The Insider

updated 09/23/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/23/1991 01:00AM

BRANDO AND MADONNA: POSSIBLE COSTARS?

Author Lawrence Grobel says in his new book, Conversations with Brando (due next week from Hyperion), that Marlon Brando recently considered a deal that would have had him play Big Daddy opposite Madonna's Maggie in a movie remake of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. What does Madonna have to say about working with Brando, whom she met back in her Sean Penn days?

Through her spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, the singer-actress says, "I would do a remake of yesterday's garbage with Marlon Brando. But on a serious note, what I'd really love to do is the Frida Kahlo—Diego Rivera story with Marlon."

Frida Kahlo (1910-54) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), both major Mexican painters, were married in 1929, divorced in 1939 and remarried in 1940. Madonna, a collector of Kahlo's works, has been trying for several years to do a film about her.

If Marlon is interested, what should he do? "He should just call me," says Madonna. "I'm ready."

GEENA DAVIS: GUARDED COMMENTS

Geena Davis must be feeling secure of late. Sources tell us that, on location in Evansville, Ind., where she is shooting A League of Their Own, the actress is under the vigilant eye of Hollywood's best known "security guard to the stars," Gavin de Becker. His interest may be more than professional: He's reputed to be her new beau, although Davis's rep denies this.

Reached in Evansville, De Becker admits only that Davis and costar Madonna are "clients" of his Los Angeles-based security agency, Gavin de Becker Associates. As to any relationship with Davis beyond that, De Becker says. "If it were true, it is the last thing I would comment on," adding that he has dedicated his life "to protecting the privacy of others, so I'm not about to violate mine."

SPIKELESS IN MECCA

Spike Lee, who likes to do things his way, has had to submit to someone else's demands. Specifically those of the Islamic authorities who watch over Mecca, the Muslim religion's holy city in Saudi Arabia. When Fee decided to shoot footage in Mecca for Malcolm X, his next and already controversial film, he had to deal with Islamic law's dictate that only Muslims may enter the city. This meant Fee had to have an all-Muslim crew.

No problem, says Malcolm X line producer Preston Holmes: "We hired a couple cameramen in Los Angeles and a couple from Egypt."

Even so, when audiences see Malcolm X, they will glimpse the holy city only in background and establishing shots, because the movie's main actors—all non-Muslims—were barred from Mecca, as was director Lee.

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