Have we ever needed more reasons to fall in love with Warren Beatty? Probably not. Nonetheless, when the classic babe joined his friend Buck Henry in making 1978’s Heaven Can Wait, they spared no expense to deliver maximum man crush material. If you haven’t watched the movie, or if you just need a refresher, here are 10 reasons to tune into EPIX, where you can sweat Beatty as protagonist Joe Pendleton, from now through September 30th:
1. When he couldn’t cast Muhammad Ali or Cary Grant, Beatty — like a boss — rewrote the screenplay and gave himself the starring role, instead.
Departing from the plot of its source materials, Beatty changed Joe Pendleton from a boxer and amateaur pilot to a backup quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. Pretty baller, no?
2. Beatty did all of his own quarterbacking for the film.
Setting a potentially insurmountable standard for subsequent performances by the likes of Burt Reynolds, Adam Sandler, and James Van Der Beek, Beatty gave audiences a taste of what it looks like when a man gets things done on his own (not to mention, a man who’s good with his hands!).
3. He made three, vastly different characters look good.
In Heaven Can Wait, Beatty brings the heat as Joe Pendleton, Leo Farnsworth, and Tom Jarrett, respectively. Variety is the spice of life, am I right?
4. As co-writer, director, producer, and star, Beatty was largely responsible for imagining a dream Los Angeles Rams football team, comprised of former greats.
His co-stars include former Rams Deacon Jones, Les Josephson, Jack Snow, Jim Boeke, Charlie Cowan, and Joe Corolla — the original fantasy footballer.
5. He filmed the climactic Super Bowl scene in front of 60,000 screaming fans.
According to the film’s original production notes, the Super Bowl sequence was filmed, “during half time in front of 60,000 football fans gathered at the Los Angeles Coliseum to see an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders.” So, we know Beatty’s good under pressure.
6. He made it work onscreen with ex-flame, Julie Christie, despite reports from set that she was, ‘cool,’ towards his advances, not to mention the film, in general.
One observer reported overhearing Christie exclaim that she couldn’t believe Beatty was, “making these f***cking dumb movies.” At a time when there were people, “all over Europe making fabulous films, about real things, like Fassbender,” she further antagonized, Beatty was “still doing this s***.” (Sellers, 2010)
Even after Christie supposedly lost interest, we argue, “the lady doth protest too much!”
7. Difficulties with his wardrobe required the most expensive crotch retouch in cinema history.
8. After he and Heaven Can Wait were nominated for several Academy Awards, Beatty showed up to the event arm-in-arm with new girlfriend Diane Keaton.
(We heard Julie Christie was hella jelly!)
9. However, he was hilariously upstaged by his sister, actress Shirley MacLaine.
Before Beatty had a chance to take the stage, MacLaine leaped up and joked, “Just imagine what you could accomplish if you tried celibacy!” A man who doesn’t take himself too seriously is sexy.
10. His sister is Shirley MacLaine!!!