TV Article

When 'Rudy' Calls

James Woods prepares for his role as NYC's ex-Mayor. The star of ''Rudy'' combs over politics to play the polarizing Giuliani

James Woods, Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story | POLITICAL VIEWS Wood takes the time to answer some stupid questions
Image credit: Rudy: Philipee Bosse
POLITICAL VIEWS Wood takes the time to answer some stupid questions

In real life, actor James Woods says he is a card-carrying Democrat. But in the new USA Network movie ''Rudy'' (premiering on March 30 at 8 p.m. ), he'll play Republican bulldog and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani. With that kind of range, he should be able to handle our bipartisan stupid questions.

Do you insist that people call you Mr. Mayor now?
Not anymore. ''Your Majesty'' will do.

How did you handle the Giuliani comb-over?
I've immortalized the comb-over. He'll never escape it. Luckily the story only goes through 2001, so we didn't have to deal with the new [slicked-back] look.

Was that haircut worse than the ponytail that you sported in ''True Believer''?
It was the same one. I've kept [the ponytail]. It's been a pet of mine for years. I've actually trained it to do things.

Let's take a break. What's my approval rating for this interview so far?
One thousand on a scale of 100. You're doing great.

In the interest of equal time, will you now portray Hillary Clinton?
As we're talking, I'm dressed in a little Hillary Clinton outfit. It's actually my Eleanor Roosevelt outfit, but I just put on the blond wig instead. I'm also doing a lot of [questionable] stock transactions to get into character.

Which Giuliani flame is hotter: Donna Hanover or Judith Nathan?
I think Judith Nathan is, because she hasn't ever performed in ''The Vagina Monologues,'' which automatically makes her fabulous.

You majored in political science at MIT. Were you guys the party animals of the school?
Actually, believe it or not, we did party. But our partying would get a little strange. Like, you'd find your car up on the MIT dome, 14 stories above the city.

What would you say to people who think this is a remake of ''Rudy,'' the heartwarming football movie?
I'd say, ''Stop voting liberal and get an education.''

Final question: What's my approval rating now?
You're a solid 10. On a scale of 100. I wouldn't quit my day job, if I were you.

This is my day job.
Oh. Well, then I'm just kidding.

Originally posted Mar 28, 2003 Published in issue #702 Mar 28, 2003 Order article reprints