As far as tasteless theme parties go, the wrap for NBC’s Billionaire Boys Club at L.A.’s trendy Stock Exchange Club takes the cake, and then some. The BBC (scheduled to air Nov. 8 and 9) is the dramatization of the Beverly Hills brat pack led by whiz kid Joe Hunt, who was convicted of murder last April and is now serving a life sentence in Chino, Calif. (He’s appealing the verdict.) Judd Nelson, who plays Hunt, spent the wrap party handing out T-shirts that read Free Him. For something to chew on there was a likeness in cake of a major piece of evidence that led to Hunt’s conviction—a lined, yellow To Do pad (Hunt had listed ways to kill someone). The deejay played the Pet Shop Boys’ Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money). But amid all the fun and games, there was still some small room for reflection. To plaudits for having made Hunt believable, Nelson replied: “I’m not sure how flattering it is to be the first yuppie Charles Manson.”
The latest Marlon Brandocotton-stuffed-in-the-Godfather-cheeks award goes to Deborah Winger, who padded her face for Made in Heaven. For her uncredited part in the movie, which opens in November and stars hubbie Tim Hutton, Winger plays a red-haired, chain-smoking man named Emmett, an administrative assistant to God. Winger’s contract stipulates that no reference be made to her, and Winger’s publicist won’t return calls regarding the role. Even the makeup artist got a gag order.
Meryl Streep is Down Under in Australia’s Northern Territory these days filming Evil Angels, based on the nonfiction book by John Bryson. Streep plays Lindy Chamberlain, who was convicted along with husband Michael for the 1980 murder of their 2-month-old baby, who had disappeared during a family camping trip. The two were pardoned and released last June, but their case is still highly controversial. Also controversial at the moment is whether an American actress should be playing the role. Says one insider: “With so many Australian actors out of work here, there has been some resentment. But everyone knows that without Streep the film would never go past Ayers Rock.” Playing her husband is Sam Neill, the Australian actor who was Meryl’s wartime lover in Plenty.
Monkee-turned-director Mickey Dolenz just finished directing some very odd couples in public service announcements for the U.S. Space Foundation, which promotes the benefits of space technology. Having little in common but a respect for space are Barry Goldwater and Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem and Charlton Heston and Willie Nelson and Frank Sinatra. Says Dolenz of the talent: “Sinatra was very cooperative but impatient. He was surprisingly insecure. Like a little kid.” On the pairing of Jackson and Goldwater: “They made a lot of jokes.” Jesse had allowed that running for President “beats picking cotton,” so later Goldwater asked Jackson, “How’s the cotton pickin’ going?” On Heston and Steinem: “He’s a teddy bear. I was surprised about how concerned she is about the way she looks.”
Sequel news: Can Easy Rider get revved up in the ’80s? Despite the fact that Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda’s characters were all dead at the end of the 1969 movie, Hopper says: “We are talking. Easy Rider II is very much in the works.” Blind Date II is also scheduled, but without Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger. Instead, Kirk (Growing Pains) Cameron will star, though producer David Permut hasn’t found him a date yet. And, following the success this summer of Dragnet and The Untouchables, movie versions of TV’s The Beverly Hillbillies and The Addams Family are being planned. What’s next? Mister Rogers, The Movie?