Ryan Murphy

Hollywood turns to the devil

The devil is making Hollywood do it. In particular, we mean that little demon brought into the world in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby. The Roman Polanski chiller that starred Mia Farrow as birth mother to the Antichrist is inspiring studio execs to sign new pacts with the prince of darkness. ”Go to any video store in Los Angeles and you won’t be able to find a copy of Rosemary’s Baby in stock,” says a development executive at Twentieth Century Fox. ”That and The Exorcist are the films everybody’s turning to for ideas.”

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Cher: Is her movie career dead?

Seen a good Cher movie lately? Seen any Cher movies lately? Of course not. The singer-turned-actress, who hasn’t made a film since 1990’s Mermaids, has been too busy becoming the Queen of the Infomercials. Turn on the TV anytime day or night and catch her singing the praises of Lori Davis’ Hair Products, hawking her own cosmetic line, or appearing in regular TV ads exalting the virtues of Equal.

After earning a reported $1 million per spot plus a cut of the beauty-product profits, Cher, 47, is now getting ready to resume her film career.

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''Benny & Joon'' beats the odds

Mary Stuart Masterson has experienced love in the movies. But love at the movies now that’s a very different story. On her first movie date, at a showing of Aliens, she barely watched the screen. ”I wasn’t feeling well,” the 26-year-old actress says, blushing. ”I spent an hour and a half throwing up in the bathroom.”

For Johnny Depp, the topic of romantic movie dates summons equally bittersweet memories.

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An ''Indecent Proposal'' tally

In Indecent Proposal, which earned $24 million in its first five days, a billionaire (Robert Redford) makes a young yuppie couple (Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson) an offer they can’t resist: $1 million for one night with Demi. ”A lifetime of security ” says Redford, making his pitch. Well not really. Entertainment Weekly took a look at the couple’s spending habits and discovered a mill just doesn’t go very far these days.

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A whale of a movie

Could a killer whale blow away Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, and the rest of the summer movie competition? In test screenings, Warner Bros.’ Free Willy, which is being dubbed ”an aquatic E.T.,” is not only outperforming Batman and Lethal Weapon 3, it’s getting the highest scores in the studio’s test-marketing history.

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Marisa Tomei: Hollywood's new leading lady

Watch out, Julia Roberts — there’s a new ingenue in town. Thanks to her Oscar-night upset for My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei has been voted the Next Big Thing. The Brooklyn-born actress has received six or seven scripts — ”firm offers” — since her Best Supporting Actress win, according to a source close to Tomei. ”She’s moved into the leading-lady echelon,” says the source.

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Sharon Stone shines

Everybody in Hollywood wants to get into bed with Sharon Stone. One year after her star-making turn as the villainess in the $118 million Basic Instinct, the 35-year-old actress has become Hollywood’s new It Girl.

Courted by studio heads, bombarded with offers, revealing all — well, some — to Barbara Walters (Stone’s a featured guest on Walters’ Oscar-night ABC special and a presenter at the March 29 ceremonies), she is, as her agent Guy McElwaine says, ”at the peak of her game.”

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Oscars 1993: Controversies

”Excellence in filmmaking is the only factor we consider in casting our Academy Award votes,” insists the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in an introduction to its rule book, 29 pages of regulations that rival the U.S. Tax Code in complexity.

Yet try as it might to bring logic and order to what is inevitably a subjective exercise — part popularity contest, part horse race, part crapshoot — the Academy can’t seem

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