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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 24, 2001 03:49 PM
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Talk about aping the party line . . . “Planet of the Apes” star Mark Wahlberg, walking into the film’s Manhattan premiere Monday night, told PEOPLE: “People are going to be excited because it’s Tim Burton’s best.” In the eagerly anticipated summer flick (which is based on a Pierre Boulle novel that was first adapted for the screen in 1968), Wahlberg, 30, plays a human astronaut who becomes stranded on an alien planet populated by power-hungry simians. But for the actors who played the apes, the makeup process during the 90-day shoot was no barrel of monkeys. “The makeup took four hours a day,” says Glenn Shadix, who plays Senator Nado. “You could sleep through half of it and then only be awake for the delicate eye makeup. Then when they started putting on all the little hairs, I could go back to sleep.” Kris Kristofferson, 65, who plays a human, found his role was rather arduous, as well. “All we ever did was run from the apes,” he told PEOPLE. “Physically, it was pretty rough. I fell out of a window on the first day and landed on my head.” Another incident during a fight scene did not end happily for him and costar Michael Clark Duncan, 43. “I almost hit Michael in a scene where I’m supposed to be trying to kill him,” said Kristofferson. “We collided and, fortunately, he just knocked my legs out from under me. If he had hit me head on, I’d be like a bug on the windshield. Both of us had to go to the hospital.”