Actress MILLIE PERKINS, one of ELVIS PRESLEY'S love interests in the 1961 him Wild in the Country (left), is now old enough—at 51—to return as his mom. And that's just what she's doing, playing Elvis's beloved mother, GLADYS, in ABC's new Elvis series. Perkins says that while she was researching her role, one of Gladys's pals told her, "Gladys didn't want Elvis to sign with [manager] Col. [Tom] Parker. The day he did, Gladys said, 'My son won't make it past 35 with a man like that.' " As for working with Elvis, Perkins says, "We had a scene in the movie in the back of a pickup truck, and Elvis was supposed to serenade me. I thought, 'Oh, God, this is the most embarrassing thing I've ever done.' As we were about to do the scene, Elvis said, 'Man, this is embarrassing. I hate it.' And that was wonderful, because I thought Elvis enjoyed doing all those silly things in his movies—but he didn't. He just had no control over his life."
Actress GLENN CLOSE, 42, won't be sitting pretty during this year's Academy Awards telecast on March 26. Although Close, who has been nominated for an Oscar five times (twice for best actress and three times for supporting, but has never won), wasn't given the nod this year, she will be at the awards as a presenter. Is she pleased about this? "God, yes," she says. "After all the hell that you've gone through to try to figure out what to wear, people will actually see it."
Fifteen-year-old actor BALTHAZAR GETTY, whose great grandfather was the late oil baron J. PAUL GETTY, has begun work on his first fortune. While in Jamaica shooting a remake of Lord of the Flies, due March 16, Getty says, "The older kids in the movie [including himself] started little businesses, and we made over $1,000. We had a whole black market. We arranged circuses and made a haunted house and charged admission. We ripped the little kids off selling them things like conch shells, which we could find 10 of and then sell for $70 each, and they thought it was the best deal of the century. They're really only worth like $5. They never found out. We kept it low, because if anyone found out, we'd be in trouble."
After his single "Wild Thing" (not a remake of the Troggs' 1966 original) sold more than 2 million copies—second only to "We Are the World" in pop music history—rapper TONE-LOC was accused by many of his peers of selling out. "I didn't make that rap song as a crossover," says Loc, 23, whose new album is due in June. "A lot of people say I'm a sellout because I rap for the pop charts. When these people talk about this sellout s—-, when they go overseas and tour in England, who do they think they're playing for? Africans? I don't think so. You want everyone to like your music, that's the point...Public Enemy is into the whole heritage thing, but that's nothing new to me, and the only reason I wouldn't do that type of [political] rap is because I won't be on this black-consciousness bandwagon all of a sudden. I'm committed more in real life than putting it on a record."
Former porn star TRACI LORDS, who made X-rated movies as a 15-year-old, is enjoying her mainstream career at the advanced age of 21. She plays a high school hoodette in JOHN WATERS's Cry Baby, opening in April. "I felt like I've been an adult for a long time, and one of the great things about Cry Baby was that I got to be young again," says Lords. "I was missing a few years there, 16 and 17. [In Cry Baby] I got to drive around in a car and put on all the little-girl clothes. I got a lot of things back—it was fun." As for her years in the porn industry, Lords says, "When you're young, you're more resilient. If I were 26, I'd be more bitter because I'd feel I was robbed of good years, but at 21, it's easier to forgive yourself for screwing up at such a young age."