Warren Beatty is an actor who was famous before his first film was released through, among other things, his highly publicized affair with Joan Collins. The discourse of his personal life preceded that of movie actor (Parker 1993, 37, 49-50). Warren Beatty as a star is just as famous for never talking about his personal life; the power over his cinematic image exercised as producer/writer/director extends to his private activities. The knowledge to be gained about his exploits (but not from him) further presents Beatty as a man in near-mythic control of his desirability to women. The "truth" behind his sex symbol status for

those audience members who want to know might be gleaned from the interplay between movies and press stories but never from the source. Yet the sex symbol meaning of that offscreen private life combined with Beatty's onscreen penchant for playing men not in control render him a desired and acted-upon object, questioning the assumed relationship between "masculinity" and power, particularly in the realm of sexuality. The interplay between movies and metatext, especially in the films that (allegedly) intersect directly with Beatty's "private" life like Shampoo and Love Affair, underlines Beatty's image as a gender category breaker, in terms of his star persona and the posited audience relationship to that persona. The usual binary arrangement of sexual roles is broken down and redefined, revealing the binary's constructedness and the need to approach this type of male star from a different direction.