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Tim Allen sets up culture clash in 'Jungle2Jungle'

scenes March 7, 1997
Web posted at: 11:40 p.m. EST (0440 GMT)

From Correspondent Paul Vercammen

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- Tim Allen made his name as a bungling carpenter in the TV sitcom "Home Improvement," but he's proving he can bungle with the best of them on the big screen, too.

His return to the movies in "Jungle2Jungle" marks another series of happy on-screen mishaps for the actor.

"Jungle2Jungle," a remake of the 1994 French film "Un Indien Dans la Ville" (which played in the United States as "Little Indian, Big City"), casts Allen as an ambitious New York commodities trader, and Lolita Davidovich as his self-absorbed fiancee. Martin Short plays his hyperactive business partner.

According to Allen, Short also assumed the real-life role of comedic brother-in-spirit.

Comic competition

"It was like dueling comics," said Allen. Between the goofing off, they shot a movie, in which Allen treks to the Amazon rain forest to finalize his divorce with his estranged wife so he can marry Davidovich.

When he gets there, he finds out he has a 13-year-old son, played by Sam Huntington. Allen sets up an inevitable culture clash when he inadvertently invites the boy to visit New York.

Huntington, actually a 14-year-old from New Hampshire, wore fake feet to prevent cuts in some scenes, and a loincloth in many. His costume was perfect teasing material for his buddies.

"I'm going to keep as many of them away from seeing this movie as possible, I guess," he said. "Especially the girls. But I don't think it will be that bad."

Creepy crawlies

The movie, set in New York and Venezuela, calls for Davidovich to share the set with a number of creepy crawlies, including a tarantula with a walk-on role. It's a challenge she's accustomed to, she said.

"I'm frequently killing black widows at my entrance, I'm vacuuming them up constantly. So I have much experience with tarantulas," she said.

"On the first day of shooting I was told that there was a bug that was brown -- that was as specific as they could get -- that would sting you, lay an egg, and in a year, you would have a heart attack. So they say, anyway, 'Have fun!'"

Humor on the set became contagious, especially when Allen broke out impressions of Short.

"He'd be gone for two days," Allen said, "and I show up and say, 'Hi, everybody. "Cabaret!" Remember me in "Godspell?"' And they're going, 'Whoa, Tim Allen channeling Marty Short.'"


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