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R S V P / INTO THE NIGHT

Night Was Pregnant With Possibility

November 16, 1994|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Monday's benefit world premiere of Universal's "Junior" at the Universal City Cineplex Odeon. The film's premise is short and sweet: Arnold Schwarzenegger is pregnant. Co-star Emma Thompson said the public is ready to see "someone who's taken more control of his body than anyone in the Western Hemisphere lose control of that body, however briefly."

Who Was There: The film's stars, Schwarzenegger, Thompson and Danny DeVito, who said, "Every once in awhile I look in the mirror and think, 'I am pregnant' "; producer/director Ivan Reitman; plus 1,600 guests including Rhea Perlman, Rob Reiner, Anne Archer, Jim Brooks, Mike Ovitz, Tony Curtis, Kymberly and Paul Marciano, Eunice and Sargent Shriver, Pia Zadora, Lou Pitt, Marvin and Barbara Davis, and studio execs Sid Sheinberg, Tom Pollock, Casey Silver and Hal Lieberman.

Audience Review: They laughed a lot. What more could be said of a comedy? Reitman noted that the crowd was complimentary, which is "par for the course." However, he added, "I know the difference between politeness and sheer gushiness, and people have been gushing an awful lot today."

The Scene: Guests were transported via Universal tour trams to a sound stage decorated in a nursery motif with stork mobiles, a toy-land backdrop and oversize building blocks. "It's the first Hollywood party hosted by Barney," said attorney David Colden. Ambrosia provided the "pregnancy munchies" of salmon in barbecue sauce, pizza and mushroom ravioli. It was served by male waiters dressed in wigs and made up to look pregnant. One waiter who wasn't "expecting" was asked why. His reply: "I haven't met the right man yet."

Quoted: Schwarzenegger said playing pregnant gave him a chance "to cry, to act out being a woman. It was the first time I experienced those things as an actor. Up until now I've been taking lives--now I'm creating."

Observed: A famous face in the crowd was Gov. Pete Wilson. From the crowd reaction, his celebrity status ranks him somewhere between Hugh O'Brian and Pia Zadora. The governor said he frequently buys a ticket and goes to movies at the Century City mall. "I can hear people saying, 'You know, that guy sure looks like the governor.' "

Money Matters: More than $640,000 was raised. The proceeds will be divided equally between the Westside Children's Center, which, said co-chairwoman Lorraine Sheinberg, will use its share to provide services for abused and neglected children; and St. John's Hospital, whose take, said co-chairwoman Shriver, will go toward rebuilding the earthquake-damaged maternity ward that will have a section called the Junior Nursery.

Overheard: "Somehow I didn't think that after 'Hasta la vista, baby' and 'I'll be back,' Arnold's next line would be, 'I'm pregnant.' "

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