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November 19, 2018

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People in the News for July 14, 1997

If you squint mightily, stand back 70 or 80 feet and have swallowed too much cough syrup, it's possible to discern a certain resemblance between Bill Clinton and Harrison Ford. Not only do they share certain characteristics, such as two arms, two legs and a head, but they've both pretended to be U.S. presidents. Perhaps that's why Clinton is giving two thumbs up, way up, to Ford's "Air Force One," in which he plays a manly, action-figure president who punches out terrorists. Clearly modeled on Clinton. But Bill has an even deeper connection to the film: He was sitting next to Glenn Close at a dinner in Jackson Hole, Wyo., when Ford asked her to play his "Air Force One" vice president. "I feel like I was present at the creation," Clinton says. He urged Close to accept. "I'm probably the only president who got to pick two vice presidents." Except for Nixon, Roosevelt, ... Meanwhile, Clinton is somewhat less enthusiastic about "Contact." Filmmakers digitally manipulated footage from an actual press conference to make it seem, in the film, as if Bill was talking about aliens. In a letter to director Robert Zemeckis, Clinton's lawyer crabbed that he'd "manipulated images of the president's public statements," which he called "unfair" and "improper." In defense, Zemeckis notes that Clinton is a public figure. Anyway, he ought to be happy he was president at the creation of the film.

The Wright stuff

Unlike President Clinton, actress Robin Wright is usually asked by filmmakers before she appears in their movies. And often before she doesn't. A partial list of roles she's turned down include the films "The Firm," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Jurassic Park" and "Batman Forever." That's a lot of box office to have missed out on. "They just weren't for me," she says without regret. Eschewing the profit motive, Wright prefers working on smaller, more intimate films, such as the upcoming "She's So Lovely," a story of "pure love between two screwy people." Her co-star in the movie is her co-star in real life, Sean Penn.

Love or deal?

We here at People in the News have consulted oracles, gurus, sages, wise men, know-it-alls, smarty pants and the Psychic Friends Network, and we still haven't gotten to the bottom of a basic philosophical dilemma: how to explain the romance between David Copperfield and Claudia Schiffer. Too much cough syrup? Pure love between two screwy people? Lucrative contractual obligation? That last is the explanation offered by Paris Match magazine, which speculates that Copperfield hired the supermodel to pretend to be his image-improving girly friend. Based on an anonymously faxed document, the magazine says the pair manufactured their fateful meeting at his Oct. 8, 1993, show in Berlin. "One hundred percent false," says the couple. Schiffer's mother insists, "My daughter and David truly love each other." Even President Clinton took a break from practicing throwing terrorists out of Air Force One to say, "I think they're really in love." Actually, we digitally manipulated that quote from a Whitewater press conference, but it's what he would say ...

Compiled by Scott Dickensheets