More than $100g raised for scholarships at Par shindig

HOLLYWOOD — At Monday night’s preem of Par’s “Along Came a Spider” several of those involved said it was really a question of along came Morgan Freeman.

Co-star Monica Potter said that Freeman was the one to attract her to the pic. “I didn’t want to do it at first because I was afraid of it. But I am here and I am glad that I did it,” she said.

Helmer Lee Tamahori said, “You look for a script and there are a lot of chunky ones out there. Paramount said that not only can I do this immediately, but Morgan is already in it. That was a clincher.”

For producer David Brown, who has worked with Freeman four times, there was no initial reluctance. He quoted what Humphrey Bogart once said of Spencer Tracy: “He’s the kind of actor where you never see the machinery. When Morgan is on, he is so natural that you don’t realize that he is speaking lines that someone has written.”

The preem and afterparty on the Par lot was a benefit for Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University, raising more than $100,000 for scholarships.

Those attending included Par topper Sherry Lansing and execs Robert Friedman and John Goldwyn; Viacom’s Jonathan Dolgen; producer Joe Wizan; stars Freeman, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem, Penelope Ann Miller and Michael Wincott; screenwriter Marc Moss; author James Patterson; and guests Sean Hayes, Pitzer College prexy Marilyn Massey, Brad Rowe, Antonio Sabato Jr., Sean Patrick Thomas and Nick Wechsler.

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