Strange things about Annette Bening and Warren Beatty's marriage

Power couple Warren Beatty and Annette Bening seem to have it all: flourishing Hollywood careers, four beautiful children, and a marriage that has lasted 25 years. But just how did a once little-known starlet capture the heart of one of Tinseltown's most notorious womanizers? Let's take a look at the love story of Mr. and Mrs. Beatty and some quirky facts you might not know about their marriage.

He is rumored to have slept with close to 13,000 women

Author Peter Biskind alleged in his unauthorized biography, Star, that Beatty, a notorious womanizer, bedded 12,775 women (via the New York Post). Biskind wrote that the number didn't include "daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings or stolen kisses." While it may be true that the Hollywood icon has had his fair share of high-profile romances (Natalie Wood, Joan Collins, Madonna, Cher, Carly Simon, Diane Keaton, Michelle Phillips, Britt Eckland, to name a few) Beatty shot down the author's claims via an interview with AARP magazine.

"Think about it, sleeping with 12,775 people," he told the publication in 2016. "That would mean not just that there were multiple people a day, but that there was no repetition."

Bening has also apparently accepted her hubby's penchant for the ladies. "I didn't have any preconceptions about him. He didn't have any about me either. It wasn't about how many women he had been out with. Sure he likes women. Why shouldn't he? He makes you feel good. Well, he made me feel good," she told the UK's The Mirror.

It was love at first sight

When Beatty met the actress shortly before filming 1991's Bugsy he told director Barry Levinson (via the New York Post) that he wanted to marry her. The pair kept things platonic on set, but he later told the newspaper, "It took about 10 minutes (to fall in love with her). Maybe five...I was so elated to meet her, and yet at the same time, I began to mourn the passing of a way of life."

But if there was one person who could domesticate the perpetual bachelor, it was Bening. According to the Post,unlike the glamorous women he wooed in the past, her mom, Shirley Bening,said it best: "He fell for her "because she doesn't behave like an actress, she's still herself."

He wanted to cast Bening in "Dick Tracy"

A year before they co-starred (and ultimately fell in love) on the set of Bugsy, Beatty had hoped his now-wife would star as his leading lady in the comic-book adaptation of 1991's Dick Tracy (the role later went to actress Glenne Headly). Beatty had set up a meeting with Bening in Los Angeles, but he later shared with Entertainment Weekly that the starlet was a no-show. "I asked why and I was told that her ex-husband (J. Stephen White) had a problem in New York and she went to see if she was needed at all," Beatty told the magazine in 2016. "I was impressed with whoever that was."

In fact, her agent warned her not to take the meeting in fear that he would hit on her (via the New York Post). Coincidentally, Beatty's last known flame before he met Bening, pop star Madonna, also had a bit part in Dick Tracy as the voluptuous vixen, Breathless Mahoney. Hmm,that could have made things pretty heated on set.

Beatty feared divorce, not marriage

Beatty, who waited until he was in his 50s to tie the knot, admitted to the Today show (via PageSix) that he feared commitment due to his feelings about divorce. "I always felt I wasn't trying to avoid marriage, I was trying to avoid divorce. I had no doubt when I met Annette (Bening) that it was time to get married," the 79-year-old told host Matt Lauer.

The couple wed in a private ceremony on March 3, 1992. "When you're older and you meet somebody, the decision-making process is a lot shorter. You know, and you say, 'I know.' And that happened here and I listened to it. And by listening to it, it enabled me not to question it too much because when you question it, I think you can start to complicate things in a way that can be detrimental and I never did. I just never did," Beatty admitted to Roger Ebert in 1994.

They almost divorced

According to the New York Post (via YourTango) while Bening was promoting the 2010 film The Kids Are All Right at the Deauville Film Festival in France reporters were instructed to not ask the starlet about Beatty or their four children, sparking rumors that there was trouble in paradise. "The blackout immediately amped up speculation by the press corps of an impending split," a source told the Post.

The National Enquirer alleged that Beatty and Bening butted heads over their teenage daughter, Kathlyn Elizabeth's, decision to have transgender surgery. The tabloid reported that Beatty was devastated over the news. The dad-of-four later opened up about Kathlyn, who now goes by the name Stephen Ira, in an interview with Vanity Fair. "He's a revolutionary, a genius, and my hero, as are all my children."

They are opposites

While Beatty, a two-time Oscar winner, had been starring in movies since the early 60s, Bening, a once little-known actress from Kansas, didn't make it big in Hollywood until her first major film, 1990's The Grifters for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination for Supporting Best Actress. And despite their passion, Bening revealed she and her husband of 25 years don't always see eye to eye, telling Matt Lauer, I think in some ways we're very different, some ways we're alike, I'm more impatient and he's always late. That can sometimes be a problem."

Their age gap

When the couple met Beatty was 53, and still kept a penthouse suite at the Beverly Hill's Wilshire Hotel where he was known to bring back his conquests (via the Express). At 31, Bening had just divorced her first husband and lead a low-key life by Hollywood's standards. But lucky for him, she had a thing for silver foxes. "I had never been attracted to younger guys. I had, from my late teens, always liked men who were older than me," Bening, now 58, told the British publication of Beatty, 80.

​Bening's family and friends were surprised she wanted to marry him

Bening raised eyebrows within her circle after she announced she was marrying the known Hollywood philander. Even his sister, Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine, said her younger brother "couldn't even commit to dinner." (via Hairpin).

In an interview with the Express, Bening remarked she wasn't prepared for what people thought of the relationship. "I didn't consider for a moment how it would affect the people around me, like my friends and family. A friend actually said, 'Are you sure about this? Can you trust him? Is this what you want in your life?' I was suddenly the sister or friend who had married Warren Beatty. He was the man who appeared to be the lifelong bachelor. It was the big issue of that moment."

They support each other's careers

Beatty took a 15-year hiatus from the limelight (via Entertainment Weekly) while Bening, who worked while co-parenting their four kids, Stephen, Ella, Isabel, and Benjamin, starred in critically praised films such as The American President, The Siege, American Beauty, Being Julia,The Kids Are Alright and 20th Century Women. It wasn't until the two appeared together in the Howard Hughes 2016 biopic Rules Don't Apply that the power couple united onscreen again. It was their first role together since 1994's Love Affair. "I have never considered our careers a competition. Warren has nothing to prove to anybody and I've limited myself to an average of one movie a year since our wedding," Bening told the Express.