Demi's less than thrilled with her media image

December 10, 1992|By Orange County Register

A smiling, confident Demi Moore, dressed in a pantsuit that i not painted on, strides into a Los Angeles hotel suite trailed only by her 4-year-old daughter, a nanny and a publicist.

Hey, wait a minute. Where's the hairdresser? Where are the makeup person and fashion consultant? Where are the agent and personal manager? Where are the bodyguards? Where are the exotic pets and animal trainers? Where are the personal trainer and chef?

Where are the half-dozen assorted assistants and lackeys that go with any self-respecting movie star entourage?

"Sorry, this is it," the actress shrugs in a mock apology.

By now, Ms. Moore is used to the disappointment on journalists' faces when she walks into a room. So much has been written about her entourage, her contract demands and her pushiness on the set that people expect to be greeted by a Hollywood monster. Or as Ms. Moore prefers to call it -- The Bitch.

"I had one experience on a film ["The Butcher's Wife"] that unfortunately set the negative tone for this whole image," said the actress, who stars with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in the military courtroom drama "A Few Good Men," which opens tomorrow.

On the set of "The Butcher's Wife," which did not do well at the box office, Ms. Moore said she complained about the script and direction. But she says the film confirms what she was trying to say.

"Unfortunately, they were doing a Vanity Fair piece on me at the time and some things appeared in print that started this whole image," she said. "If I was out there complaining that my trailer wasn't big enough or that my lunch was late, then maybe people might have cause to say those things about me.

"All you need is for some of these things to appear in print a couple of times and people start to believe it. I think what really is happening is that the only way the media can allow me to be smart and ambitious is by making me a bitch.

"But I guess time is the best revenge," she added with a sigh of resignation. "That's how Bruce [husband Bruce Willis] and I have approached the stories on our marriage. They keep writing that our marriage is in trouble, and we get our revenge by having a long, happy marriage. We keep hanging in there."

Her husband has been quoted as saying he would kill to work for a prestige director such as Rob Reiner (whom Ms. Moore worked for in "A Few Good Men."). But she wasn't Mr. Reiner's first choice for the role of naval officer Joanne Galloway, and she admits she worked hard to get the role.

"If campaigning means you do whatever it takes to give yourself the best chance of getting something, then, yes, I campaigned for this role," she said. "In this case, it meant going in and reading for the part, which wasn't easy because I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and some of those scenes were very difficult.

"I thought I did well, but I didn't know if Rob liked me."

Mr. Reiner said he auditioned many actresses for the role. In fact, every actress in town wanted the part because many think that role and a couple of others in the film have Oscar written all over them.

"I needed somebody who had emotional strength and power," Mr. Reiner recalled. "Someone who projected intelligence and also had a built-in sexuality because there is no sex in the film. Without a romance, you at least need a sexual undercurrent between the characters.

"It's hard to find all that in one person, but Demi, by far, gave the best reading of anybody."

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