The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Douglas dumb, Stone detested

Los Angeles, Sept. 21 (Reuters): Money, drink, sex, success — Joe Basic Instinct Eszterhas has had and seen it all.

But the burly, notorious author of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits is still nursing one dream — that one day the “schmucks with laptops (screenwriters) will be kicking ass”.

If there is one thing that angers the reformed, now non-smoking, non-drinking, cancer survivor, it is the way fellow screenwriters are treated.

Five years after quitting Hollywood for Ohio after a string of flops, including Showgirls and Sliver, and a bout of throat cancer, Eszterhas, 61, is back with a new movie and a gossipy survival guide for aspiring screenwriters.

The screenwriter of F.I.S.T. and Flashdance who dished the dirt on some of Hollywood’s top stars in two previous books says he is now a “much kinder and gentler Joe” than in his rambunctious days as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriters.

But it doesn’t stop him lacing his primer for screenwriters, The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood, with some hilarious and biting tales about the industry’s elite.

Director Martin Scorsese, Eszterhas says, is so paranoid that he puts a mirror on top of the monitor while filming so he can see who’s standing watching behind him.

Michael Douglas “in my experience is not brilliant and may very well, in some cases, be dumb. This is the guy who wanted to change the ending of Basic Instinct because he said it wasn’t redemptive.”

Sharon Stone was so disliked on movie sets that the crew on one of her early films urinated in a bathtub she was supposed to use in a scene.

Eszterhas said he used anecdotes to illustrate how Hollywood works.

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