No Masking That Ol’ Hyperactive Appeal


The Scene: Thursday’s premiere of New Line Cinema’s “The Mask” at the Motion Picture Academy. A high-energy party followed in the lobby of a nearby defunct S&L.; (The setting was chosen because a bank plays a major part in the film.) Star Jim Carrey called the special effects-packed movie an ode to Looney Toons cartoonist Tex Avery. Director Charles Russell said: “Think of it as a romantic comedy that’s a little hyperactive.”

Who Was There: Carrey, Russell; co-stars Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert and Peter Greene, and screenwriter Mike Werb; among the 1,100 guests were Jon Lovitz, Ray Liotta, Marlee Matlin, Jason Priestly, Stephen Baldwin, Al Teller, Mayor Richard Riordan, David Permut, Cheech Marin, Renny Harlin, Faith Ford and New Line execs Bob Shaye, Mitch Goldman and Chris Pula.

Who Stole the Show: Max, the co-starring Jack Russell terrier who sat in the audience wearing a bow tie. He barked politely when the stars were introduced. It’s a rare actor who’s so generous with his colleagues.

The Buzz: Is there anyone on Earth--from studio execs to Uzbeki tribal herdsmen--who doesn’t think this will be a hit? “I’m just glad everybody likes it,” Carrey said. “There are a few die-hards out there still looking for good literature, but that’s not what this movie is about.”


The Locale: The audience arrived at the party wired by the film’s energy. They were greeted by the blasting, eight-piece Royale Crowne swing band, half a dozen lavish buffets from Rococo and costumed bartenders serving drinks through the tellers’ windows. Co-star Ben Stein surveyed the heaving mass of glamour and said: “Of all the sororities and fraternities in America, Hollywood is the best--and this is the rush party.”

Hollywood Logic: The film is hot so everyone wants to be associated with it. This accounted for a massive outpouring of flacks and their clients. “There are more publicists than people here tonight,” said PR-adept Howard Bragman.

Quoted: “It’s like those old Hollywood movies,” said Carrey about the film. “A little singing, a little dancing; you got your gangsters, you got your sex, you got your violence--everything the kids love.”

Also Quoted: Jennifer Tilly on the film’s elastic, chameleon-like hero: “I used to live with someone like that. By day he was normal, but at night his eyes would pop out and he’d turn green.”


Overheard: “I’m thinking of going on talk shows as the only woman in America who didn’t like ‘Forrest Gump,’ ” a magazine editor said.