-adapter with his wife, Belinda, of a novella by A.S. Byatt, presents a tantalizing family drama about love, lies and lurid secrets. Patsy Kensit stars as Eugenia, a well-bred beauty who sets her sights on a penniless explorer named William (Mark Rylance) as he works with her father on his collection of rare bugs. Even after William marries the fair, socially superior Eugenia and they begin raising a brood of children in the family mansion, he never ceases to be amazed at having won her. The goings-on in an ant colony bear symbolic relevance as we watch base, instinctive human behavior erode the foundations of a rigidly ordered society. Angels & Insects makes its points without overstating them as a hypnotic, hot-blooded period piece aptly described by one of the performers as "Merchant-Ivory meets Tennessee Williams." [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
On a break from editing his third feature, Beautiful Girls, moviemaker Ted Demme looks back with mixed emotions at The Ref, his droll comedy about a dysfunctional family held hostage during the holidays. "A Christmas movie that opened in the spring," says Demme, adding gratefully, "I think Playboy was the only publication that had The Ref on that year's ten best list."
Peter Falk recalls few videos by title, but he's great at giving clues: "What's that picture set in a Berlin hotel with Garbo and that guy from Tugboat Annie?" he rasps at a Columbo-like cadence. Grand Hotel? "Yeah--that's the one. Just terrific." Falk still savors the screen thrills of his youth: "Ingrid Bergman's back was a real turn-on for me as a teenager," he confesses (For Whom the Bell Tolls, maybe?), "and I love that one with Cagney dancing" (Yankee Doodle Dandy?). But the forgetful TV cop names John Cassavetes as all-time best director (for Love Streams), with Peter Yates as a runner-up. "What's his picture--the one about the kid with the bicycle, thinks he's Italian?" Breaking Away? "Yeah, that's the one." Case closed.
Talk about living up to a title. Every Woman Has a Fantasy 3 (VCA), the latest in director Edwin Durell's saga of a horny housewife on a quest for satisfaction, boasts head-spinning sex and an endless lineup of knockouts. But the jaw-dropping turn by newcomer Juli Ashton gives the flick its fire. How does she do all that nasty stuff and still look so sweet? Guess we'll have to watch again.
Tycoons, POWs, married couples and the man of steel all show up on this month's tube-to-tape list. Classic TV now available for rewind: Dallas, Hogan's Heroes and The Adventures of Superman (Columbia House, 800-638-2922); The Honeymooners Lost Episodes (12-volume set, MPI); and The Lucy & Desi Comedy Hour (four tapes, CBS).... Speaking of Cubans, Cigars: From Seeds to Smoke (Time-Life) is a 43-minute history of the stogie, from tips for the novice puffer (e.g., the thicker the roll, the cooler the pull) to a crop of factoids (forget the Caribbean--wrapper leaves are often from Connecticut). Call 800-Timevid.... For gloom with a view, Home Vision has added four titles to its impressive Bergman collection. The quartet--three doleful, one up-tempo--includes: The Rite (1969, three actors are tried for obscenity), The Virgin Spring (1959, Max von Sydow avenges his daughter's death), Summer Interlude (1950, an aging ballerina looks back) and The Magic Flute (1973, Ingmar meets Amadeus).
The fashionably funny Britcom Absolutely Fabulous--all about England's flakiest duo--made its way to the States via cable's Comedy Central. Now the cult hit is on a 12-episode, three-disc set ($100 from CBS/Fox). But be warned: The accents get pretty thick.... MCA/Universal's homage to old horror continues with the boxed set The Golden Age of Science Fiction Thrillers II ($100). Plumbing the high-anxiety, low-tech, crank-'em-out age of science fiction, the fearsome foursome includes Land Unknown (1957), Monolith Monsters (1957), Monster on the Campus (1958) and Leech Woman (1960)--all of them cheesy, but nicely aged cheese, thank you.
Mother of God Department: A New York jewelry firm is suing Madonna to prevent her from marketing jewelry under her first name. The company has been using the name Madonna since before the star was born. Its lawyers further claim Madonna doesn't have the right to use her name as a trademark "particularly because it has attained stature as the name of the mother of Christ." Mama mia.
At the beginning of The Web (Bantam) the pace is so leisurely that a reader could begin to wonder if Jonathan Kellerman has lost it. Not likely. His story about Dr. Alex Delaware's visit to a Micronesian island is drawn with such skilled ease that it seems churlish to mention that there's no real crime to grapple with until halfway through the book--just lots of ominous hints. But when Kellerman does spring the trap, the reader is ensnared in a web of intersecting story lines that have snuck up around him.
Some of you remember Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday on the TV show Dragnet. "Just the facts, ma'am," Webb would often say, looking like a bloodhound on tranquilizers as he interviewed a witness or suspect.
I went shopping today. It was heaven. Such a relief, going into a giant department store, combing through tights, feeling the different textures of scarves between my fingertips, trying on jackets and dresses slowly and deliberately, doing my world-famous Marilyn-Monroeon-acid poses in front of the mirror.
If I had a dime for every time I've been told "You're the nicest guy I've ever met" or "You'll make some woman very happy someday," I'd be able to retire the national debt. Once you're labeled a nice guy, it's like you have a disease. Why do women prefer jerks who treat them badly? Even worse, who do you think they complain to about Jerk Man? You guessed it. Help!--L.M., New Orleans, Louisiana.
Privacy has always been a vital issue in American social and political life, and the widespread use of computers has made it even more so. We asked André Bacard (email@example.com), author of The Computer Privacy Handbook, to discuss the state of privacy in the digital age. The exchange took place via electronic mail, so millions of you may have already read this.
Hidden away within the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University is a mysterious locked box. The purpose of this box is to preserve informal complaints of sexual harassment until they are needed to ruin a career.
Some fathers refuse to pay child support. We can seize their property, confiscate bank accounts, intercept tax returns, destroy credit ratings. We can attach their wages, suspend licenses and publicize names and addresses. We can print mock "wanted" posters that make them look as dangerous as gangsters. And they still won't pay.
Wynton Marsalis was there. So were Quincy Jones, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Johnnie Cochran. My friend Anna Perez had invited me to a charity reception at Creative Artists Agency's headquarters in Los Angeles. Perez, who used to be Barbara Bush's press secretary, the first black press secretary in the White House, now does public relations for Mike Ovitz and for other heavies in the entertainment industry.
Bruce Willis surveys the crowd at the debut of yet another Planet Hollywood, this one in San Diego. At this opening, beefy security guards whisper into walkie-talkies while celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Roseanne, Whoopi Goldberg, Luke Perry and Gérard Depardieu sip champagne or mineral water.
The following is a copy of a confidential memorandum recently sent to the embattled pop star Michael Jackson by his longtime public relations firm, Images 'n' Things. The letter was written by company president Slade Gruber. A copy of the memo was forwarded to this magazine by a disgruntled glove manufacturer.
Asateen, Raye Hollitt did more than kick the can with the boys in her neighborhood. "In fact," she boasts, "I kicked their little butts." Even then the Pennsylvania tomboy was acting a lot like her future alter ego, Zap, the female head hunk on American Gladiators. The popular weekly coliseum games (a cult hit in 50 countries) combine the sexy sweatiness of roller derby with the hype of pro wrestling and the futuristic look of Mad Max. Zap, who was arguably the show's most alluring perspirer, outlasted the rest of the original stars--but now she's hung up her jousting stick after six seasons. "I'm lucky to have survived," admits Raye, who despite countless close calls has emerged blissfully unscathed. Indeed, her fast track to stardom has been a wild ride. After graduating from high school with honors in accounting, she supported herself as a paralegal ("I'm so incredibly anal I love that kind of job") while entering bodybuilding competitions. Then Raye went for the gold: She headed west to tackle the iron-pumping scene in Los Angeles, matching flexes with the best. "My plane landed, and I asked the taxi driver to take me to the mecca of bodybuilding." That meant Gold's Gym in Venice Beach.
Early that morning, as she did whenever she was leaving on a trip, Señora d'Harcourt woke while it was still dark, just seconds before the alarm went off. And with the same tingle of excitement she felt each time she traveled to the countryside, either for work or for pleasure (they were indistinguishable as far as she was concerned), even though she had been doing it for nearly 30 years now. She dressed quickly, tiptoed out of the room so as not to wake her husband and went down to the kitchen to make coffee. She had left her packed bag by the front door the night before. As she was rinsing her cup, Marcelo appeared in the kitchen doorway, wearing his bathrobe and yawning, his feet bare, his hair tousled.
Energy surges in today's club scene, whether you're hanging out at the Good Luck Bar in Los Angeles or rocking in your patent leathers on the dance floor of Coney Island High in Manhattan (where we photographed this feature). Clothes that are tight and skinny, such as painted-on pants and body-hugging shirts, are after-dark winners. What makes these cyberfashions work are their shiny, synthetic fabrics that stretch for a perfect fit. Colors are important, too, and flashy, fluorescent brights are a great way to get noticed on the dance floor. Pants are cut to be worn low on the hip, but high in the crotch, with wide belts. We like black--and for an over-the-top look, black worn with a white belt and pair of white slip-ons. Leather jeans in unexpected colors, such as red, also look slick, as do tight-fitting, jeans-style pants with stripes down the legs and color-trimmed pockets. Also check out satin-look racing jackets and jogging-style bottoms. Pair these with a solid-color zip-front shirt, or with a basic black or vivid T-shirt.
I don't know about you, but before I would let someone set my testicles on fire, I'd be damn sure I didn't want to have any more kids. And when you get a vasectomy, guys, that's what they do: set your balls on fire. I've seen the white smoke spiraling from my groin and sniffed the bittersweet aroma of my burning genitalia. It's not so alarming as the smell of napalm in the morning, but it is close.
In 1994 Cameron Diaz told Playboy that despite her breakout stardom as Jim Carrey's leading lady in The Mask, fame can be fleeting. Wrong. The Long Beach, California native has three new movies, among them She's the One from Brothers McMullen director Ed Burns. Not bad for a girl who was modeling at 16 and a star at 22--and who still dreams of becoming a zoologist. Perhaps that's the explanation for the birdcage. Or maybe it's just because she's so captivating.
Mike and I escape over the mountains at midnight. In a blizzard, fittingly. Flakes as fat as miniature parachutes swoop into the windshield, tires hiss. Headlights scout through the trees as a radio preacher tonguelashes us.
We're in downtown Chicago, making our way to Nick's Fishmarket, and Kona Carmack is living up to her name. It's short for Konaluhiole, which in Hawaiian means "never weary." She has just finished a ten-hour photo shoot, and she's famished.
Laurie Swint Ghidaoui was living with her husband, Foued, and their daughter, Leila, in Foued's parents' home near the Mediterranean in Tunisia in 1987. Sometimes, Foued went out and would come home with lipstick on his shirts. And he was beating Laurie. Finally, Foued told Laurie he was going to send Leila to Libya for a clitorectomy and see that she was raised as a Muslim. Laurie was so distraught over this she sought out a Tunisian lawyer for a divorce. But in Tunisia, non-Islamic mothers with Tunisian husbands have no rights over their children.
Fast cars don't cost a fortune. A new Camaro or a Mustang Cobra, for example, will hit 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. You can buy either one, loaded, for about $25,000. For $10,000 to $15,000 more, you can get the superb handling of a twin-turbocharged Mazda RX-7 or the muscle of a 330-horsepower Corvette Grand Sport. And if you can afford great luxury, there's the six-figure Mercedes-Benz SL500 or the BMW 850Csi coupe. Why would anyone want more? Two reasons: speed and status. Open up a Saleen Mustang on a Nevada highway and you'll experience a rush that's equaled only by the covetous looks the Saleen draws when you rumble back through town. A handful of aftermarket wizards are ready to take a stock performance car and make it quicker, slicker and exclusive. They know their customers will be willing to accept a firmer ride, more (text continued on page 145)Rapid Transit(continued from page 99) brake-pedal effort and lower fuel economy in exchange for blinding acceleration and a top speed that a decade ago could have won the Indianapolis 500. Their work, not surprisingly, doesn't come cheap. The Saleen Mustang begins at $43,000 and a Dinan 850i BMW or RENN Tech Mercedes-Benz SL500 conversion costs an average of $60,000. (That's $60,000 in addition to the original purchase price of the car.)
Summer 1995: Backstage at Lollapalooza's Los Angeles stop, Courtney Love looks almost as shell-shocked stepping out of her stretch limousine as Jackie Kennedy did leaving the hearse at Dallas' Love Field in 1963. Gone is the salacious slut look, replaced by a surprising, tattered Hollywood glamour. Lollapalooza, it turns out, is the last time we see Courtney in all her coiled, punk rock authenticity. Her carefully staged show--complete with Foghat-era smoke machines and blinding lights--is a hyperbolic send-off to the grunge guttersnipe she had played for years. By the end of the tour, she has morphed from a Punch and Judy sideshow attraction to a full-blown star.
I'd had my heart broken and was looking for help. I called a fellow I knew and asked if I could come by. He said yes, and we talked all night, and drank two-and-a-half fifths of Bell's scotch while doing it.
Leslie Nielsen has done OK for an actor whose sole professional ambition is "to maintain whatever celebrity status I have so they'll continue to invite me to golf tournaments." Now a veteran of more than 60 motion pictures, he started out in the Fifties playing manly men in sturdy adventure flicks such as Forbidden Planet (in which he got the girl and the robot) and The Sheepman (in which he didn't get the sheep). Then his career took a 180-degree turn when zany directors Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker and David Zucker cast him as the loopy doctor in Airplane! "They recognized that I was a closet comedian," Nielsen says gratefully. In 1988, he starred as the bumbling Lieutenant Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun, and the rest is...naked. Naked Gun 2-1/2 and Naked Gun 33-1/3 followed. This holiday season he appears in the bloodsucking comedy Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Still, he remains true to Frank Drebin, envisioning a way to extend the Naked Gun series almost indefinitely--by remaking film classics with the able assistance of Playboy Lovelies. So sit back, enjoy our Naked film festival and watch the Nielsen ratings soar.
Because he insists the truth be told about the human rights abuses of the Chinese government, Harry Wu has become a problem for China and the U.S. Seventeen years ago Wu was released from the brutal "reform through labor" camps of the Chinese laogai system after serving nearly 20 years for counterrevolutionary activities. He fled to the U.S. in 1985 and became an American citizen. Since his release, Wu has secretly--and at great risk to himself--reentered China four times to document the human rights abuses of the regime. Carrying a small video camera, he visited the camps where he was once held. In chronicling the horrific lives of the prisoners, Wu documented the use of forced labor to make products that are exported by China to the West. Posing as an American businessman, he exposed the trade in human organs for transplant, and his tape aired on "60 Minutes."
These days, guys are wearing glasses to be seen as well as to see. Just as a sharp tie, vest or cuff links can jazz up an outfit, so can a cool pair of specs. Retro is the right look in eyewear for winter. Antiqued metal frames in matte gold, pewter and black are perfect complements to the new sophisticated menswear styles. Rimless glasses such as the Calvin Klein pair pictured below are a subtle alternative, but if you prefer to go bold, try a pair of horn-rimmed Buddy Holly--type glasses. When choosing frames, select a style that flatters the shape of your face. Anything goes if you're an oval but, as a rule, round faces look best in rectangular-shaped frames, squares in curvy styles and triangles in glasses that angle outward at the eyes to balance a wider jawline.