‘Gun’ fires first salvo

Straight-forward story, twisted characters all in the 'Way'

While he may not yet be ready to challenge Charlton Heston for the NRA presidency, “The Way of the Gun” co-star Benicio Del Toro said he’s learned to respect firearms.

At the Artisan pic’s Egyptian Theater preem Tuesday, he said, “A gun is like a car, people have to be educated about it. In order to get a gun you should have to take something like a driving test to get one.”

Co-star Juliette Lewis was impressed with a different kind of strength in the pic. “What drew me to my role was the challenge and the physicality of being nine months’ pregnant.” Writer-helmer Christopher McQuarrie impressed on Daily Variety that “It’s a very straight-forward story, but it’s the characters that are twisted. You really don’t know how people relate with one another, and I never quite explain it. You need to keep your eyes open and listen to what people are saying.”

Those who were busy keeping their eyes — and mouths — open at the Garden of Eden after-party included cast members James Caan, Taye Diggs, Nicky Katt, Ryan Phillippe with Reese Witherspoon; producer Ken Kokin; Artisan’s prexy Bill Block and execs Nick Van Dyk and Patrick Gunn; and guests Neil Patrick Harris, Brecken Meyer, Fred Dryer, Allison Anders, Sarah Ann Morris, Bess Armstrong, Mike White and Chris Weitz.