Monday, March 17, 2003

Woods fought to portray Giuliani

The Associated Press



Actor James Woods says he considers former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani an American hero and fought "tooth and nail" to portray him as such in an upcoming television film.

The actor, concerned that a "lunatic liberal" Hollywood would vilify Giuliani or present him as overly conservative, says he insisted on approving the script for Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story, before agreeing to play the part.

"Our business is notorious for being almost lunatic liberal," Woods told The New York Times in Sunday editions. "There's sort of a loony fringe that's way over the top and out of step with mainstream America."

The film will be broadcast March 30 on the USA Network.

Woods said had no insight into whether or not Giuliani would like the movie or his portrayal. (A spokeswoman for the former mayor said he had nothing to do with the movie). "But he can rest assured of this," Woods said, "I fought tooth and nail to play him as the genuine hero that I unequivocally believe him to be.

"But if they were interested in presenting the liberal jihad against Rudy, then I wasn't really interested in participating," he added.

Woods says he agrees with every action Giuliani took as mayor, citing Giuliani's public scorning in 1999 of "The Holy Virgin Mary," a portrait of the religious figure decorated with elephant dung, at Brooklyn Museum of Art.

"He, as a Catholic, was genuinely and rightfully offended that someone should have a sacred icon of his religion created out of excrement," Woods said.

In addition to chronicling Giuliani's response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the movie depicts his bout with prostate cancer, his failed marriage and his relationship with fiance Judith Nathan.

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