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Hollywood news for the week of Feb. 13, 1998

Hollywood news for the week of February 30, 1998: ‘Zero Effect’ buzz, Michael Rapaport’s new flick, and more

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Body of Work by Jake
Zero Effect may be the title of Jake Kasdan’s first film but that phrase probably doesn’t apply to the writer-director-coproducer’s lineage. How else to explain how the 23-year-old son of filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill) snared a budget of roughly $5 million, plus stars Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller, even though he had never shot a frame of film before? “No matter whose kid you are,” he says, “there aren’t people throwing deals at you.” Though Jake, who wrote and staged four plays in Hollywood (some while still in high school), argues that nepotism has little to do with his movie debut, he says his father did provide inspiration and education — up to a point. “My dad is an incredibly cool customer; he doesn’t make directing look hard,” he says. “Only when you’ve got to make the decisions do you understand the anxiety.” Chances are he’s not the only one who has felt anxious about the project. “With me as the director, it’s a huge gamble for everybody [involved],” he acknowledges. “But no matter how much you like the guy who trained the horse, you don’t bet on that horse if you don’t think there’s a shot.”

Bald Ambition
Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci’s first film was about a big night at an Italian restaurant. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s was about a blue-collar Boston genius. And Michael Rapaport and Paul Schulze? They’re tackling…baldness. The latest acting pair to try their luck behind the camera, Rapaport and Schulze — currently costarring in illtown — just completed Trouble Spot, a short film about male-pattern baldness, which they hope to have ready for this year’s festival circuit. Rapaport, who cowrote and coproduced, plays a twentysomething fearing for his follicles; Schulze, who cowrote and directed, plays a member of a hair club for men. But when it came to putting his money where his hair is, Rapaport, 27, worried, “If [the makeup artists] put any more glue on my head, we’d be doing Trouble Spot II.” Schulze, 35, who hopes to direct a full-length script he and Rapaport have written about two pals coming of age in New York City, notes that their friendship hasn’t been scalped by the experience. “I call Mike my best friend, and he calls me his very good friend,” Schulze says. “After this, I think I’ve finally earned a little respect from him.”

Yasmine Bleeth and Jenny McCarthy costar with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in BASEketball, a comedy about the invention of a new driveway sport, now filming in L.A…. Robin Williams will once again team up with Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant by coproducing and starring in He Won’t Get Far, the story of quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan…. Air Force One‘s Wolfgang Petersen is set to direct The Perfect Storm, based on Sebastian Junger’s best-selling oceanic-disaster book.