Time to ‘Panic’

Stars praise helmer's vision at after party

HOLLYWOOD — While the audience that attended Monday’s Loews Century preem of the tension-filled “Panic Room” seemed readier for group therapy than an after-party, the claustrophobic thriller’s stars were ready to celebrate.

“I’m really proud of this movie,” Jodie Foster said. “I don’t always say that. I wish I’d directed it.” She praised helmer David Fincher as “that singular hand that has such a strong signature. You rarely see one movie that has one voice like that.”

Dwight Yoakam recalled his first meeting with Fincher, where the singer-actor began the sentence: “This movie is like ‘Rear Window’ meets…” and the director ended it by saying: “Straw Dogs.”

“That’s when I knew we were going for horrific tension,” Yoakam said.

Forest Whitaker acknowledged the pic is “emotionally violent” but “still has hope. And at the center there’s a morality. It’s very family oriented.”

Among those unwinding at the Century Club were Sony’s Amy Pascal, Peter Schlessel, Jeff Blake and Geoff Ammer; producer Gavin Polone; plus guests Brad Pitt, Lawrence Bender, Michael Bay, Art Linson, Sid Ganis, Bob Shaye, Ed Norton, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Tilly, Bridget Fonda, Ridley Scott, Gary Oldman and Sam Mendes.

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