Bradley Cooper’s ‘Licorice Pizza’ character relies on a real-life Hollywood producer who began out as a hairdresser, was married to Pamela Anderson for 12 days, and fought Steven Seagal


Jon Peters and Barbara Streisand holding arms

Jon Peters and Barbara Streisand in 1975.Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty

  • Jon Peters discovered fame within the early Nineteen Seventies as a hairdresser-to-the-stars and for relationship Barbara Streisand.

  • He later turned a distinguished producer, with credit together with “Flashdance” and “Batman.”

  • All through his profession, he is had high-profile amorous affairs and been entangled in controversies.

There are Hollywood legends after which there’s Jon Peters.

Since approaching the scene within the early Nineteen Seventies, it is laborious to match the nothing-to-something trajectory Peters had in his profession, which started as a teen decided to make it large as a hairdresser to ultimately working a serious film studio.

However as Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza” chronicles, Peters additionally has a darkish aspect.

In Anderson’s newest film, set in California’s San Fernando Valley in 1973, which chronicles the exploits of lovebirds 15-year-old Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) and 25-year-old Alana Kane (Alana Haim), the 2 witness the outlandish antics of Peters first hand.

Whereas delivering a water mattress to Peters’ home, the 2 encounter the person, performed completely by Bradley Cooper, who comes off as intimidating and in some situations psychotic. In the identical breath that he praises Valentine for having a “from the streets” vibe he additionally says he’ll kill Valentine’s household if something occurs to his home, which he shares along with his lover, well-known film star and singer Barbra Streisand.

Bradley Cooper in a white shirtBradley Cooper in a white shirt

Bradley Cooper as Jon Peters in “Licorice Pizza.”MGM

Sporting neatly coiffed hair, a brief trimmed beard, and carrying a good white shirt and bell-bottom pants, Cooper is the spitting picture of the early Nineteen Seventies-era Peters, who by 1973 had turn out to be a self-made hairstylist-to-the-stars, was sleeping with one of many greatest actresses on the planet, and was about to bulldoze his manner into the highest tier of Hollywood producers via intimidation, radical concepts, and intercourse.

Although he would go on to supply the Streisand-led “A Star Is Born” and launch the “Batman” franchise in addition to produce the field workplace catastrophe “Wild, Wild, West” and the never-made Nicolas Cage “Superman” film, Peters’ notorious conduct is what turned his calling card in Hollywood.

Right here we chronicle the wild profession of Peters.

(Peters didn’t reply to Insider’s request to remark for this story).

Jon Peters in a tuxedo and Barbara Streisand in a dressJon Peters in a tuxedo and Barbara Streisand in a dress

Jon Peters and Barbara Streisand.Hulton Archive/Getty

In Peters’ first assembly with Streisand, he instructed her she had a ‘nice ass’

The Peters we meet in “Licorice Pizza” is having an excellent 1973.

In that 12 months, he began his personal salon in Beverly Hills and was making $100 an hour chopping the hair of stars like Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty (even bragging to anybody who would hear that he was the inspiration behind Beatty’s character in his 1975 basic, “Shampoo”), in line with the 1997 bestselling book on Peters, “Hit & Run” by veteran entertainment reporters Kim Masters and Nancy Griffin.

That was additionally the 12 months he met Streisand, who wanted somebody to model the short-haired wig she would put on within the 1974 film “For Pete’s Sake.”

As chronicled in “Hit & Run,” the primary time Peters met Streisand was at her dwelling and as he adopted her up the steps he mentioned: “My God!

“What are you taking a look at?” Streisand responded to him.

“I am taking a look at your butt,” he said. “You have bought an excellent ass.”

A star is born babsA star is born babs

Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand in 1976’s “A Star Is Born.”Warner Bros.

The two began an affair, according to the book, despite Peters being married to actress Lesley Ann Warren (they would divorce two years later).

The Peters-Streisand relationship was fueled by passion and arguments, which eventually led to the two working together creatively, the book detailed. Peters produced Streisand’s 1974 album “ButterFly” and then the 1976 movie “A Star Is Born,” which follows Streisand as a young singer who falls for an aging rock star (Kris Kristofferson).

Peters had never produced a movie before, but his inexperience didn’t make him shy to give his thoughts, or confront anyone on the movie with threats of physical violence, according to “Hit & Run.”

During the making of the movie, he suggested starring as the lead and taking over as director, though, neither were seriously considered, according to the book.

Though he did inspire a line in the movie. When Kristofferson and Streisand’s characters meet for the first time he says to her: “You have bought an excellent ass.”

Peters was also a producer on the 2018 “A Star Is Born” remake directed by Cooper.


Warner Bros.

Peters single-handedly reworked the ending of ‘Batman’ and had an on-set relationship with Kim Basinger

Once “A Star is Born” was released Peters cashed out as a hairdresser and moved on to producing full time.

He found success executive producing classics like 1980’s “Caddyshack” and “An American Werewolf in London,” released the following year, but he really became a Hollywood player when he teamed with fellow producer Peter Guber.

The two made their mark on the industry when they secured the rights to make a “Batman” movie. It was Peters and Guber who introduced Hollywood to comic book adaptations as huge moneymakers for the big screen.

Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” movie was a colossal undertaking in which Peters was front-and-center in many of the decisions.

According to “Hit & Run,” he pushed for Michael Keaton to play Batman and wooed Jack Nicholson as The Joker by flying him privately to the “Batman” set to see the Batmobile along with stocking the jet with caviar, a personal trainer, and a masseuse.

Jon Peters arm and arm with Peter GuberJon Peters arm and arm with Peter Guber

(L-R) Jon Peters and Peter GuberRon Galella Collection/Getty

Throughout filming, Peters was sleeping with the movie’s romantic lead, Kim Basinger, who played photojournalist Vicki Vale.

“Kim had a husband who was abusive. And sooner or later I grabbed him, and she or he related with me as a result of I protected her, and we turned mates and ended up having a giant affair,” Peters told The Hollywood Reporter in a 2017 interview.

“Michael Keaton had the attention for Kim Basinger,” he continued. “I keep in mind he bought mad at me when she and I attached. He felt rejected ‘trigger he was the star. He is Batman. Yeah. I used to be a hairdresser who might discuss to ladies. We lived collectively on the set. She helped me write the third act.”

Feeling the ending originally created wasn’t epic enough — and the fact that Basinger’s character was to die — Peters went and redid it behind Burton’s back. He even went as far as building a 38-foot model of a cathedral costing $100,000 for the set where all the action would take place, according to “Hit & Run.”

“Right here have been Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger strolling up this cathedral, and midway up Jack turns spherical and says, ‘Why am I strolling up all these stairs? The place am I going?'” Burton is quoted as saying in “Hit & Run,” noting that due to the late change, most of the cathedral ending was improvised.

“And I needed to inform him that I did not know,” Burton continued. “Probably the most horrifying expertise of my life.”

Heidi Fleiss with reporters around herHeidi Fleiss with reporters around her

Heidi Fleiss at her 1993 trial.Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Peters became the head of Sony and then got tangled in the Heidi Fleiss controversy

The success of “Batman” made Peters and Guber hitmakers in the eyes of Hollywood. It led to an amazing feat: the two were hired as co-chairmen of Sony Pictures in 1989.

While at the studio, Peters tried to get Michael Jackson to make a movie there and even had ideas of a theme park called Sonyland, according to “Hit & Run.”

But his antics are the most memorable. Peters confirmed in the 2017 Hollywood Reporter interview that he once used the Sony private jet to send flowers to Swedish supermodel Vendela Kirsebom, stranding Bruce Willis, who was expecting to get the plane to fly to the set of his next movie.

He exited the company in 1991 and parted ways with Guber, but soon after, he got entangled in the Heidi Fleiss prostitution controversy, who was the madam of Hollywood in the 1990s.

After Fleiss was arrested and charged in 1993 for five counts of pandering, stories began to run that employees at Sony were Fleiss’ clients. Fleiss started dropping names, including Peters’. (Fleiss was later convicted of three charges that were later overturned in 1996.)

“He bought women for everybody,” she instructed Vanity Fair in 1994, calling Peters an enormous shopper. “He was the man everybody went to once they needed a lady.”

Will Smith as a belly dancerWill Smith as a belly dancer

Will Smith as a stomach dancer in “Wild Wild West.”Murray Close/Getty

Peters made Will Smith dress in drag for ‘Wild Wild West’ and claims was paid millions to stay off the set of ‘Man of Steel’

After leaving Sony, the stories around Peters got even more bizarre.

He produced the 1999 box office disaster “Wild Wild West,” starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline, through which certainly one of his large contributions, according to a story in MEL last year, was to have Smith’s character costume as a stomach dancer to distract the villain.

It is a scene the film’s director, Barry Sonnenfeld, regrets.

“I by no means needed to see Will in drag,” Sonnenfeld told MEL. “I believed it was prurient, pointless, foolish, and in there solely as a result of Peters cherished it and refused to allow us to take it out.”

Around the same time, Peters was also trying to make “Superman Lives” with Tim Burton directing. The script, written by Kevin Smith, chronicled the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday and his subsequent resurrection thanks to a Kryptonian robot. Nicolas Cage was to play Superman.

The movie was never made, but one of Peters’ ideas for the movie has become legendary.

In his 2002 DVD, “An Night with Kevin Smith,” Smith mentioned Peters needed the film’s finale to characteristic Superman preventing an enormous spider. Peters later confirmed the story within the 2015 documentary “The Demise of ‘Superman Lives.'”

Peters, who owned the rights to the Superman franchise, claims that for 2006’s “Superman Returns” and 2013’s “Man of Metal,” he took in a combined $85 million for doing nothing. For “Man of Metal,” Peters mentioned Christopher Nolan, who was a producer on the film, banned him from the set, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“My status scares these guys,” Peters instructed THR.

Pamela Anderson in a white dressPamela Anderson in a white dress

Pamela Anderson.Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty

Peters was married to Pamela Anderson for 12 days, claims to have fought Steven Seagal, and was charged with sexual harassment in 2011

For decades, there have been stories about Peters getting into physical altercations, but the big standout is him saying he went at it with Steven Seagal in his pool.

In an interview about “Wild Wild West” for MEL, screenwriter Brent Maddock recalled talking to Peters at his house when the producer suddenly began recalling the time he took on the action star.

According to the screenwriter, Peters said to him: “You see the pool there? I used to be in the course of that pool sooner or later and swimming up behind me comes Steven Seagal. He will get me in a headlock. And you recognize, he is such a pussy…”

Maddock said then Peters described how they got out of the pool and had a martial arts battle on his lawn.

“The entire 4, 5 younger males executives who labored for Jon Peters are sitting round,” said Maddock, “and the one factor I am pondering is, ‘How are these guys conserving a straight face?'”

But in 2011, it was no laughing matter when Peters was ordered by a Los Angeles jury to pay a former assistant $3.3 million after finding she was subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment while working for him.

However, that didn’t stop Peters’ love life. Twelve days after Peters married Pamela Anderson in a secret ceremony in Malibu in 2020, the two called it off.

Now Peters is featured in an Anderson movie.

In true Peters fashion, the producer had a suggestion on what his character would say in “Licorice Pizza.” “He mentioned, ‘You are able to do no matter you’d love to do, however please simply get my pickup line in there,'” Anderson told Variety in November. And I mentioned, ‘What was your pickup line?’ And he mentioned, ‘I might go to a lady and ask her if she’d like a peanut butter sandwich.’ And I mentioned, ‘Did it work?’ And he mentioned, ‘Sure, it labored.’ So we put that in.”

“Licorice Pizza,” additionally starring Sean Penn, is at present enjoying in theaters.

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