Into It Shirley Maclaine, actress and author, what are you ...
The actress and author talks about what she's reading, watching, and listening to – and reveals her surprise favorite film of the year.
Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great. I think he's got a lot of points about religion and how we're going at each other because we don't believe in somebody else's God. Although, most of what he says, I'm not in agreement with. [He picks] an argument using the point of view that you think would be absolutely the opposite of his own. I'm also reading The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, [which is] about Al Qaeda. Very, very good. I'm still reading it but I like very much how he's educating the reader as to how all this came about. I just finished Carl Bernstein's book on Hillary Clinton [A Woman in Charge] – interesting. [He shows] how religious she is, which I didn't know. I don't read fiction – my life is fiction, I don't need more of it!
... Listening to?
I go for the radio. I have to listen to what I can get in New Mexico, so that leaves me with Randi Rhodes! I like classical music. I love Tchaikovsky.
I don't watch sitcoms. I don't even watch 24, Law & Order, Grey's Anatomy, or any of them. I watch all the news – on every channel – and, no matter what I'm doing, I will stop at prime-time newstime and look. And then I inhabit all the cable shows with all the intellectual maniacs – Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly. I get a kick out of my screaming back at them because they never stop screaming. I like Bill Maher.
Cinema-wise, I enjoyed Marion Cottilard's performance in La Vie en Rose more than anything I think I've seen in years – or ever. She'll get an Oscar if they have the right proper publicity and all that stuff. Hairspray: I love it. I love it. The level of the comedy; the tongue-in-cheek of John Travolta's performance; the choreography. Three times I've seen it – that does not happen with me.
• Shirley MacLaine's new book, "Sage-ing while Age-ing" (Atria), a chronicle of the evolution of her thoughts on medicine and spirituality, is now in stores.