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INTO THE NIGHT / RSVP

There Was Talent and Genius Everywhere

November 01, 1995|BILL HIGGINS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Scene: Monday's Big Sisters Guild benefit premiere of Paramount's "Home for the Holidays" on the studio lot. An outdoor party co-hosted by In Style magazine followed the screening. Director Jodie Foster said she made the Thanksgiving-themed film because, "I'm completely obsessed by human relationships and the weird little things people do to each other. To me it's much more interesting than Mars or little green men."

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Who Was There: Foster; stars Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Cynthia Stevenson, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott and Steve Guttenberg; plus 850 guests, including Mel Gibson, Ellen Barkin, Christian Slater, Neil and Diane Simon, Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Berg, Lou Pitt, Annie Gilbar, benefit co-chairwomen Sarah Purcell and Sandy Bilson, guild president Dianne Dunn, and studio execs Sherry Lansing, Jonathan Dolgen and Barry London.

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The Buzz: That Foster has a touch for comedy and the cast members are gems.

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Ambience: There was a fine five-piece jazz band and a flock of roasted turkeys from Along Came Mary, but the best touch was the decor--two dozen 15-foot silk maple trees with autumn-colored leaves. No one noticed they were fakes. It's at moments like this when you really think there is talent, genius and creativity in Hollywood.

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Quirk: For no apparent reason, the film started 30 minutes late. All the principals were on hand, but they didn't enter the theater. Hundreds of guests just milled around. There was an almost Italian casualness to it all, a feeling of: "Screen the film? Yeah, OK, whatever."

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Quoted: "My films as a director are really about who I am," said Foster. "How I talk and what I believe in and what I've experienced and who I love and what I think of them. The acting is much more about what I'm not."

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The Actor's Life: Downey on doing the movie: "It was really freeing because I've done some films that were constricting, having to do an accent or a period piece, and coming to do this, I felt my preparation was to put on a sweater and have a breakfast burrito."

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Money Matters: More than $350,000 was raised for the Big Sisters Guild of Los Angeles. "All the people I met from Big Sisters seemed to have a personal commitment, not just pay lip service," said In Style Managing Editor Martha Nelson. "I wanted to support that."

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Overheard: "After a certain age, if a man wears a ponytail he really does look like a member of the Whig party."

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