Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Peyton Manning's Plans After Super Bowl Win: 'I Want to Go Kiss My Wife and My Kids' ... and 'Drink a Lot of Budweiser'
- Read the Cover Story: Amy Duggar King: I'm Doing It My Way
- Marshawn Lynch Appears to Retire Mid-Super Bowl
- Celebrities Cheer on Lady Gaga's Performance – Including Ellen DeGeneres: 'I'm So Glad I Loaned You My Jumpsuit'
- Saoirse Ronan Bonded with Jamie Foster Over the Pressures of Navigating Hollywood as a Former Child Star
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 20, 1993
- Vol. 40
- No. 12
Hip Hicks Hit Hollywood
Next Month, You May Have Two Choices: Head for the Hills or Head for the Hillbillies
Certainly director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World) is hoping for a similar reaction on Oct. 15, when The Beverly Hillbillies brings those filthy-rich bumpkins to the big screen. The movie, based on the TV series that ran on CBS from 1962 to 1971, tampers with the original sitcom premise, in which the Clampetts keep getting bilked of their bucks, but only enough, says Rob Schneider, 29, Saturday Night Live's Richmeister, who has a supporting role as a swindler, "to bring the fun up to date."
What's the same is that Jed (played In Varney instead of Buddy Ebsen), a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed, is out one day shooting at some food when...well, you know. He stumbles on a gusher and soon moves his entire clan to the luxe hills of Beverly. What's different, says Varney, 43, is that "the movie is scaled much bigger." This time, ol' Jed's a billionaire, and the Clampelt mansion is about four limes the size of the original.
Capturing the spirit of the old show was the biggest challenge for the filmbillies, especially since—with the exception of 85-year-old Ebsen, who plays a cameo role—none of the original cast is back. Irene Ryan (Granny), Nancy Kulp (Miss Hathaway) and Raymond Bailey (Mr. Drysdale) have all died. Max Baer (Cousin Jethro), 55, went on to direct (Ode to Billy Joe) and is trying to finance a Beverly Hillbillies casino in Las Vegas. And Donna Douglas (Elly May), 59, is now a born-again Christian living in L.A.
So how did the new Clampett clan re-create a world in which a swimming pool is called a "cee-ment pond" and leftover possum is always in the fridge? Varney had a natural advantage. While he was growing up as a farm boy in Lexington, Ky., he says, his family "never missed The Beverly Hillbillies! It was my mother's favorite show." Cloris Leachman, 67, who plays Granny in the film, never saw the TV series; she got into character by watching videotapes and clomping around her Hollywood Hills home for a few weeks in Grannyesque combat boots that the wardrobe department had sent to her.
Lily Tomlin, 54, who plays Miss Hathaway, at first wasn't sure she wanted to get involved. "Nancy Kulp was so good in the part that it just didn't feel right," she says. But friends badgered her to accept the role. One enticement, she says, was working with Dabney Coleman, her costar in 1980's Nine to Five. Coleman, as stuffy banker Drysdale, "makes me laugh. He can razz you so bad."
Clearly the mood was lighter than on the set of, say, an Ingmar Bergman movie. Eleniak, who plays Elly May, spent countless hours walking on the StairMaster in her trailer. This, she jokes, did not always sit well with Diedrich Bader, 27, who plays Cousin Jethro. "Poor Diedrich is on the other side—we share a double-ender—so the trailer is a-rockin'," she says. Deadpans Bader: "I've been trying to cure cancer. I have a lab set up, but she keeps shaking everything. She's selling back the progress of medical history!"
Bader, a man capable of calling Jethro a "cultural icon," also claims that the movie has its noble—or was that Nobel?—elements. "This is about basic American values that still shine through," he says, "even when tested by Beverly Hills."
TOM CUNNEFF in Beverly Hills
- Tom Cunneff.
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!