Three days that shook the world press. Last year Contributing Editor Lawrence Grobel spent half a week talking to charismatic governor Jesse Ventura. Tag teaming with Executive Editor Stephen Randall, he produced the most talked about Playboy Interview of 1999. Hypocritical columnists railed about Ventura's comments on religion; paper-thin anchors attacked his views on fat. To bring the interview in at weight, we had to leave a lot on the table. So belly up to Jesse II (complete with line drawing by David Levine) for more straight talk from the interview sessions. Read how Ventura scared De Niro and how a friend of his made Steven Seagal piss his pants.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), March 2000, Volume 47, Number 3, 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: Bentz & Maddock Inc., 5180 Roswell Road, Suite 102, South Building. Atlanta, Ga 30342 (404-256-3800), For subscription inquiries, call 800-999-4438.
Seldom has movie iconography been put to such excellent use as in Diamonds (Miramax). Kirk Douglas is not playing himself here: His Harry Agensky is a fictional character---but he bears the marks of both the real and the reel Douglas. Film clips and stills from Douglas' celebrated 1949 film Champion show Agensky in his heyday as a prizefighter, while the speech pattern and experiences of the real-life octogenarian reveal the effects of a severe stroke. Only someone as gutsy as Kirk Douglas would still be willing---let alone able---to act in the face of his condition; only a part this tailor-made could do him justice. In Diamonds he's a feisty grandfather who goes off on an adventure with his estranged son (Dan Aykroyd) and loving grandson (Corbin Allred) in search of jewels a shifty promoter hid for him many years ago. Along the way the three wind up at a brothel run by Lauren Bacall (Douglas' co-star in 1950's Young Man With a Horn), where one of the young women (Jenny McCarthy) takes a liking to Michael, the teenager. Allan Aaron Katz' script is unabashedly sentimental but not mawkish, and John Asher's direction keeps everything on an even keel. Diamonds is best enjoyed by fans who have a regard for its star and share a movie history with him. He is positively inspiring to watch. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Ask Rod Steiger how he chooses a role, and he has a ready---and provocative---answer: "An actor doesn't select a part, the part selects him. You go to a cocktail party, this beautiful woman is standing there in this wonderful dress and you think, I want to take her home. She draws you in."
It seems unjust that Natural Born Killers didn't win an Oscar for its unnerving editing. Judge for yourself on the new Natural Born Killers: The Director's Cut (Trimark, $30), which arrives not only with commentary from director Oliver Stone but nearly an hour of additional footage as well, including trimmed scenes and what Trimark bills as "an explosive alternate ending." As we recall it, the original ending wasn't exactly low-impact.
They call them spaghetti Westerns because they're produced by cowboy-loving Italians, are stocked with American stars and have plenty of marinara issuing from gunshot wounds. We take aim at a few favorites, with their titles in the original Italian.
"I love Dr. Stangelove," says Wendie Malick of NBC's Just Shoot Me. "It always surprises me, and I watch for the moments when the supporting characters burst into hysterics. You can see them start to break. If you watch carefully, you can see them lose it during Peter Sellers' takes, because he is so brilliant. I like the animated Disney version of Peter Pan, because I'm named after Wendy Darling, except for some reason they decided to spell my name with an 'ie.' And Ryan's Daughter. I love those epic Irish movies. I just love David Lean's other movies---Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Dr. Zhivago."
And boy, do we feel guilty for actually enjoying this politically incorrect shocker from 1974, out in April on DVD (Anchor Bay Entertainment): llsa, She-Wolf of the S.S. Merciless llsa, assayed with whip-cracking swagger by statuesque Dyanne Thorne, runs a Nazi "medical camp" where the daily routine includes torture and sex, and torturous sex. But wait---llsa is attempting to prove that women can take more pain than men, so it's a feminist statement, right? Now we feel a little better. Two sequels, llsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks and llsa: The Wicked Warden, are also available.
Several of today's presidential candidates have been paying me a nonnegotiable consulting fee of $60,000 a month to advise them on their status as men. Because I am recognized worldwide as the ultimate authority on manhood, each candidate has chosen me to assess his MQ (masculinity quotient) and determine how it can be beefed up for the American public.
I have read The Playboy Advisor for years and cannot think of anyone better to answer my question. I'm dating someone and we appear to be getting closer to having a sexual relationship. The problem is that I'm still a virgin at age 30. Because I grew up in a religious household, I was taught that premarital sex is taboo. Over the years, I've come to the opinion that it's acceptable but not to be taken lightly. Dating has never been difficult for me, but none of my previous interactions with women progressed to where my virginity became an issue. I am comfortable with who I am and with my decisions but fear she might think I'm strange. Should I tell her about my lack of experience?---M.G., Cleveland, Ohio
It's a multibillion dollar carnival of guts, skill and speed. People watch because it's terminally exciting---and real. This is no wild-card playoff or made-for-TV golf tournament. This is drivers risking death at 200 mph in machines built like fighter planes. Hollywood's most macho stars---the likes of Clark Gable, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman---have been drawn to the glamour and grit of racing. Of late, racing has exploded in popularity to rival Hollywood's. No other spectator sport draws such huge crowds. Nine of the ten largest sporting events in the U.S. with attendance greater than 100,000 are automobile races. Last fall, TV networks agreed to pay $400 million per year for the broadcasting rights to stock-car racing. Add CART and Formula One, and you're talking serious money. The money to race---an exotic machine can cost upwards of $1 million, and putting it on the track costs many times that---comes from sponsors. They pay willingly because no other sport affords them the opportunity to put a logo on athletes, let alone plaster them with decals. For their part, the drivers do nicely selling hardware, oil, lawn tractors and snack food. "Rubbing is racing!" Robert Duvall says to Tom Cruise in "Days of Thunder" as Cruise's car gets chewed up. And Tom was just acting. These guys drive for a living.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 34, 47--48, 94--95, 119 and 175, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
Annual Music Spectacular---It was a year of pop and circumstance, featuring Ricky, Jennifer, Britney, Bruce, Santana, Kid Rock, Korn, The Roots, Jay-Z, The Backstreet Boys and Macy Gray. Barbara Nellis Hails the chart-toppers and teenyboppers and decides who's got legs