Cinema: The Moonchild and the Fifth Beatle

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(9 of 10)

Hoffman has lived 31 years, and every month of it shows. Mia has crammed several lifetimes into one—and, on the surface at least, has the dewy quality of a maiden who has just learned that people do not conceive babies by holding hands. Hoffman has settled into a quiet domestic arrangement with ex-Dancer Anne Byrne, a divorcee with a 21-year-old child. Since her divorce, Mia has been seen with a succession of rock singers and film stars—and, most recently, with Conductor-Composer Andre Previn.

Byrne admits that Hoffman lets the air out of his psyche offstage and retreats to his home and his pool table. "We almost never go out," she says. "He'd much rather come home, get into his bathrobe and lie in bed." Farrow is almost always up, out and on. "People have a tendency to look at Mia," insists Previn, "and say, 'Look at those funny clothes and the way she acts and the things she talks about. Compared, let's say, with Debbie Reynolds she's some kind of freak.' But I think that Mia is the straight one. I think that Debbie Reynolds is the freak."

Hoffman tends to drone his conversation, compressing his replies into brief, considered phrases. Farrow is a quotable compendium with an entry on every subject:

On film nudity: "There's no need to show sex things graphically in films. It's not necessary to show it at all, especially when it will offend people. Why not just do it at home?"

On certain unprintable words: "I would like my children to have these as sacred words. If I cursed at you, it could be a compliment. Couldn't it?"

On Negroes: "Right now I'm in love with someone, and it wouldn't make the slightest difference if he was black. Someday it will have to happen that one and one will make two. Just two, no other thing about color or anything else. That's Utopia."

On hippies: "They're great, gentle people. I slept with 16 different people in those communes, and nobody ever touched me."

On Hollywood: "The system is full of crap. They've got it in the darkest part of their minds that everybody's sleeping together. I just don't know where their heads are at all, and I've given up trying to find out."

On drugs: "They still haven't been able to prove that pot is harmful. You can stick it in your ear, sleep on it or do anything you want—it's a natural thing, a product of nature. Drugs like LSD can be harmful, since they are a product of man."

On Rosemary's Baby: "I liked it—the possibility of the Antichrist. It makes a stamp on you, the Catholic upbringing. It's tattooed on your soul."

On marriage: "You have to make these promises for the rest of your life. Who can do that? Who knows what's going to be next year, or even tomorrow?"

On psychiatry: "I know too many people who use it as a crutch: 'Give us this day our daily analyst.' I'd rather do it myself."

Plastic Windup Starlets

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