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Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars . . . : Yes, they're making a movie from TV's 'Beverly Hillbillies.' My goodness, should they tamper with a national treasure?

June 13, 1993|JOE RHODES | Joe Rhodes is a free-lance writer based in Los Angeles.

"I don't want to end my career and be in my coffin and have a lot of people walk by and spit on my grave, OK? But I don't think that'll happen. I think I'm like a firm parent that the kid ultimately loves. If people perform well, I'm really very easy on them. But it somebody makes a mistake or does something that hampers the progression of the day, then I make a big deal out of it. And maybe, sometimes, I have to compensate for being a woman. I've got 50-year-old grips who don't want to hear it, you know? So, yeah, I'm tough, but the job gets done."

She's tried, in the past, to be sweeter on the set, but it never seemed to work. "When I started 'Wayne's World,' " she says, "my agent told me, 'Penelope, don't rock the boat.' And there were some psycho personalities running wild on that thing. And then one of the Paramount executives called me in and said, 'If you're not more assertive, you're fired.' And from that day on, I've been a bitch on wheels."

And a hot commodity besides, on the short list for every comedy project in town. As for "Wayne's World 2," Spheeris said she never even considered directing the sequel. "I'd love to work with (producer) Lorne Michaels again, but I just didn't have a good experience with Mike (Meyers) and I didn't want to do it again.

"Plus, I'm so curious as to how they're gonna do with someone else. I'm that kind of person. I would pass up a potential $5- to $10 million, just to see how it will come out without me. That's the kind of sicko I am."

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