EW Staff
October 15, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

THE BIG BANG: If you thought the Boston Tea Party created a stir, it was nothing compared with Beantown’s furor over MGM’s Blown Away—next summer’s explosive thriller starring Jeff Bridges as a bomb-squad veteran and Tommy Lee Jones as a dynamite freak with a short fuse. In one of the largest blasts in movie history, an abandoned ship loaded with gasoline was blown up in Boston Harbor. ”It went exactly as we had planned,” says producer John Watson. Some locals disagree. ”There’s a hole in my chimney, the brickwork on the front of the building is cracked, and the windows are gone,” says Billy Adreani, who estimates the blast caused $20,000 in damage to his convenience store. An MGM spokeswoman says an investigation is ongoing and promises the studio will treat the matter fairly. —David Thigpen

A BRONX CHEER: Want to get thanked in the credits of a movie? Annoy Robert De Niro. Closing credits of his directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, include a nod to ”the woo-woo lady.” ”When we were doing some of the doo-wop scenes in the movie,” says De Niro, ”this woman would open up her window and scream, ‘I don’t care what you’re woo-wooing about at this hour, stop all the singing!’ She’d start screaming and then somebody else would start screaming and tell her to stop.” Says the actor, ”I had to do it. She represents the Bronx.” —Michael Szymanski

LIVIN’ LARGE: If nothing else, Roseanne Arnold knows how to make an entrance. That’s what director Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho) remembers most about the lady, who has a supporting role as a fortune-teller in his Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. ”She flew in with her own jet to the set in Oregon,” he says. ”Tom came with her and a lot of other people too. Her whole entourage.” Although Arnold traveled in style, she earned minimum wage ($485 a day). ”We didn’t have much money,” says Van Sant, who shot the film for $8 million, ”so everyone worked for scale.” Which may also explain why Arnold worked fast. ”She shot her scene in a day and left,” says Van Sant. At those rates, who can blame her? —MS

SLOW GERE: With Richard Gere and romance, less is more. Ever since Gere married Cindy Crawford nearly two years ago, his movies have become less risqué. In the just-released Mr. Jones, he and costar Lena Olin shot a love scene that was later cut ”because the movie is about trust and intimacy,” says Gere, ”not about sexual obsession.” Gere’s December release, Intersection, with Sharon Stone, is equally tame. ”It’s also about intimacy, although there is one sex scene,” says the actor, whose early films offered plenty of sizzle. What’s next? ”I’ve got to do my marriage for a while,” he says. ”I’ve been working too hard.” —Nancy Mills

SHEAR PLEASURE: It’s every woman’s worst nightmare. You’re at the salon feeling grungy and in walks Julia Roberts, every bit the pretty woman. ”She does make some of the other female customers feel a little frumpy,” says Thelma Rucker, whose Brady C’est Bon salon in Chicago is unofficial hair headquarters for Roberts and the rest of the cast of I Love Trouble. While Rucker keeps autograph hounds at bay, Roberts reads magazines, gets her hair cut, and has a little nail work done. ”Julia is very sweet and personable,” says manicurist Althea Knowles. ”We chat about the weather, my daughter, and basic nail care—hers are very short. She’s not a very showy person. She picks clear polish because she’s into natural beauty.” She’s also into The Age of Innocence. Roberts, joined at the salon by Trouble costar Nick Nolte (he got a trim), cut her most recent visit short to catch the 9 p.m. showing of Innocence. ”She was really excited about seeing the film,” says Rucker. Something to do with her former romance with Daniel Day-Lewis? Not even her hairdresser knows. ”She doesn’t mention men,” says Rucker. ”Not even her husband.” —Cindy Pearlman

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