Marc Eliot‘s new book on Steve McQueen has fascinating observations not just about McQueen, but about his various co-stars, conquests, and lusty-eyed admirers.
It says that Natalie Wood — Steve’s partner in the 1963 anti-abortion romance Love With the Proper Stranger — liked to find love with a whole lot of people, not all of them so proper.
Natalie truly enjoyed sleeping with her leading men, and when she worked with McQueen, “Wood kept trying to seduce Steve, all but drawing red arrows on the floor of the set from the soundstage to her dressing room.”
But Steve didn’t bite, says the book, partly because her husband, Robert Wagner, was a friend and former co-star.
“And Warren Beatty, her present lover, was as well.
“But even if Steve had wanted to, he couldn’t.
“Throughout the production, [Steve’s wife] Neile clung to Steve like a tick to a dog’s neck.”
Neile needn’t have worried, concludes Eliot.
“There was no real heat between Wood and Steve.
“She had to rely on her feelings for Beatty to get herself into character!”
An interesting approach, but I guess it worked: Natalie got an Oscar nomination for her performance.