Although the opening of $40 million sci-fi epic Dune (see page 129) isn't until December, "There's a giant beginning to awake around me," says Kyle MacLachlan, 25, whose film debut as the messiah of the planet Dune could catapult him to stardom. "Dune will bring me higher visibility," explains Kyle, who is slated to appear in at least two of four planned Dune sequels. For now, though, he is trying to keep things "low-key." He has gone home to Yakima, Wash, after doing stage auditions in New York, where, he says, "I was called back for Neil Simon's new play, Biloxi Blues, but I didn't get a part because I was too old. I tried out for Henry V, but they said I was too young." It's likely they'll react differently after December.
It didn't take any arm twisting to get Rolling Stone editor-publisher Jann Wenner to play an editor in the film Perfect!, starring John Travolta as a Rolling Stone reporter. Fact is, Wenner did a little twisting of his own: He said he wouldn't cooperate with producers unless he got a part in the picture. They were relieved when Wenner displayed some thespian potential during his first script reading, but Wenner's screen test the next day was a disaster. What happened? It seems he spent the previous night under the apparently unnerving tutelage of two actor friends—Michael Douglas and Warren Beatty. Wenner got the role only after promising to ignore the advice of his coaches.
Loni Anderson and Lynda Carter, who've just wrapped a pilot for their upcoming NBC series Partners in Crime, have developed some new skills for their roles. The two play ex-wives of a San Francisco private eye, who leaves them his detective business and various unsolved mysteries. For the two-hour pilot Anderson had to learn to pick pockets, speak about 40 words of Chinese and play a double bass because her character is a musician. Carter, as a financially strapped photographer, had to master the trick of opening a door with a credit card for one scene, but she prefers putting plastic to better use in real life. Says Lynda, "Unlike the character I play, I love to spend money and be extravagant. I hope I never have to be that thrifty." Pray for good ratings, Lynda.
Billy Dee Williams won't come cheap to Dynasty next fall when he debuts as Diahann Carroll's hubby, a record company mogul named Brady Rodgers. Williams, who is booked for seven episodes, wouldn't do the series unless he got the same wage as Joan Collins—$40,000-plus per episode....
Twyla Tharp will also be dancing off with a fat fee—reportedly $350,000—as choreographer of an untitled movie, with Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Word is Hines wanted dance wiz Michael Peters (page 119) to stage the film's fancy footwork. But Misha wouldn't do the movie without Twyla.
Kangaroo care was not in Eric (Star 80) Roberts' contract for his comedy film The Coca-Cola Kid. But while shooting in Australia, Roberts was the only one who could handle a feisty, furry co-star named Duncan. Talk about star trips. "When Duncan was upset, he kicked a lot," says Roberts, who plays a Coca-Cola exec transferred Down Under. "Between takes, I took him for walks and talked to him. He was my best friend on the set. Duncan is in my will." That's assuming, of course, that Duncan survives the high life of showbiz. Rumor is he's already hooked on Coke.
Peter Noone, former lead singer of Herman's Hermits, the British rockers who followed the Beatles to America 20 years ago, won't be joining his old group for their U.S. tour this summer. What's more, he plans on taking legal measures to prevent the Hermits from using his likeness or voice in ads or performances. "I haven't been in that band for 10 years," complains Noone, 36, who recently toured as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance. "I'm trying to be an actor. I've decided not to do music. Suddenly people think that I'm back with the Hermits." So who in the new band, which has only two of the five original members, will sing Noone's famous ditties Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter and I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am? Says Herman the First, "They even have a Herman clone. He looks just like me."
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