Shirley MacLaine talks about new film, home life, Rat Pack

She was out on a limb before most people were even on a branch. With her 83rd birthday approaching next month, Shirley MacLaine says she’s going through her annual rituals. “On one’s birthday, you must do your projections for the next year. What do you want for your mind, body and spirit? Write it down. Say it out loud. You must do this every single year on your birthday. Don’t tempt fate. Do it!” insists the actress and New Age guru. “Hear what this tells you.”

In her new film “The Last Word,” which opened March 24, she also writes it down as Harriet, a retired businesswoman who tries to control everything around her world — including penning her own obituary. This sparks a deep friendship with a young journalist (Amanda Seyfried) who decides to find out the truth of Harriet’s life.

RJ: Tell us about a typical Sunday at home.

MacLaine: “I enjoyed living in Los Angeles, but I love living in New Mexico because I wanted to get back to nature. You can find me in my garden planting flowers and vegetables. There is nothing as satisfying as getting a little dirt under your nails. I don’t need a red carpet. I need my dirt.”

RJ: Your years with the Rat Pack established you as Vegas royalty. What do you remember most from your times with Frank, Sammy, Dean, etc.

MacLaine: “Oh, the Rat Pack. I’ll never forget all the fun we had. They used to drag me up on the stage, but there wasn’t any dragging. I loved it. We’d make jokes and the crowd ate it up.”

RJ: What is one tip you learned from the Rat Pack that you could give other Vegas performers?

MacLaine: “The Rat Pack taught me so many things about comedy and live entertaining. Then I took my own show to Vegas and I loved playing there, except when I heard the tinkling of the ice in the glasses. That’s my tip: When you hear the ice in the glasses then you know you’re losing the audience.”

RJ: Of all the women, why do you think the Rat Pack picked you as their honorary female companion?

MacLaine: “I’d clean up their crackers and their jelly beans. They also tell me how they trusted me because I never divulged any of their secrets. I was like one of the boys. And maybe the real reason I got to hang out with the Rat Pack was I wasn’t sexually attractive to them.”

RJ: But did Frank and the boys in Vegas get jealous if other men came up to you?

MacLaine: “I couldn’t have a wing ding whirl of a time if I wanted to in their presence. They didn’t like it if other guys hit on me. They did like when I showed my attitude. I told some mob bosses off in front of them. In fact, I told a major mob boss to ‘go f-himself’ and the entire Rat Pack fell down laughing.”

RJ: You grew up in Richmond, Virginia, with your brother Warren Beatty. What was it in that household that drove both of you to perform?

MacLaine: “I grew up in a rather repressed middle-aged home where you weren’t supposed to do what the neighbors didn’t like. I think what happened is it taught me to jump over that fence. In my case, I was also born with weak ankles, so my mother took me to acting and dancing classes. I fell in love with music and dancing.”

RJ: Let’s talk about your new film. It’s an odd question to ask, but what do you want your own obituary to say?

MacLaine: “I just figured out what I want my obituary to say, which is: ‘You think I’m dead, but I’m not.’”

RJ: The flipside, of course, is you have a birthday coming up. Do you look at the numbers?

MacLaine: “I feel like I’m 50. You must say to yourself, ‘What is a number?’ The actual number doesn’t matter. It’s how you feel. Also, I do have some sense of wisdom now. It sure beats young and clueless. As for aging, look for the positives. I do love the fact that people help me out of cars. It’s not that I can’t do it. I could jump out of that car. But someone is always rushing to my aid and I love it because basically I’m an elitist!”

RJ: Do you think about the L-word: legacy?

MacLaine: “I just try to leave that alone. I’m not thinking legacy. I’m just trying to get financing to do great scripts. As for my life legacy, I guess my aim was to share whatever I learned, which is basically: Know yourself. Look for yourself. Know what to look for and share it. Be honest. Be authentic — even if it hurts your feelings.”

RJ: You performed in front of so many Vegas audiences over the years. Can you describe that feeling when the curtain opens and the crowd roars?

MacLaine: “I would say that the biggest risk I always took was going in front of that live audience, especially in Vegas, where they expect a show. There’s nothing more risky, because you really leave yourself open to your own authenticity. You also find out pretty quick if you belong out there.”

RJ: What was the biggest risk you took in life?

MacLaine: “In terms of life-and-death risk, I don’t have an answer. As for a career risk, I went to Broadway when I was 16 and didn’t consider it a risk at the time. I thought it was probably what I should do. Basically, I’ve always thought like a dancer, which means nothing is a risk. I still don’t consider anything I would do a risk.”

RJ: Early on, you took some ribbing for your metaphysical views, but there are thousands of books on the subject. Were you ahead of your time?

MacLaine: “I was ahead of my time, but I have that talent curse. I can pretty well look down the road a little bit and feel what’s going on. I just put all the pieces together. Now, it is mainstream, but I didn’t say or write those things for any reason other than I believed it myself. I can’t do anything unless I believe in it.”

RJ: Were you always such a daredevil?

MacLaine: “I’m really naïve while being very aware. That means I’m expecting safety and expecting the best, while feeling like I’m not taking risks at all. You can get smacked a little, but usually it works out pretty well in the end if you live this way.”

RJ: So what’s the plan for the next 10 years?

MacLaine: “Plan! I haven’t planned a damned thing ever in my life. Guess what? It worked out great. Live in the moment. And by the way, I have to go now. Thank you for listening and I’ll send you light.”

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like