Plummer to Wallace: Chill Out, Okay?
* Mike Wallace's worst nightmare to the contrary, Christopher Plummer says his portrayal of the CBS legend in "The Insider"--which gets its Washington premiere tonight--is "fair and does him justice."
"It's not a lampoon and it's not disrespectful," Plummer told us yesterday, referring to his part in the much-discussed movie about "60 Minutes" and its contro- versial treatment of tobacco company whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand. "We did it with a great deal of respect. I get his voice pretty accurately and his manner- isms. I cover his wonderful sort of theatrical self-analysis, his wonderful arrogant self, his human side and his sensitive side. It's as close to Mike Wallace as anybody can come without wearing a Mike Wallace mask." The 69-year-old actor added: "Even though I'm 11 years younger than he is, Mike probably looks better than me."
Plummer, whom Wallace once interviewed on the radio, said he's a big fan. "I've been watching him since the '50s when he had that TV show where he made everybody feel so uncomfortable and smoked like mad. Television is a cruel medium and he captured that. . . . Mike was an angry young man."
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
We hear rumblings from associates of media and real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman and his longtime consigliere, Fred Drasner, that their once-rock-solid relationship is on the rocks. Explosive breakups are old hat to Zuckerman, the mercurial emperor of the Washington-based newsweekly U.S. News & World Report, the business magazine Fast Company, the New York Daily News and Boston Properties Inc. But this one would be different. Word on the street is that Drasner and Zuckerman-- who together own a third of the Redskins and have been in business together for the past quarter-century--may soon sever ties. "Divorce is imminent," predicted one of half a dozen sources we talked to yesterday. Said another: "Mort is miserable, and he's driving Fred crazy."
Yesterday Drasner was at pains to knock down the rumors. "There have always been rumors that Mort and I don't get along," the blunt Brooklynite told us. "Mort and I have not gotten along for about 26 years--and every once in a while we do move to high-volume discussions. . . . Nothing has changed. We are not parting ways."
Zuckerman's secretary told us: "He says that Fred speaks for him."
But the rumors have been percolating since Drasner gave up day-to-day responsibility over the media enterprises last year to concentrate on reviving the fortunes of Applied Graphics Technologies, whose stock price has plummeted since the company went public three years ago. The talk intensified in September when Drasner and Zuckerman sold the Atlantic Monthly magazine to Washington entrepreneur David Bradley. Drasner claims AGT "is back on track, and we'll be off and running" by sometime next year. But that may be too late for the Zuckerman-Drasner marriage. "They'll be toast by the end of the year," said a source.
THIS JUST IN . . .
* Today we launch The Source's Exciting Crusade for Social Justice: Maybe we can't stop war and world hunger, but we do have clout when it comes to pizza. After our item this week about the largess of Domino's franchisee Frank Meeks, a couple of customers complained that a Silver Spring outlet, not owned by Meeks, didn't give them the much-touted "Touchdown Special"--a dollar off for every Redskins touchdown on every pizza sold the Monday after a game. The store at 12705 New Hampshire Ave. wasn't honoring the discount, which the day after the Chicago Bears game amounted to $6 off. After our inquiry, owner Pat White told us he has decided to get with the program. "We're going to start participating next Monday," he promised. "The most important thing is that the Redskins keep winning."
* TV Guide claims Rob Lowe is upset that "West Wing" co-star Martin Sheen is getting too much air time at his expense on the NBC series. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and completely erroneous," Lowe's publicist, Alan Nierob, told us.
* Hillary Rodham Clinton toured her new Chappaqua, N.Y., house yesterday, but declined to confirm that it will be her husband's primary residence. "I haven't really talked to him about that," the Associated Press quotes her as saying.
* Meanwhile, here's fair warning to Matthew Perry. He's Monica Lewinsky's personal choice for Sexiest Man Alive, she tells People magazine, "because he seems to have kindness in his eyes, warmth in his laughter and mischief in his smile."
CAPTION: Plummer as Wallace in "Insider."
CAPTION: The actual Wallace.
CAPTION: Rumor has it that partners Mort Zuckerman, left, and Fred Drasner may be parting ways.
CAPTION: Sexiest man alive? Gotta be Matthew Perry, says Monica Lewinsky.
CAPTION: We've got pull with the pizza guys.