- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK - Actor James Woods says he considers former 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 Mr. 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," Mr. 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."
Mr. Woods said he had no insight into whether or not Mr. Giuliani would like the movie or his portrayal, "but he can rest assured of this: 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.
Mr. Woods said he agrees with every action Mr. Giuliani took as mayor, citing Mr. Giuliani's public scorning in 1999 of "The Holy Virgin Mary," a portrait of the religious figure decorated with a daub of elephant dung, at the 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," Mr. Woods said. "Can you imagine the reaction in this town if the artist had created a Star of David out of excrement?"
In addition to chronicling Mr. Giuliani's response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the movie depicts his bout with prostate cancer, his failed marriage to Donna Hanover and his romantic relationship with current fiancee Judith Nathan.
Earlier this month, the film's director, Robert Dornhelm, defended his decision to include graphic news footage of the attacks on the World Trade Center in the movie.
Mr. Giuliani's spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, told the New York Times that the former mayor "hasn't seen the movie and had nothing to do with it."
The film will be broadcast March 30 on the USA Network.

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