GOOD MORNING: Two days earlier, Jennifer Lopez was a belle of the ball at the Academy Awards, but Tuesday she was slinging hash as a waitress at Edie’s Diner in Marina del Rey — for Col’s “Enough.” Juliette Lewis. as Lopez’s best pal and fellow waitress, said to me, “Who knows? If there’s a strike, we may both be back here really working as waitresses!” I must say the ladies looked their roles in white blouses, blue aprons over (very) short skirts. Lopez was ladling out clam chowder, topping the bowl with Oysterettes and filling a glass of water as Lewis picked up a pair of hamburger-filled plates from the kitchen window. While balancing their actions, they played out Nicholas Kazan’s script as director Michael Apted captured the scene with two cameras, under the watchful eyes of cinematographer Rogier Stoffers. While this scene is light and frothy, Apted forewarned me all is about to change when Billy Campbell and Noah Wyle come into Lopez’s life. Campbell physically abuses Lopez to the extent that she learns Krav Maga, with which to achieve revenge. Shannon Elizabeth has been training Lopez in the fighting system taught to Israeli armed forces. To get further details about Krav Maga and Elizabeth, read “Body Blow” in the March GQ. In the pic, Lopez is beaten about the face, kicked in the body by Campbell before she seeks (gets) revenge. Between takes, I asked Lopez howcum she decided to play this totally non-Lopez-like role. “It’s important,” she said. “When a woman falls in love, she gives up everything. And when she’s betrayed –.” She’s cheered between scenes by cozy visits from Cris Judd, who escorted her to the Oscars as well. During the happier moments of the film, Lopez has a big wedding scene with Campbell, to be shot in a Pasadena mansion. It could have been something Lopez would have planned in her “The Wedding Planner.” But there are no similarities between that comedy and this drama! Apted noted of the film’s theme, “It is too important a subject to trivialize.” Thus, despite the violence and language, Apted says he is trying to get the film into a PG-13 category for bigger audiences to see it. This film will not use any computer-generated images (nor did Apted’s James Bond pic, “The World Is Not Enough”). “I believe in realism,” he smiled. Next out from Apted is “Enigma,” the WWII code-breaking story … Watching the action were producers Irwin Winkler and partner Rob Cowan, also exec producer E. Bennett Walsh and co-producer Jeanney Kim … Lopez, who has “Angel Eyes” from WB out May 18, has not agreed to a pic following “Enough” because of strike indecisions. But among those she’s considering are Col’s “Tick Tock” and WB’s “Taking Lives.” She’ll head to the U.K. and France to publicize her multiplatinum album “J.Lo” (Epic) while planning a U.S. tour next year. The busy Lopez also is readying her line of J.Lo clothes, aimed at schoolgirls — and …?
THIS IS NOTHING LIKE the role in “ER,” Noah Wyle whispered to me between takes of “Enough,” in which he is a heavy. He’s also on the dark side in “Scenes of the Crime” with Jeff Bridges, he happily said. Wyle gets time off the vidseries, on which he’s costarred seven years, to accept these counter-character feature roles; he appreciates the TV troupe scheduling him these opportunities. Wyle has a year to go on his “ER” pact and they are talking about extending the series’ already pacted two-year pickup. While Wyle waited to work with Lopez and Lewis in the diner scene, as a patron, he recalled he had been a waiter at the Diaghilev restaurant in the Bel Age hotel while awaiting his big showbiz break … Winkler and Cowan are well along on the editing of their “Life as a House,” as they started (five days ago) Col’s “Enough” and “The Shipping News” for Miramax. “House” was made for $20 million, the other two are at $40 million, thanks to the cooperation (participation) of all involved. Winkler noted he’s made 43 films and not one cost over $40 mil, except “Rocky V.” The original “Rocky” came in at $1 million — the cost of the main set in “Life as a House.”
A VERY EMOTIONAL Norm Crosby called from Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon after he had placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns (formerly called Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). Last night Crosby was honored along with Christie Brinkley at the Pentagon gala of the USO … Congrats to Quincy Jones, promoted to the status of Commander of the Legion of Honor. France’s President Jacques Chirac made the presentation Monday in Paris … Tony Martin will guest star in the “Fabulous Palm Springs Follies” season finale, April 4-May 27. It’s the 10th season for this sensaysh show. Never miss it when you’re in the desert … Melinda Hovee, Fine Line Features East Coast publicity director, and environmental consultant Jeff Harlan are engaged … Writer Nancy Neufeld Callaway and scripter Trey Callaway welcomed son Crockett Mason C. Saturday at Cedars-Sinai. Grandpa Mace N. is producing “The Sum of All Fears” in Montreal … Another event is departing the Shrine: the annual Junior California Orchestra Spectacular shifts to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion May 16. Dr. Ernst Katz will be celebrating his 64th year on the podium. Salomon Smith Barney is hosting the event. Co-emcees of the musical program will include Joseph Campanella, Connie Stevens and Alan Young. Carol Lawrence will help ’em salute the music of “West Side Story.” Also featured is the annual celebrity “Battle of the Batons.”