Ben's Big Break
Chevy Chase native Ben Feldman hit the red carpet for the Hollywood premiere of his first major feature film earlier this week. The 25-year-old actor appears with Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear in "The Perfect Man." He plays Duff's love interest. Feldman is also gearing up for the second season of WB's "Living With Fran," in which he plays Fran Drescher's son.
The premiere "was really exciting and a bigger to-do than I expected," Feldman tells The Post. He adds with a laugh, "It was a Hilary movie, so 8 billion kids were there."
The actor describes both of his famous big-screen co-stars as "really sweet and very down to earth" but says the romantic scenes with Duff were a little awkward: "Her dad was there and did his best to intimidate me."
Now a Los Angeles resident, Feldman says filming his first major movie was very different from the sitcom life. "The show is what feels like home -- it's what I first came out here for," he says.
"The Perfect Man" hits theaters tomorrow, and "Living With Fran" returns in the fall.
A touch of Las Vegas near the nation's capital? Le Petite Wedding Chapel, where couples can have immediate weddings 24 hours a day, has opened in Hyattsville.
Owner Jocelyn Avery tells The Post that the chapel can accommodate as many as 65 people and has 12 chaplains who can perform ceremonies ranging from $99 to $1,050. "If people just show up, it takes them an hour to get married," she says.
Avery says being a wedding consultant inspired the idea: "I've found that people couldn't do all of the things that they wanted to do. The justice of the peace is all they can afford." She herself got married spontaneously at a midnight church revival nine years ago, she says.
But this is D.C., not Vegas. The chapel has hosted only nine weddings since it opened in April.
Bush the Bookseller
Oprah Winfrey has new competition in the book-selling business from none other than President Bush. The Post's Peter Baker reports that sales of former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky's "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror" went through the roof last year after Bush praised it.
Now, North Korean defector Kang Chol Hwan's book has scaled Amazon.com's sales ranks after he met with Bush on Monday. "The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag" had jumped from 1 millionth in sales to 179th as of yesterday. Bush read the book on a recommendation from Henry Kissinger and has since encouraged his advisers to pick up a copy.
No word yet on whether he plans to host an afternoon talk show.
* Chuck Brown, "Godfather of Go-Go," yesterday received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The 70-year-old musician, now considered a living legend, tells The Post: "I'm just mesmerized. This is the greatest honor I could ever wish for." Previous Heritage Fellows include B.B. King, gospel singer Shirley Caesar and bluegrass musician Doc Watson.
* Washington-born author Edward P. Jones won Ireland's International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for "The Known World," a novel about the family of a black slave owner in 19th-century Virginia. The $120,700 award is the world's largest prize for a work of fiction. Last year, Jones won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award for his novel, and received a MacArthur Fellowship.
-- Compiled by Korin Miller
from staff and wire reports