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Larry King Live
Elizabeth Hurley Talks About Playing the Devil in 'Bedazzled'; J.K. Rowling Discusses the Surprising Success of 'Harry Potter'Aired October 20, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she's been called the most beautiful woman in the world -- and I'm not arguing -- and her personal life is as fascinating as her professional one. She's Elizabeth Hurley.
Plus, literary magic, the author of the incredibly successful Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. Two fabulous British imports next on LARRY KING LIVE.
What a great pleasure to have as a special guest to kick things off tonight the beautiful and talented Elizabeth Hurley. Her new film, just opened, is "Bedazzled," from 20th Century Fox in which she plays...
ELIZABETH HURLEY, ACTRESS: The devil.
HURLEY: I like to think not. I was sort of horrified when my agent first rang me about it. And they said, you know, Harold Ramis has got this fabulous new project. And he said, you'd be great for it. I'm like, oh, cool. What is it? And she's like, the devil. And I was like, what do you mean? And she said, oh, darling, everyone thinks you'd be perfect. My mother said exactly the same thing. Darling, you won't have to act at all.
KING: When you play the devil, you can do anything, right? I mean, you can be whatever you want to be...
KING: ... there's no rules.
HURLEY: No, and it's actually really rare that you get completely free rein. You know, normally any character you do, you know, it has its own constraints. Your character earns a certain salary, lives in a certain area, you know, maybe has kids, sends them to school, whatever. But, no, with something like the devil, I mean, really you can go completely berserk.
KING: What's the concept of the movie? The devil does what to Brendan Fraser?
HURLEY: Well, it's the old Faustian tale. A man decides to trades his soul to the devil, you know, to get worldly goods. In this case, he wants to get the girl of his dreams. And I give him seven utterly fabulous wishes, anything he wants. He wants to be rich, he wants to be powerful, he wants to be good looking, he actually wants, you know, a large physical -- whatever. I won't give away the plot.
KING: I guessed that.
HURLEY: He wants a lot of things.
HURLEY: And I always find a way to wreck every wish for him, of course, you know.
KING: But you give him his wish.
HURLEY: I give him everything he wants, yes -- and a little extra, the whole point being you have to be extremely specific.
KING: And at the end, what does the devil want?
HURLEY: His soul. She wants to drag him down to hell with her. Except, of course, in this film -- you know, because it's Hollywood and it's a comedy, hell actually looks quite fun.
KING: And does she fall for him?
HURLEY: It's actually rather sad. At that end of the film -- Brendan Fraser plays Elliott. And he starts off...
KING: Don't give it away.
HURLEY: I wouldn't tell you that here.
But he starts -- he's very socially inept. He's a bit of a computer nerd, and he has no friends. He's a pathetic loser, really. But by the end of the film, he actually says, you've been the best friend I've ever had. It's so sad. All I've done is try to ruin his life, but I've been nice and charming.
KING: The trailer is hysterical.
HURLEY: It's a good trailer.
KING: You have him playing basketball, he's an athletic star, right? He becomes everything he wants.
HURLEY: Yes, anything and everything.
KING: Had you ever met him before doing this film with him?
HURLEY: No, I'd seen him in a couple things. I'd seen him in "George of the Jungle," I'd seen him in "Gods and Monsters," you know, where he does these sort of big, fabulous, zany characters. In real life, he's pathologically sad. He's one of the nicest people I've ever met and really sort of the perfect person to play someone who you are there to torment and torture.
KING: Pathologically shy? I mean, it's hard to even get him to -- he would be a bad interview on this show?
HURLEY: I wouldn't say that. I'm sure he'd be very good. But he's -- he is -- it's very strange in someone who does not do such amazingly big performances. He's very introverted.
KING: When an actor meets an actress for the first time and they're going to work together, is there a preliminary need to know each other, or is that not necessary? Is it just professional get on the set, do your job?
HURLEY: Well, I like to know them. I like to hang out and hopefully have fun. I've -- I mean, I've made, you know, films for years now, and it's very rare that you have a co-star that you just don't get on with. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's when the director is sort of casting everyone, they're very, sort of, you know, they're very careful with the chemistry they choose. But, you know, sort of in the last four or five years I've had unbelievable co-stars.
KING: And funny.
HURLEY: Well, yes. I mean, I've done a lot of comedies lately. And I do sort of sit around my trailer cackling with laughter between takes.
KING: Did you get along with Brendan well.
HURLEY: Oh, yes, incredibly well. He's -- I mean, I can't -- real life ends up, I think copying art. You know, in the film I torment him at every possible opportunity. I sit on his knee, I stroke him, I'm always holding him, sort of molesting him in some way. And I find myself doing that off stage, too. He's irresistible. You just can't stop.
KING: All right, let's touch a lot of bases and we'll get back to the movie.
Is it -- OK, let's explain that so we don't get in trouble with some sort of -- you just took a little inhale of what?
HURLEY: I just took a little inhale of nicotine.
KING: You have your -- you stopped smoking.?
HURLEY: I'm trying very hard to stop. I haven't had a cigarette in nine weeks.
KING: Now show me what you do with that. What do you do?
HURLEY: Well it's rather embarrassing actually, with that? I wish you hadn't drawn attention to it. It's -- well, it's a little plastic thing disguised as a pen, which you supposedly put in your pocket. I never have a breast pocket. You just sort of suck it, and it gives you a little hit of nicotine. KING: But it's not a carcinogenic.
HURLEY: Not at all. There's no tar -- there's no smoke. I think it's like having sort of rather a lot of coffee. I also have a nicotine patch. They work very well.
KING: How long have you ceased?
HURLEY: Nine weeks.
KING: How's it going?
HURLEY: Well, I -- it's difficult. This is my third attempt. I mean, really am really, really determined not to smoke this time. But, you know, it's stressful. It's tough. I was filming all this week, and it's the first time I'd actually been doing full-on filming since I stopped. So it's hard.
KING: Have you been smoking since a teenager?
HURLEY: It's actually rather embarrassing. I'm a late starter. I started in my mid-20s.
KING: You started in your 20s? Nobody starts...
HURLEY: I didn't have a cup of coffee until I was 27. I don't know. I went berserk late. And, no, it's an insane thing to start to do. But I'm horribly addicted in some ways. And it's hard. I know you stopped, too, so...
KING: I stopped. It's been 13 years. You can do it. You really can.
HURLEY: You're a very good example.
KING: Did you smoke a lot?
HURLEY: Yes, I smoked quite a lot.
KING: We wish you luck with that.
HURLEY: Thank you. Thank you very much. I need it.
KING: Elizabeth Hurley the film is "Bedazzled." It's out now.
We'll be back with more of this fascinating talent.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BEDAZZLED")
HURLEY: What if I told you I had the cataclysmic power to give you anything and everything you've always dreamed of?
BRENDAN FRASER, ACTOR: Who are you?
HURLEY: Promise not to tell anyone?
HURLEY: Cross your heart had and hope to die?
HURLEY: I'm the devil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 12, 1995)
KING: This happened to you before -- it's none of our business.
HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: No.
KING: Because you'd never done anything like this before.
GRANT: No, no.
KING: Not that you were arrested before, that you'd done anything like this before.
GRANT: No, no.
KING: It was that night, that moment?
GRANT: That's correct, yes.
KING: And you don't ponder on why? It would drive me nuts.
GRANT: Well, I mean, I might ponder it but, you know, there's nothing more I can say. I think it was an atrocious thing to do and disloyal and, you know. I can't beat myself up any more than that.
KING: Also, everyone imagines you, when you met with Elizabeth, that moment, all the men were trying to imagine, what do you say?
GRANT: Well, I mean, I don't know what to say to you. I can't -- you know, I can't really make light of that side of it.
KING: But you saw all those pictures. But, I mean, it must be the most difficult moment of your life.
GRANT: Yes, I would say it's up there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Elizabeth Hurley, who stars in "bedazzled." Of course, "Austin Powers" rocketed her to fame.
What's it like when a relationship becomes public? It happened to you.
HURLEY: Yes, it did happen to me. It's -- I think it's pretty shocking when it happens for the first time. And it's rather like if you remember at school when you used to go into the classroom and you sensed everybody was talking about you. It's kind of a bit like that, actually, everywhere you go. And it's sort of -- it's not a really very pleasant feeling, I don't think.
KING: And yours was an embarrassment. To be become -- I mean, to be plastered around for everyone because of something your boyfriend or lover or something did would drive, I would think, you nuts? I mean, you didn't do anything.
HURLEY: No. No, I didn't.
KING: You were a victim in a sense.
KING: Yet, it also brings you fame.
HURLEY: Yes. It's sort of rather unfortunate, because, you know, when one, you know, when one tries, you know, to get into films and stuff, you know, it's very much what you're after. You know, you want to be a success. You want people to know who you are. And you know, when it happens for different reasons, it's sort of very -- sort of makes you feel like a lunatic, to be quite honest.
KING: So how did you handle it with Hugh Grant, who had himself become suddenly very popular?
HURLEY: Well, I think luckily I was sort of working like crazy at that time, and I think I worked a bit more. That sort of went into my seven-days-a-week, morning, noon and night work stint, which I liked. I loved everything I was doing, and I think I just sort of, you know -- you know, I've got great friends, great family. And so, you know, everything turned out OK in the end.
KING: But it's a double-edged sword, isn't it, right? In a sense, you did reach popularity, fame because of it. And then, of course, you have to be good to capitalize on that. But basically, we got to know you mostly through that story.
HURLEY: Yes. I think in America that's definitely true. I've sort of been around a bit longer in the U.K., but probably in even worse circumstances. You know, in England, you can sort of get picked on for the most ridiculous things at a very early age. But yes, I think certainly here, yes, I'm sure the average person in the street didn't really know me before.
KING: Is England more tabloidish than here?
HURLEY: You know, England is tabloid hell, yes.
KING: Is it? I mean, I haven't spent a lot of time there. HURLEY: It is. We have -- we do have a sort of a bizarre print press I think. You know, print is much more important in England than TV, and I know it's the other way around here. We have like I think nine national newspapers, and everyone pretty much reads every single one.
KING: So how does someone in your position deal with something like that?
HURLEY: I think by living in America on the whole.
KING: Have you moved?
HURLEY: I haven't moved. I've spent vast periods of my time here, but I only really -- I only really ever work in America. Everything I've really ever managed to do has really been here rather than there. And I can't actually pluck up courage to move. I think it's really because about quarantine laws in England. You know...
KING: What do you mean?
HURLEY: Well, you can't take dogs in from America to the U.K. because your country's rabid, and everything has to have six months quarantine, any livestock. So...
KING: How many dogs do you have?
HURLEY: Well, I have no dogs now. When I lived here, I had a dog. I actually stayed in America a year longer than I meant to because I couldn't bear to put this beautiful German shepherd in quarantine. But in the end, I actually really wanted to go home. So I took her. She had six months there, which is awful. They're in a cage basically. And then sadly she got cancer and she died. And now I feel I can't have another dog, because I'm here nearly all the time.
KING: Do you want children? Do you want that kind of life?
HURLEY: Yes, I think one day I'd like to have children. I keep saying, one day. I think that's sort of the actor...
KING: You're 35 so you can still...
HURLEY: I know.
KING: You can get them until you're 45.
KING: But I mean, do you want to marry and settle, or do you like the life you live?
HURLEY: I do like my life very much, yes. I mean, I've never, you know -- there's never really been a moment so far in my life where I felt now I'd like to get married and have children. I think that's really why Hugh and I ending up splitting up, to be quite honest, because neither of us really felt like that, even though we adored each other.
KING: He didn't want to marry either.
HURLEY: Neither of us really did. And so I think in the end (UNINTELLIGIBLE) well, maybe there's something wrong, because, you know, people together that long and adore each other, which we do -- and we still love each other very much. But...
KING: Do you talk a lot? Do you still...
HURLEY: Well, yes, we still run a business together. We just negotiated our deal with Castle Rock.
KING: Which is? What kind of business?
HURLEY: A producing deal with Castle Rock at Warner Brothers, and we just renegotiated for another two years. We're going to produce movies together.
KING: Does it bother you if he dates? Truth?
HURLEY: Well, I mean, we don't really talk about, to be quite honest. But he says he's very sad and lonely, and stays at home every night having curry and watching TV, but I don't necessarily believe him. I mean, I think we'd both die for each other to be happy.
KING: After a longtime relationship, though -- and this could probably help a lot of people -- is it difficult to date others?
HURLEY: Well, obviously, you know, you're used to certain things and certain things become part of your life, and you're used to a certain sort of support system. We're very supportive of each other all the time. You know, you know, if a movie was coming out, we'd always help choose each other's images on the posters. We'd look at each other's trailers. We'd run -- you know, we'd run jokes past each other if we had to do all those terrifying talk shows where you have to come on with three set stories -- you practice on each other. You know, we're very used to each other being there. And you know, it takes a little getting used to having somebody else. But I've always been lucky that I have got great friends. So...
KING: And you do date others now?
HURLEY: I have, yes.
KING: But is it difficult? It is difficult, isn't it? It's like starting, you know -- what's your horoscope? Right, starting all over?
HURLEY: Yes, I guess there is that. I mean, yes. I mean, I think certain -- with certain people -- I mean, when I met Hugh we were sort of relaxed within five seconds.
KING: Do you think you intimidate men with the way you look? And you do that little thing with your fingers in your mouth.
KING: You did it again. Do you do -- do you think you intimidate men?
HURLEY: I think I frighten the life out of some people, yes.
KING: Does that seem crazy to you?
KING: I mean, when you look in the mirror, are you beautiful?
HURLEY: It depends before or after two hours of hair or makeup. I can look...
KING: Now? You know, you look good now, right? You look good...
HURLEY: I've had an awful lot of hair and makeup going on all day in preparation for you.
KING: OK. But you -- ah-hah. But you know you look good, right?
HURLEY: Well, I can come out well in the wash sometimes.
KING: But are you aware that that can turn -- I mean, a man might -- who might want to meet you might be afraid to want to meet you?
HURLEY: You know, I've virtually never been chatted up in my life, it's true. People have to be falling over drunk before they have the courage to come and go hi. And then they normally do fall over. So sad.
KING: So you don't run into that?
HURLEY: No, not very -- I very rarely leave the house.
KING: So they do back away?
HURLEY: You know, I think -- I think for a civilian to go out with somebody in the public eye is a pretty awful proposition, to be quite honest.
KING: He becomes Mr. Hurley.
HURLEY: It's just hideous. I mean, I don't know why people would want it. I mean, it's not so bad in this country, but in England, you know, you can really -- it would be a safe bet to bet your last dollar that if I were to start dating, you know, the nice cameraman there and there were pictures in the paper, the very next day his picture would be there again, saying "Were you at school with this man?" Have you had sex with this man?" -- right in.
KING: We've just changed his whole life.
We'll be back with Elizabeth Hurley right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you been to the Golden Globes before, you guys?
HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: Yes, in 1995 we were here, yes.
HURLEY: ... in 1995.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's quite the party. It's kind of a very...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HURLEY: Sorry. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you're the boss on this movie, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you feeling for this woman?
GRANT: No, I'm feeling for myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Elizabeth Hurley and she's the star of the new film "Bedazzled." You were a model, right? Were you a model first?
HURLEY: No. Actually, I did it the other way around. I did eight years of movies and TV, and then got my actually one and only acting -- modeling job with Estee Lauder.
KING: And are you still an Estee Lauder girl?
HURLEY: I am still an Estee Lauder girl. Yes, it'll be my sixth year.
KING: What's that like?
HURLEY: Well, it's kind of nice. I do 30 days a year. They're really nice to me. I have all my friends around me all day. I mean, it's kind of a penny from heaven when it came. I never dreamt of being a model. I was such a midget child for so long.
KING: Is it boring?
HURLEY: It's not actually boring. It's, as strange as it may seem, it's actually quite stressful in that if you, you know, spend one day making two pictures and those two pictures don't sell our lipstick, you're kind of out of a job. So you kind of have to try quite hard.
KING: But Estee Lauder knows that in you they have someone more than just a model without a name. You're a personality. You're a actress.
HURLEY: Yes, and I'm sure there's, you know, good things and bad things that come from that, sometimes.
KING: Austin Powers, that phenom. How did that come upon you?
HURLEY: Well, it was bizarre because in England I'd done mostly dramas on television, and then movies and stuff and I started off on the stage doing comedy, and then did nothing...
KING: You were well in England, right.
HURLEY: Relatively well-known, yes. And then when I came here, I did quite a bit of girl with gun, sort of charging around with AK- 47's and stuff in leopard skin coats.
KING: In what kind of movies?
HURLEY: My first American movie was in 1992 with Wesley Snipes. "Passenger 57." I had a six-hour, 226 (ph) in that movie and I didn't do very much. I shot a few people in the head.
KING: I remember that picture on an airplane, yes. A hijacked airplane.
HURLEY: Hijacked airplane. I was Euro hijacker.
KING: Good action film. You were vicious in that.
HURLEY: I was vicious in that, as a matter of fact.
KING: Shot nice people.
HURLEY: Lots of acting required, I can assure you in that case. And then just completely out of the blue, Mike Myers offered me this comedy. And I'm quite nervous, at first, and Hugh actually persuaded me to do it. The script was hysterical, and it's just like, I'm really scared. And he had never seen me do comedy, but had seen me on some talk shows and said, well, she is better as a comedy actress. He actually claims he wrote it for me, Though I've always thought he was sucking up by that.
KING: Did you know Michael Meyers?
HURLEY: No, never met him in my life. And for once I plucked up courage to do it. I mean, of course I had an absolute blast.
KING: Now when you read that script, did you laugh? Did you like it? Because some people thought it was hokey.
HURLEY: Oh, yes. Oh, it was hysterical. I was often drawn to production extreme measures at the time and I remember lying in bed reading the script and crying with laughter. But I also like, will American get this? It was all about, you know, shagging and snorging and all those sort of things.
KING: Total put-on.
HURLEY: Oh, it was hysterical. No, I screamed.
KING: Is playing it hard?
HURLEY: No, not really. I mean, Mike Meyers is a comic genius and he was phenomenally helpful, very much in the same way that someone like Harold Ramis, who directed "Bedazzled" was. And you just say, what's funnier? This way, that way? And they would go first way. Great. Thanks. And it was great help.
KING: Of course, it's been said, comedy is a serious business.
HURLEY: I think it's a lot more stressful than drama, personally. You have to have phenomenally high energy levels the entire time. And in a movie like "Bedazzled" where I really am on the front foot for the entire thing. I'm really driving all the scenes with, you know, me and Brendan because, you know, I'm the devil and he's the hapless victim. It's ludicrously stressful and tiring. You know, in drama maybe one day you do five meaningful looks and mumble a few lines. You know, every day I'd wake up with nine pages of terrifying dialogue with tons of jokes and 17 costume changes.
KING: By the way back to -- I wanted to clear this up. You -- "Jane" magazine apologized to you, right.
HURLEY: They did apologize.
KING: They ran an article in which you branded Hugh Grant less than adequate in bed and you have never said that?
HURLEY: I never said any such thing and they did put it in direct quotes. And initially, erroneously it was stated that those statements were on tape. I was horrified. I think it was the most upset I had ever been. It was absolutely horrible. I've never really -- in all my years of doing magazine interviews and in talking to many, many, many other, sort of, you know, well-known people, I've never heard of it happening in a decent magazine. Ever.
KING: How did they explain it?
HURLEY: Well, I think it was the journalist who had maybe misheard his tape.
HURLEY: I don't really know, to be quite honest. I mean, I think once they realized their mistake they did apologize, as you know, and admitted.
KING: You're not in the habit of discussing your personal life that much in public, are you?
HURLEY: No. I am the closed book.
KING: Because I remember when the Grant thing broke you shied away completely, right. You didn't do any quotes for anyone.
HURLEY: No, no.
KING: Is it still tough for you?
HURLEY: Yes. I mean, I'm ludicrously repressed. Yes. I hate to tell anyone anything. I'll talk for 17 hours and actually say very little.
KING: Back to working with Meyers. When you say comedic genius, did he help you a lot?
HURLEY: Yes, he did help me a lot, an awful lot. I mean, I think, it helped also that both his parents are from Liverpool. They're both English and he had a very English sensibility and that helped enormously because, you know, sometimes you're acting with people and what makes you laugh in night and days, it's tricky.
KING: Is it broader when a sex object plays a sex object?
HURLEY: I don't know the answer to that.
KING: Too close, right? We'll be right back with Elizabeth Hurley. Don't go away. Take a hit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AUSTIN POWERS")
MIKE MYERS, ACTOR: Let me ask you a question, and be honest. Do I make you horny? Randy? Do I make you horny, baby? Yes, do I?
HURLEY: God, I hope this is this part of the unfreezing process?
MYERS: Oh, goodness. Oh, look at that. Oh, goodness. Oh, I fell over. Oh, I fell over again. HURLEY: Mr. Powers. I will never have sex with you, ever. If you were the last man on Earth and I were the last woman on Earth and the future of the human race depended on our having sex simply for procreation, I still would not have sex with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BEDAZZLED")
BRENDAN FRAZIER, ACTOR: Can I ask you a question?
HURLEY: Sure you can. You can ask me anything you'd like. As long as you don't ask me if there's a God. I get that one all the time, drives my absolutely bonkers. Yes, there's a God.
FRAZIER: Really? Well, what's he like?
HURLEY: You know, you'd think that meeting the Devil would be interesting enough but no, all people want to learn about is him. Like he's so bloody fascinating.
FRAZIER: So, he's a man.
HURLEY: Yes, most men think they're God. This one just happens to be right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Elizabeth Hurley. I want to touch some other bases. She's in "Bedazzled." She plays the devil. Do you wear red in all the scenes?
HURLEY: Am I what?
KING: Do you wear red in all the scenes?
HURLEY: Almost all of them.
KING: Because in the trailer you were in red all the time.
HURLEY: I wear a lot red. I also play a lot of -- very often when Brendan came back we chose to put me in tormenting costumes. So we sort of thought it would be really silly if we sort of took typical male fantasies, therefore I'm a cheerleader. I'm a cop. I'm a meter maid. I'm a nurse. I'm a school teacher. We get a lot of play out of that.
KING: Have you watched it with an audience?
HURLEY: No, I haven't. I've only watched fast-forward on videotape.
KING: Fast-forward. Do you like watching yourself?
HURLEY: No, I find intolerable.
HURLEY: I don't know. I think it's just you immediately -- you're sure you could have done it better. You see every fall. You'd love to redo almost everything. you curse -- I walk like a construction worker. I've got a terrible walk. I just -- no, i can't bear it.
KING: So when you do have to watch it with an audience, like for example, you want them to laugh, too, right?
HURLEY: Agonizing. It's -- yes. It's beyond agonizing. It's intolerable for me.
KING: The Ed movie that you did with Matt McConaughey didn't work. Why?
HURLEY: Bitter disappointment. I mean, it had everything going for it. It was a fantastic script. Matthew McConaughey really cool. Very good, very sexy. Ron Howard directing, you know, produced by Imagine. I don't know why. To this day I don't know why. It tested brilliantly. Trailers played great. Everybody who saw the movie loved it, but sadly not enough saw it. I don't know.
KING: You think it was too much after "Truman."
HURLEY: Yes, it was actually diametrically opposed to "The Truman Show," but yes, I think the marketing campaigns were sinisterly similar.
KING: And that has a lot to do with how a movie works or not.
HURLEY: It does and at the time I thought they were doing a good campaign. So it's very easy to point fingers later.
KING: "Bedazzled" now opened. Are they marketing it well, do you think?
HURLEY: I think extremely well. Yes, I see posters everybody everywhere. I see bus sides
KING: You gained attention a lot of attention six years ago. You wore a Versace dress at a movie premier held together with safety pins. Now this was told to me by my producers, because this is something I would know nothing about. Why did you do that? Was the dress designed to be held together with safety pins?
HURLEY: Oh, gosh, yes.
KING: That was his design.
HURLEY: Yes, no -- it was a Giovanni Versace design. At the time I'd actually never heard of Giovanni Versace. I probably had about three things in my closet. I was relatively unsuccessful at that stage and Hugh had the premier of "Four Weddings" in London. And I remember I got back from L.A. that morning and literally, darling, had nothing to wear. And a friend of mine said, hey, I have a friend the P. office and they might have something. And so, you know, this rather screwed-up dress in the bottom of a carrier bag came around, and I sort of pushed it off. I didn't even have a full-length mirror in my flat at that stage. And I popped out the door. That was it. I mean, there really was no pre-planning.
KING: Did you wear it again?
HURLEY: Gosh, no. I think it's -- actually it's in a museum.
KING: It is?
HURLEY: Yes, it's in Versace -- whatever they call it.
KING: Did you like the dress?
HURLEY: Yes, I mean, enough. I mean, I didn't -- I didn't even -- I didn't think about clothes. You know, I hadn't modeled yet.
KING: re you now very clothes conscious?
HURLEY: I do like clothes now, yes.
KING: Yes? Are you a shopaholic?
HURLEY: No, no, no, I'm too embarrassed to go shopping. Everyone stares, and it's just self-conscious making. It's like, oh, she's...
KING: Yes, what is that like? What is that like to have a life being stared at?
HURLEY: It's -- it's, you know, it's very -- like anybody, I like it if somebody comes up and says, hey, I loved you as X. I mean, that's always -- I mean, I love it. But I don't think people realize how embarrassing it is. You know, if you go to buy a cup of coffee somewhere and you're standing, you know, in line. And suddenly you hear, hey, Liz. And you sort of look up in terror. And then the whole shop looks up at you, and you stand there so embarrassed, especially if you're a girl and all by yourself feeling quite vulnerable in any case. I always have to run away. So it's a nightmare. I can't do anything, really, like that.
KING: We're going to spend a few more moments with Elizabeth Hurley. She stars in "Bedazzled." It's now open.
This is LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "EDTV")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Oh, my.
HURLEY: Ed, are you OK? MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: Yes, something broke my fall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BEDAZZLED")
HURLEY: I hope you had a pleasant evening.
FRASER: As if you didn't know.
HURLEY: I'm sorry, darling. I know that must be really frustrating for you. You think I can make it up to you somehow.
FRASER: Oh, yes. You've been a really big help so far.
HURLEY: I know. I've been really naughty, haven't I? Maybe a good spanking's in order.
FRASER: Is that all you ever think about? Do you think everything's about sex?
HURLEY: No, of course not. I mean, there's greed, gluttony, sloth, anger, vanity, envy.
FRASER: No, there's also honesty and hard work and caring about people and doing good for somebody else.
HURLEY: You're just a big Boy Scout, aren't you?
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with Elizabeth Hurley, who stars in the new movie "Bedazzled." We are talking more about beauty and fame and the like.
What's the down side to being -- is there a down side to being really good looking? I don't mean that to embarrass you. I mean, it's obvious you are. So is there a down side to it?
HURLEY: Well, thank you, sir, for the compliment. I mean, it happens a lot that I'll love a -- I'll read a script, I'll love a script, and I'll ring my agent and say, are they interested in me? And they'll say, no, they think you're too glamorous. They don't want you for that.
KING: You're too pretty?
HURLEY: I don't know if it's too pretty, it's just...
HURLEY: Yes, yes, sometimes people just -- you know, if it's a suburban housewife in, you know, Birmingham or something, I think sometimes they think people can't be made to see behind a lot of hair and makeup and stuff. And I'm not allowed to skulk around looking too hideous because of other commitments. KING: Do you see faults in you?
HURLEY: Oh god, yes. Oh, yes.
KING: All right, what don't you like about you?
HURLEY: My mom always said don't point them out just in case somebody else hasn't noticed. Otherwise, it will be nothing but that, pointed out by the British press from that day on. Yes, I mean, many, many faults.
HURLEY: Oh, of course.
KING: You don't like the way you walk?
HURLEY: I have a god-awful walk. Yes, it's true. I won't demonstrate, but...
KING: No, it's not the place for it. But you don't walk straight enough?
HURLEY: I don't know what it is, I just am not a very smooth walker. I'm not very good at all.
KING: Were you very pretty in high school?
HURLEY: I was a shrimp in high school. I was horribly still under five foot when I was 169 years old.
KING: You're kidding.
HURLEY: No, no, no, I was horribly under weight and very, very, very short, very underdeveloped, and I'm sure the last girl in school to have a boyfriend, wear a bra or kiss someone, anything of that sort of thing.
KING: So any boy who was in school with you when you were 14 is shocked watching tonight?
HURLEY: Beyond the joke to (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
KING: What -- did it all sprout at once?
HURLEY: I think I grew by 8 inches in one year, yes. I suddenly turned into a freak.
KING: What did your father do?
HURLEY: My father was in the British army, he's an officer.
KING: Did you travel a lot there?
HURLEY: A little bit, yes, up until the age of 12.
KING: You were an Army brat, as they call them in America.
HURLEY: As you call them in America. We're slightly offended by that term, but, yes, I guess I was.
KING: Was it a close family -- is it a close family?
HURLEY: Very. My Dad's dead now, but my Mum's still alive. And I've got a big sister and a little brother. Yes. we're very close.
KING: What do they do, the big sister?
HURLEY: Big sister's a literary agent, and the little brother's a scientist.
KING: Are they very proud of their middle sister?
HURLEY: I mean, they're proud of me, but I think they'd rather kill themselves than be me. Yes, they spend their lives leaping into bushes not to be photographed and stuff. They're a very shy family.
KING: The middle child, tough?
HURLEY: Well it was tough for me in a way because my sister was gorgeous by about age 11. She'd reached her full height, she was developed, every boy in the world was in love with her. And I was sort of the little sad sister traipsing behind her carrying her school books for a very long time. So I was -- you know, I was sad sister for a bit.
KING: Few other things: Dealing with emotional trauma, as you had to deal with it, is it doubly tough when the trauma was also public, do you think?
HURLEY: Yes, I think I noticed. Yes, it's tough. It's tough.
KING: Did you ever resolve it, in your own mind resolve it?
HURLEY: Yes, I think so. I think so.
KING: Because most people would think, that's a difficult thing to resolve.
HURLEY: No, I think -- yes, we stayed together for another five years.
KING: That's what I mean.
HURLEY: Yes. Yes, I mean we often do really quite appalling things to people that we love. And, you know, I'd be the last person in the world to say I've been saintly for my entire life. So I think, you know, people in glass houses sometimes don't -- often don't throw stones.
KING: So there's something you might have done?
HURLEY: Oh, gosh, no. KING: Oh, gosh, no.
HURLEY: No, no, no.
KING: Or possibly thought of doing?
HURLEY: No, but I think unless you're very innocent yourself, you know, it's obviously very easy to, you know, to understand faults in other people.
KING: What's the hope for "Bedazzled"? Do they think it's going to go through the roof this weekend? This is the biggie. This is the opening.
HURLEY: Well I think Fox, you know, believes in the film a lot, and people are liking the trailer and stuff as it's playing. So I hope so.
KING: And Mr. Fraser is now a friend?
HURLEY: Mr. Fraser is definitely a friend, yes.
KING: Would you do a film with him again?
HURLEY: Oh, sure, yes, in a heartbeat.
KING: You can come back here anytime you like, too.
HURLEY: Thank you, sir.
KING: Sir -- thank you. Elizabeth Hurley, she stars with Brendan Fraser in "Bedazzled."
And we'll close with Elizabeth by having her take a hit. Take a hit.
We'll be right back with more of LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to more of "LARRY KING LIVE."
An all-British night tonight, Elizabeth Hurley and now J.K. Rowling, safe to say the most successful author in the world. She is the creator of all the "Harry Potter" novels. They are currently number 1, 3, 4 and 8 on the "USA Today" best seller list out yesterday. Her newest, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is of course number one.
Was "Potter" the first thing you wrote?
J.K. ROWLING: No, I've been writing since I was six years old, so it's.
ROWLING: Yes, probably the 23rd thing I wrote, really.
KING: Children's books.
ROWLING: No, never children's books. That's the weird thing, I thought I was going to be a writer for adults, but "Harry" was the first I tried to get published.
KING: You never submitted anything before.
ROWLING: Because I was acute enough to know they weren't worth much. I think, you know, one of my strengths as a writer is normally I know when I haven't come up to scratch and I just knew I wasn't ready.
KING: So if people come over and say let's publish some of those works...
ROWLING: No one has, but that's because I've made it very clear that they're due for the shredder. I wouldn't want them published.
KING: Is "Potter" all you're ever going to write?
ROWLING: No, I'll be writing until I can't write anymore. It's a compulsion with me. I love writing.
KING: Do you remember how, it's impossible to say how an idea came about. Do you remember, though, the creation of this concept?
ROWLING: Yes, it came to me on a train going from Manchester to London in England and it came very suddenly. I just...
KING: What came?
ROWLING: The idea for this boy who didn't know what he was until he was 11 and then got this invitation to go off to wizard school and I had this very physical response to this idea. I felt so excited. I just thought it would be so fun to write.
KING: So you went right away and started writing.
ROWLING: Literally, got off the train, went home and started writing.
KING: Do you know, J.K., where you're going?
KING: You do? You plot it out?
ROWLING: Yes, I spent five years -- it was five years before -- between having that idea and finishing the first book and during those five years I was planning the whole seven book series, so it's already written in stone. That's how it's going to happen.
KING: Now they're doing a movie, now. I ran into Mr. Rickman, who is going to be one of the stars of the movie.
ROWLING: Yes, he's playing Snake. Good choice.
KING: Have you approved the script?
ROWLING: I have script approval and the writer Steve Clovis (ph) has been incredibly generous in allowing me to answer questions. You know, it's actually been a lot fun for me because I've seen other -- writing is a very solitary business and to work collaboratively on something although -- I mean, it's Steve's script, as I say, he's allowed me some input. Yes, it's been a really interesting experience.
KING: But it is apples and oranges, movies and books?
` ROWLING: Very much so.
KING: You can't film a thought.
ROWLING: Absolutely. Absolutely true, and my true media is definitely the novel. I work best alone, probably. I love writing novels. I have no desire to do anything else.
KING: Do you like the young man they've selected to play him?
ROWLING: I love -- Dan is great. It was a very difficult process. Finding Harry was very hard. It was like trying to find Scarlett O'Hara, this one. And I think everyone was getting slightly desperate. And I was walking down the streets of Edinburgh and London and looking at boys who passed me in a very suspicious looking way. You know, I was thinking could it be him. And then the producer and director walked into the theater one night and they found Dan. And Dan is an actor. And he's just perfect. And I saw his tests, and I really had everything crossed that Dan would be the one, and he is.
KING: The pressure is going to be enormous on that movie with this millions of readers, you've got 48 million books in print.
KING: This movie is a guaranteed opening night hit. It almost has to be good.
ROWLING: I hope so.
KING: I mean, it better...
ROWLING: Obviously I hope so because I'm going to be sitting there like everybody else, really wanting to watch quiddage. That's the thing I want to see most. I've been watching quiddage which, for people who don't know, is a game played on broomsticks, quite a complicated game. And I've been watching this inside my head for 10 years so to be able to physically watch it, I feel like a kid when I think about that.
KING: Anything in the selection of the name, Harry Potter?
ROWLING: Harry, Harry was always my favorite boy's name or has been fro a long time. And if my daughter had been a son, I was already writing "Harry Potter" when she was born, she probably would have been Harry and then Harry would have been called something else because it's too cruel to name...
KING: Is it more common in Great Britain? It's the name of one of the princes, right?
ROWLING: Yes, but don't ask me did I name him after Prince Harry. It's not that common a name. It's one of those names that's always slightly unusual. It's quite an old-fashioned name. I like it.
KING: It was once very popular in America. We have a song "I'm Just Wild About Harry."
ROWLING: Sure, yes.
KING: Our guests is J.K. Rowling, creator of "Harry Potter." This is LARRY KING LIVE. Back with more after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Harry was small and skinny with brilliant green eyes and jet black hair that was always untidy. He board round glasses and on his forehead was a thin, lightning-shaped scar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with J.K. Rowling. We're going to have some questions. We filmed some question with people around the city of Washington the other day. But how has all the success affected you? It has to affect you.
ROWLING: It has. Obviously, it's had a massive impact. Day to day not much. People might be surprised to hear that, but my day is really very -- what it always was, which is trying to get time to write, which used to be difficult because I'm a single parent and I was doing a day job. And now it's difficult because the phone never stops ringing so I still walk out of the house to write. Occasionally, obviously, you know, I'm on the LARRY KING show. This was not a feature of my life.
KING: You also don't have economic pressure anymore.
ROWLING: I don't have economic pressure anymore. And every day people constantly say to me what's the best thing about that, and without a doubt the best thing is I don't have to worry. I mean, every day -- you know, there will be single mother out there who -- who I think will really understand nothing means more to me than the fact I don't have to worry about that anymore because it's a difficult way to live.
KING: I'll ask more on that. But let's take first -- we went around Washington. Here's a question from a youngster for J.K. Rowling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd like to know if any of your characters of the "Harry Potter" series are like any real-life characters you've ever met.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLING: Right. Yes, a few people were inspired by living people. I have to be careful what I say here because some of my characters aren't too pleasant, but Hermione, who is one of Harry's best friends, she was most consciously based on a real person, and that person was me. She's a caricature of me when I was younger. Ron, who is Harry's other best friend, he's a lot like my oldest friend, who is a man called Sean. I was at school with him and the second book is dedicated to Sean.
KING: Did you think it would do as well with adults?
ROWLING: No. In all honesty, I didn't think it would do this well with anyone. I thought I was writing quite an obscure book that if it ever got published would maybe have a handful of devotees because I thought -- it is kind of a book for obsessives. I thought, well, maybe a few people will like it a lot. I never expected it to have broad appeal.
KING: You might have thought it would be a cult following, a small intense group.
ROWLING: Yes, I think if you'd sort of given me a multiple choice one and one of them had been mass acclaim and one had been cult I'd have picked cult, yes.
KING: A group -- a family group with a question for J.K. Rowling taped in Washington. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to know how you come up with the spells and if you have to research those, if that's something that you come up entirely on your own out of your imagination or whether it's something that you researched and had to find out about magical spells and potions?
(END VIDEO CLIP) ROWLING: I'd say at least 95 percent of it is made up by me just out of nowhere. And then I meet people at book signings who whisper to me, "We are trying the spells." And I think: Well, don't bother, because I know I just made them up. They don't work.
But there's a small percentage of the stuff in books that is my modification of what people used to believe was true. For example, there is an object in the second book, which is the Hand of Glory. This is very macabre, but people used to believe in Europe that, if you cut off the hand of a hanged man, it would make a perpetual torch that gave light only to the holder, which is a creepy, you know -- but a wonderful idea. So I used that. That's a very ancient idea. I didn't invent the Hand of Glory.
KING: How do you for think for an 11-year-old when you're not 11?
ROWLING: Because I find it phenomenally easy to think myself back to that age.
KING: You can put yourself back to 11.
ROWLING: Very easily. This is where it all comes from. I often get asked: Do you get ideas from children? Do you ask children what they're interested in? No. This is entirely about my memories of childhood.
KING: Why not then a heroin? Why isn't this Helene Potter?
ROWLING: Very good question. I was -- this is weird -- I writing the books for six months, before I stopped and thought: Well, he's a boy. How did that happen? Why is he a boy? Why isn't it Harriet? And number one, it was too late. Harry was too real by then for me to try to put him in a dress. That wasn't going to work. And then there was Hermione -- and Hermione is an indispensable part of the books and how the adventures happen.
And she so much me that I felt no guilt about keeping the hero who had walked into my head. You know, it was uncontrived. It wasn't conscious. That's how he happened. So I kept him that way.
KING: Our remaining moments with J.K. Rowling. The newest, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." The movie -- what's the title of the movie?
ROWLING: They're doing a really great thing, which is, it will be "Sorcerer's Stone" here and "Philosopher's Stone" in Britain.
KING: "Sorcerer's Stone" everywhere. We'll be back with our remaining moment -- couple more questions from outside as well. Don't go away.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
NARRATOR: Harry Potter wasn't a normal boy. Harry Potter was a wizard, a wizard fresh from his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And suddenly Harry's wand was vibrating as though an electric charge was surging through it. His hand seized up around it. He couldn't have released it if he had wanted to.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
KING: We are back with J.K. Rowling.
In our remaining moments, let's get another question. A pair of sisters are together. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to know why you -- or where you got the names for certain things like the literary references behind them, like why is Hogwarts called Hogwarts?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLING: I love names, as anyone who has read the book is going to see only too clearly.
KING: You are a name freak.
ROWLING: I am a bit of a name freak. A lot of the names that I didn't invent come from maps. Snape is a place name in Britain. Dumbledore means -- dumbledore is an old English dialect word for bumblebee, because he is a musical person. And I imagine him humming to himself all the time. Hagrid is also an old English word. Hedwig was a saint, a Medieval saint.
I collect them. You know, if I hear a good name, I have got to write it down. And it will probably crop up somewhere.
KING: What do you make of the critique in some elements of the United States, especially in the Christian right, who have said that this book is -- it deals with demons and things?
ROWLING: What it deals with is good and evil. And like a lot of classic children's literature, it deals with good and evil. So my feeling is that their objection is utterly unfounded. I mean, occasionally, I wonder: Have they read the books? I think they're very moral books.
If we are going to object to depicting magic in books, then we are going to have to reject C.S. Lewis. We're going to have to get rid of the "Wizard of Oz." There are going to be a lot of very -- there are going to be a lot of -- a lot of classic children's literature is not going to be allowed to survive that, so -- and I'm very opposed to censorship.
So, no, I can't agree with what they're doing at all.
KING: In how many languages are you printed?
ROWLING: I think it's definitely over 30. I know it's 29 countries. But obviously, there are different dialects.
KING: How much mail do you get?
ROWLING: Avalanches of mail. This is why I'm -- you know, it's people...
KING: Yes, why are you here? There's no
ROWLING: Exactly. This say -- exactly. This say, some people: Why are you still doing this? You don't -- no, I'm not trying to sell a book. What I'm trying to do is reach people, because I have millions of readers, and they ask me questions. And so to do this and to be able to answer questions in this way, because if I -- you know, if I visited every school that wants me to visit them, if I gave every reading a library would like me to give, I would never eat, sleep, write. I'd never see my daughter, you know.
So this is a way of reaching people without physically having to go everywhere.
KING: Do you think, Jo -- Jo, is your name, right?
KING: Do you think, Jo, that the pressure is going to be enormous when the "Potter" series is done and we get your first book after that?
ROWLING: I'm never going write anything this popular again. And I...
KING: That would be impossible.
ROWLING: It would -- I've been reconciled to that since "Philosopher's Stone" came out. The whole thing knocked me off my feet. I didn't expect it at all. And, in way, that will be OK, because it will be -- I will then probably be the writer I always thought I would be. I would be the writer I aspired to be: someone who was just getting on quietly with writing.
So although this has been a fabulous experience, I don't think I'm going cry when the journalists pack up and go home and don't want to speak to me so often. That's truly not what it's about for me.
KING: But you will not again write just for yourself?
ROWLING: I will always write just for myself. And that -- the next book might be for adults. It might still be for children. If I'm always known as a children's...
KING: But, I mean, ones that you won't bring forward?
ROWLING: Oh, yes, right. OK.
KING: They will come forward?
ROWLING: You mean...
KING: You're not going to write a book and put it away anymore?
ROWLING: Well, I might do. I don't know. That could -- that could definitely happen.
KING: That's right. You don't have to, Jo.
ROWLING: No, I -- I don't have to publish. We all know that. The only reason to keep writing now is if I really enjoy the writing.
KING: A great pleasure meeting you.
ROWLING: And you too. Thank you very much.
KING: Continued success.
ROWLING: Thank you.
KING: J.K. Rowling, creator of "Harry Potter" -- Elizabeth Hurley earlier. Tomorrow night: Don Rickles. Thanks for joining us. Have a great weekend. I'm Larry King. Good night.
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