It was a tough act to follow

Tuesday night’s premiere of TriStar’s multi-starring “Running with Scissors” at the Academy was a benefit for The Screen Actors Guild Foundation Catastrophic Fun.

Before the film and its makers were introduced by the irrepressible producer-director-writer Ryan Murphy, SAG’s Foundation President Marcia Smith read a letter from a SAG member suffering with AIDS — for 22 years. He (she?) told how the Guild’s Foundation kept the insurance alive even though the earnings requirement was not (could not) be met. This morning she’d received word from a member who had undergone amputation of both legs. Smith told me some of the members have been on the program 10 years. Of the 120,000 SAG members, 90% do not earn enough to qualify for benefits! Most of the press space is given to that small percentage of actors (stars) who are in the tens of million$ category.

The Foundation would like them to endow a planned SAG Actors’ Center at 5454 Wilshire Blvd.   

“Running With Scissors” cast and crew members were enthusiastically introduced by Ryan Murphy and the hefty response for each from the audience was genuine — and even more so as the final credits identified them generously in/out of character. They included Augusten Burroughs whose best-seller and life are the raison d’etre of “Running with Scissors.”

The cast and filmmakers on hand included Annette Bening, Kristin Chenoweth, Jill Clayburgh, Brian Cox, Joseph Cross (who plays Augusten), Joseph Fiennes, Jack Kaeding, Gabrielle Union, Evan Rachel Wood, producer Brad Grey and Dede Gardner. Also Nicolette Sheridan, Gretchen Mol, Cheryl Hines, Marilyn Manson, Warren Beatty. And from Ryan Murphy’s “Nip/Tuck” Jacqueline Bisset and Melissa Gilbert.

Ryan Murphy also announced that the film was made for $12 million. How?

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