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''Flintstones'' prequel: A peek inside

The stars reveal the pros and cons of following in the dinoprints of a big hit

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Mark Addy, Jane Krakowski, ...
Darren Michaels/Universal Studios

Universal Pictures is rolling out its prehistoric prequel to 1994’s ”The Flintstones” on April 28, but don’t hold your breath waiting for Rosie O’Donnell’s trademark giggle. ”The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas” stars a younger (and less costly) version of the original cast, with ”The Full Monty”’s Mark Addy as Fred, Stephen Baldwin as Barney, ”Ally McBeal”’s Jane Krakowski as Betty, and ”3rd Rock From the Sun”’s Kristen Johnston as Wilma.

Krakowski admits that following in the footsteps of the original, which grossed more than $130 million in the U.S., isn’t just a gay old time. ”When these little kids looked at me with wonder in their eyes, saying ‘Hello, Betty,’ that’s when I realized I have to uphold the copyright of this cartoon character,” the actress tells EW Online. ”It’s very weird to be carrying on this tradition.”

The weirdest part for Krakowski was changing her golden locks for the role. ”I’ve always been so signified with blond hair that I’m rarely considered for other roles,” says the 30-year-old actress, who expected to be given ”some showgirl or B part” instead of a lead role. ”I borrowed a wig from the set of ‘Ally McBeal’ and gave it my best shot. But I still can’t believe I’m in Bedrock.” Baldwin had fewer doubts about his Rubble persona. ”As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m very much like him,” says the 33-year-old actor. ”Barney was my favorite because he was seemingly the dumbest but always knew the answer, which is kind of what it was like being the youngest Baldwin brother.”

The movie, which shows how Betty and Wilma met their respective future hubbies, attempts to top the elaborately cartoonish costuming and sets of the original, as EW Online learned during a visit to the set last September. Located in a real-life rock quarry outside of Los Angeles, the set features a casino called the Molten Nugget, an apartment building called Melrock Place (complete with a tar pit for a pool), and a Bronto King burger joint featuring rollerskating waitresses.

And, even though Joan Collins glams it up in paleolithic haute couture as Wilma’s mother (a role originally played by Elizabeth Taylor), the campy costuming award goes to Alan Cumming as the Great Gazoo, a little green alien that only Fred and Barney can see. ”My costume cost more than Joan Collins’ wardrobe did, believe it or not,” says the ”Eyes Wide Shut” star, who suffered through ”hours and hours” in the makeup trailer for the part. When you’re wearing more cosmetics and fur than Joan Collins, that’s really saying something.