The Insider

updated 10/07/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/07/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

READY WHEN YOU ARE, CAPTAIN HOOK

Dustin Hoffman is arguably America's most versatile actor, but he has never directed a movie. At least he has never been credited with directing a movie. He does, however, have the reputation in Hollywood of being someone who constantly imposes his will upon the directors with whom he works.

Consider the recently wrapped Hook, based on Peter Pan, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Hoffman as Captain Hook, Robin Williams as a grown-up Pan and Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell. Sources tell us there were times on the set when Hoffman "took over and directed the other actors.

A source close to both Spielberg and Hoffman confirms Hoffman "did do some directing during the making of Hook, but insists the actor "did not impose himself."

"Steven allowed Dustin to do it," says the source. "It was a very collaborative effort because it was planned that way."

ROBERT REDFORD WINS OVER HARRISON FORD

Everybody knows that an actor's career will be helped by an Academy Award nomination. But are we really supposed to believe, as a recent New York Post item suggested, that one of this year's nominees for Best Supporting Actress, Mary (Dances with Wolves) McDonnell, has already reached a level at which she would turn down $1 million to star opposite Harrison Ford in Patriot Games, Paramount's follow-up sequel to The Hunt for Red October, because the studio failed to meet her price of $1.2 million?

Though it is true, according to her agent, that a deal could not be worked out with Paramount for McDonnell to costar in Patriot Games, he tells us, "The numbers involved were considerably less than what was reported."

McDonnell's agent says that during negotiations with Paramount, the actress was offered—and accepted—the female lead opposite Robert Redford in Sneakers, a caper movie at Universal that begins shooting Oct. 21.

LOOK WHO'S LUNCHING WITH NANCY REAGAN

Where is Kitty Kelley when you really need her? It was Kelley who implied in her recent unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan that Mrs. Reagan and Frank Sinatra were doing more than just having lunch behind closed doors at the White House. Had Kelley still been tracking the ex—First Lady, she might have discovered that Nancy recently had another behind-closed-doors meal, this time with Michael Jackson.

The two lunched in Los Angeles in a trailer on the set of Jackson's next music video, "Dangerous." A source close to Jackson confirms that the pair dined, then adds (convincing!), "But that's all."

From Our Partners