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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Stars attend Apes UK premiere
Helena Bonham Carter  and Estella Warren
Helena Bonham Carter and Estella Warren arrived together
Thousands of fans turned out to catch a glimpse of the celebrities attending the UK premiere of the blockbuster Planet of the Apes.

There was not an ape suit in sight as leading ladies Helena Bonham Carter and Estella Warren arrived at the screening in Leicester Square, in London.

I spent 240 hours of my life sitting in make-up

Helena Bonham Carter
British actress Bonham Carter, who plays a chimpanzee in the Tim Burton-directed film, wore a two-piece silver sequined Alberto Feretti gown to Tuesday's premiere.

But her handbag kept to the monkey theme, shaped like a bunch of bananas.

She said she had enjoyed working on the film but would be reluctant to do a sequel given the hours needed in make-up.

"I should never say never, but I'd have to think hard and they'd have to pay me lots and lots of money.

"I spent 240 hours of my life sitting in make-up. I'm not sure I really want to do that again."

Crowd walkabout

Her US co-star Mark Wahlberg went on a walkabout to the delight of the waiting crowd outside the Odeon cinema.

Mark Wahlberg plays the role first played by Charlton Heston
Mark Wahlberg chatted to the crowd

Wahlberg said he was amazed by the crowd's reaction.

"I'm just excited to be here," he said.

Warren, who plays a slave girl, was delighted at the tender age of 22 to land such a plum role.

"I really couldn't believe it when I got cast - it was such a great surprise because Tim Burton has such stature.

Classic remake

Planet of the Apes is a remake of the 1968 classic movie starring Charlton Heston and the late Roddy McDowell.

Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder was among the stars at the premiere
It sees Wahlberg as an astronaut land on a strange planet inhabited by hostile talking apes.

Bonham Carter however is a friendly chimp.

She and a band of human rebels try to help Wahlberg evade the ape warriors and discover the secret of the enslaved humans.

Hype high

Enthusiasm and hype about the remake has been high in the UK months ahead of its release.

Helen Adams
Big Brother's Helen attended but without fellow housemate Paul
As well as nostalgia appeal, the film boasts millions of dollars worth of the latest special effects.

And then there is the cameo appearance by the now legendary Heston to look forward to.

Other stars who feature in the movie include Tim Roth, Kris Kristofferson.

And at Tuesday's star-studded screening guests included the former Hammer horror star Christopher Lee, and Big Brother contestants Josh, Amma, and runner-up Helen.

Singer Nicole Appleton was with boyfriend Liam Gallagher of Oasis.

Actress Winona Ryder, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor, actor Timothy Spall and comic Vic Reeves were also at the premiere.

The film opens on Friday (August 17) but opened in the US on 27 July to big box office success.

The BBC's David Sillito
"It's the classic tale of boy meets chimp"
Film critic Quentin Cooper
"It's a very good, enjoyable blockbuster"
See also:

15 Aug 01 | Film
In Pictures: Apes UK premiere
01 Feb 02 | New Media
Hi-tech marketing goes ape
15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Heston attacks British gun laws
09 May 01 | Film
Can-can kickstarts Cannes
04 Oct 98 | Americas
'Apes' star dies
30 Jul 01 | Film
Apes swing to the top
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