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Tut Would Have Felt at Home


The Scene: Monday's premiere of MGM's "Stargate" at Mann's Chinese with a party at the Palace. The film is a special-effects-filled science-fiction thriller with an ancient Egyptian theme. One writer, well-versed in the reigning buzzwords used to sell scripts, dubbed it " 'Die Hard' in a pyramid."

Who Was There: The film's stars, James Spader and Jaye Davidson, who's best-known for "The Crying Game" (co-star Kurt Russell was in New York for the Letterman show); also on hand were director-writer Roland Emmerich, writer-producer Dean Devlin, executive producer Mario Kassar and 1,200 guests, including James Coburn, Adam Baldwin, Gary Busey, Kim Cattrall, Ed Begley Jr., Lesley Ann Warren, Rick Nicita, Jim Sheridan, and MGM's Frank Mancuso, Gerry Rich and Larry Gleason.

The Film Distilled: Jennifer Tilly said, "James Spader is a kind of a yuppie heartthrob, Kurt Russell is a kind of cowboy heartthrob, and then you have Jaye Davidson, who plays a hermaphrodite, which in itself is a really interesting special effect."

Quoted: Davidson, who said doing "Stargate" was "a lucky break," added, "Why didn't I work for two years after 'The Crying Game'? It's because Hollywood doesn't know what to do with me. I don't look normal. I look like a bit of a freak. It's not as though I'm going to get the roles Keanu Reeves turns down."

The Setting: It was a truly lively party with a large segment of the crowd dancinguntil 1 a.m. Part of the ambience came from muscular extras in ancient Egyptian costume who looked like bodybuilders from the King Tut gym. They wore loincloths that were a strong breeze away from being X-rated.

Chow: Ambrosia's Middle Eastern menu of stuffed grape leaves, hummus and fish skewers was served by staffers wearing turbans and robes a la John the Baptist. One guest called the style "early Tunisian drip-dry."

Fashion Standout: Davidson arrived at the screening in a shimmering, antique Indian sari woven from gold thread. He changed into jeans and T-shirt immediately afterward. "No way was I going to wear it to the party, bump into drunks and get cigarette burns," he said.

Local Wisdom: A film star's ex-wife said, "Being a celebrity is like having an all-access, backstage pass to life in Hollywood."

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