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“The Perfect Storm” Premiere

LOS ANGELES, June 26, 2000 — The real wave created by “The Perfect Storm” came in the form of celebrity friends who forged into Westwood’s Mann Village Theatre for the film’s premiere.

Aside from the film’s stars — George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio — the Monday night event drew everyone from Cher and Alanis Morissette to Charlize Theron, Kristen Johnston, Tom Sizemore and Eriq La Salle.

Based on Sebastian Junger’s bestseller, the film tells the true story of a crew of fishermen who in 1991 encountered one of the most unique storms in recorded history off the coast of Gloucester, Mass. The watery premiere also brought out director Wolfgang Petersen and Junger. Junger expressed his satisfaction with the finished product.

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“I saw the movie last week, and they gave great performances. Wahlberg and Clooney worked together really well,” Junger said, also glad the film remained accurate to his novel.

“I don’t know anything about the movie industry, and I just thought, ‘I don’t want them to turn it into something disrespectful of the town of Gloucester’ and they were tremendously respectful … so I’m very relieved.”

But it was respectful at a price. During the film’s shoot, actors had to endure hours in a “Titanic”-rivaled water tank where waves crashed over their heads as they manned their ship. The production left cast members more exhausted than they’d ever been.

“I’ve had films where at the end of the day you’re callin’ up your friends, trying to hang out … there was none of that going on,” said castmate Allen Payne. “The most we would do is, Mark [Wahlberg] would say ‘Meet me at sushi’ and we’d fall asleep on the way to the restaurant.”

Lane, who stayed dry throughout production, couldn’t resist watching the men suffer.

“Oh, I definitely showed up for that,” she said of their water tank scenes. “I couldn’t imagine how they were gonna make this happen.”

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But Clooney, being the modest star he is, shrugged off the hardships.

“We were fine, actually,” he said diplomatically. “Really very safe.”

“The Perfect Storm” crashes into theaters June 30.

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