Arnold Answers Charges: Arnold Schwarzenegger responded to criticism Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that his latest action movie, "True Lies," is discriminatory against Arabs and women. Speaking with Joan Lunden, Schwarzenegger said any discrimination was unintentional. "This is really to be taken lightly," Schwarzenegger said, adding that "Hollywood does sometimes type . . . groups of people . . . (but) there's no disrespect on our part."
Expensive 'Kiss': New Line Cinema, recently acquired by deep-pocketed media mogul Ted Turner, paid a record $4 million Thursday in a three-way bidding war with Columbia and Warner Bros. for the movie script "The Long Kiss Goodnight," penned by one of Hollywood's hottest action writers, Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon," "The Last Boy Scout"). The project, which is being put on the fast track to production, will be directed by Renny Harlin ("Cliffhanger") and will star his actress-wife Geena Davis. The action-thriller is about a Midwest housewife suffering from amnesia who, after eight years, begins to recall her previous life as a government assassin. The huge purchase price sets a new high for "spec scripts"--material sold on the open market--surpassing the $3 million that Carolco Pictures paid for Joe Eszterhas' "Basic Instinct" in 1990.
Pee-wee and Pals Perform: Paul Reubens hasn't been onstage since 1991, but he's about to trod the boards once again. The actor, a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman, will appear in a staging of Stephen Temperley's "Mercy," directed by Vivian Matalon at the Stella Adler theater on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an item reported by Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd. The production is part of HBO's New Writers Project, a series of 25 workshops at the Hollywood theater. Ten of the 25 scripts will be chosen for the first HBO Festival of New Writers, a showcase of one-act comedies to be presented at an as of yet unannounced venue this fall. Other well-known actors participating in the workshops include Chad Lowe and Sara Gilbert in Robert R. Kerr's "The Potato Creek Chair of Death" (also on Tuesday and Wednesday), and Arye Gross in Susan Kim's "Rapid Eye Movement" (Thursday-Friday). The 7:30 p.m. performances are free to the public, but seating is very limited.
An American in Paris: Marie-Claude Beaud, founding director and artistic manager of the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, has been appointed executive director of the American Center in Paris. Beaud, 48, recently oversaw the Cartier Foundation's move to new quarters in Paris designed by French architect Jean Nouvel on the site of the old American Center building on Boulevard Raspail. When she assumes her new position on Sept. 1, Beaud will move to the American Center's new building, which opened in June in a complex designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry. Beaud will succeed Henry Pillsbury, who has been named director emeritus of the center.
Complicite Out, Redgrave In: Due to a scheduling conflict, the British company Theatre de Complicite has canceled all of this year's North American engagements--so the theater troupe will not be part of UK/LA, a celebration of British Arts coming Sept. 7-Nov. 7. Instead, UK/LA will present "3x3: Great Solo Performances," featuring three British actors: Lynn Redgrave in "Shakespeare for My Father" (seen here in 1993); Miriam Margolyes in "Dickens' Women" and Steven Berkoff in "One Man," at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. Dates to be announced later.
Stars Awarded: Andy Garcia, Tyne Daly, Gladys Knight, David Copperfield and KRTH-FM radio personality the Real Don Steele are among the celebrities receiving stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year for their contributions to the motion picture, television, recording, radio and live-theater industries. Others chosen for the tribute include: director-producer Gil Cates; animator Chuck Jones; cinematographer Haskell Wexler; actors Brian Dennehy, Sharon Gless, Hal Linden and Robert Urich; songwriting teams Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and recording artists the Temptations and the Who.
Allen Eyes Venetian Home: Film director-actor Woody Allen is reportedly thinking of buying Ca Dario, a splendid Venetian palace on the Grand Canal, despite the building's reputation for bringing misfortune upon its owners. The Italian newspaper Il Messaggero claimed this week that Allen was planning to tempt fate by buying the property from the family of Raul Gardini, the petrochemicals entrepreneur who committed suicide a year ago today after being caught up in Italy's corruption scandal. Vanni Ballestrazzi, a journalist and close friend of Gardini, said: "It's a stupendous house, one of the 10 most beautiful residences in the world." The marble-faced palace was built in 1487 by Giovanni Dario, a Venetian merchant and diplomat. Allen reportedly became smitten with the Ca Dario during a recent visit to Venice with companion Soon Yi Previn.