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Sean Young Says She Was Fired From "Dick Tracy" for Rejecting Warren Beatty in New Interview

The actor was originally set to play Tess Trueheart in the 1990 detective comedy.

Throughout the '80s, Sean Young's movie career was flourishing and included roles in Blade RunnerDune, and Wall Street. But, in the '90s, her professional life took a turn. In a new interview with The New York Times, the 63-year-old opened up about her rollercoaster career and why she believes she never found the same level of success again. Among other things, she claims that she was fired from the 1990 film Dick Tracy after rejecting the advances of director and star Warren Beatty.

RELATED: Oliver Stone Said Working With Richard Dreyfuss Was "The Single Worst Experience" of His Career.

In the interview, Young pointed to the claims made by James Woods—her co-star in 1988's The Boost—that she harassed him and his then-fiancée Sarah Owen as one of the turning points in her career. Asked about her career falling off a cliff, she told The New York Times, "Part of that cliff was when James Woods accused me of stalking him. Then I moved to Sedona. And I said you can all go [expletive] yourselves. So I created part of that cliff."

Woods filed a $2 million civil lawsuit against Young in which he claimed that she had sent him and Owen "photographs and graphic representations of violent acts, deceased persons, dead animals, gore, mutilation, and other images specifically designed to cause them great emotional distress." Young denied this, as reported by NYT. The case ended up being settled outside of court.

Elsewhere in the interview, Young brought up another issue with a co-worker that changed her career: her claim that Beatty fired her from Dick Tracy because she rejected a sexual advance from him.

Sean Young at the "Sex, Lies and Videotape" New York City Premiere Party in 1989
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"I worked a week on that [film]," the actor said. "At the end of one day, he's dropping me off at the Sheraton. He walks around the car. Mr. Gentleman opens the door. I'm getting out and he grabs my ears, trying to pull me into a kiss. I go, 'What the [expletive] are you doing?' I mean, I yell at him. And he goes, 'Well, I was just testing you.' I lean into him and I say, 'Well, OK, are you clear now? That I'm not here to [expletive] you? I'm just here to do this part. Do you need to test me anymore?'"

Young said that she was fired "several days" later. "They put out in the papers 'artistic differences.' Like I was the problem. That really was the definitive cliff. My joke now is I should have just said, 'I'd love to [expletive]," she continued. "I'm just busy right now.'" As reported by The New York Times, Beatty denies Young's claim.

In a 2008 interview with Young, Entertainment Weekly reported that the official reason given for her being let go from Dick Tracy was that she didn't seem maternal enough in her role as Tess Trueheart. The role eventually went to Glenne Headly. According to Screen Rant, Beatty said, "I made a mistake casting Sean Young in the part and I felt very badly about it."

Young also spoke about her claim against Beatty in a 2021 interview with The Daily Beast. Asked if the Bugsy star was "the worst of the bunch" when it came to the men she interacted with in Hollywood, she said, "No… I think the sleazy or difficult part is that he probably thought he was treating me really well. You know what I'm saying? It's not just Warren—it's across the board. Ever since the movie business began, women have been treated as a commodity. There was always someone grabbing you, and I just ignored it."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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