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Guttenberg's 'Cat' is his pet project

January 20, 2003|Robert W. Welkos

Actor Steve Guttenberg, who starred in such hit films as "Three Men and a Baby," "Cocoon" and all those "Police Academy" comedies, knows the fickleness of stardom and how hard it is to achieve one's goals in a town as tough and unforgiving as Hollywood.

"The great thing is, the universe will not let you down if you keep at it," Guttenberg said philosophically.

Guttenberg also knows the risks required in order to get an independent film made. "At the very beginning of the process," he observed with a laugh, "it's like walking uphill with a refrigerator on your back."

But now Guttenberg is rolling the dice, big time. He is starring in and making his feature film directorial debut in "P.S. Your Cat Is Dead!," the film adaptation of a novel and short-lived Broadway play by James Kirkwood Jr. (co-author of "A Chorus Line"). Guttenberg plays Jimmy Zoole, a failed actor and writer, who is in the middle of breaking up with his girlfriend when he captures a burglar, who happens to be gay. The film also features Lombardo Boyar, Cynthia Watros and gossip maven-turned-actor A.J. Benza.

Guttenberg bankrolled the film to the tune of $2 million. "I put up my own money," he said. "I didn't feel like walking around town asking for money." So he asked his business manager, Howard Borris, if he could afford the expense. "Yes," Borris told him, "but not a penny over."

The film, which has been on the festival circuit for months, debuts Friday in the L.A. area at the Sunset 5 in Hollywood and the Pasadena Playhouse. It opened last Friday at the Edwards University 6 in Irvine.

-- Robert W. Welkos

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