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FROM THE GLOBE (May or June, 2001):

Secrets Behind the New
PLANET OF THE APES

Movie's Sexy Star Tells All

THE summer blockbuster Planet of the Apes is chock-full of surprises, and there were lots more zany and bizarre surprises during filming.

Here, gorgeous Linda Harrison, who starred in the original 1968 movie and the sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes, gives GLOBE readers an exclusive sneak peak at the action on screen -- and reveals the behind-the-scenes secrets of the sci-fi sizzler, which hits theaters on July 27.

Both the original and the action-packed remake involve a future earth astronaut who lands on a mysterious planet where intelligent apes rule over human slaves. But movie-goers will be stunned when they see the new horde of apes, she tells us.

"They are much more brutal in the new movie, which is set in 2029," says Linda, who played scantily clad Nova opposite Charlton Heston in the first film. "They're beautiful -- and huge -- standing 6-foot-5. And strong. They literally hurl the humans 50 or 60 feet."

But audiences won't get to see one hilarious incident involving massive actor Michael Clarke Duncan, says Linda, because it happened off-camera.

Playing one of the huge apes, Duncan sprained his ankle so badly during a scene, crew members thought he'd broken it and rushed him to the hospital still wearing his costume and amazingly realistic makeup.

"Someone said, 'Get him to the vet,' and everyone laughed," confides Linda, 55. "But when they wheeled this big ape into the emergency room, people there were just terrified when they saw him!"

Linda also offers this sneak peak preview of a key scene in the new flick, in which she plays a human slave locked in a cage with rocket-jockey Mark Wahlberg, the film's hero. "We're taunted by the apes, who have whips," she reveals. "Mark is terrified and looks at me and asks, 'What kind of a world are we in?' I plead with him not to talk if he wants to stay alive!"

The dark-haired beauty was the girlfriend of Apes producer Richard D. Zanuck when she appeared in the first movie. Linda and Zanuck married in 1969, but divorced nine years later. Her ex-hubby also produces the new film and their sons Harrison, 30, and Dean, 29, helped develop it.

"When we made the original, Charlton Heston didn't really want me at first because I was so inexperienced," notes Linda, who has her own website, www.lindaharrison.com. "But I think I eventually won him over."

Heston makes a surprise cameo appearance in the new movie, playing an elderly ape politician, and utters a line that is sure to outrage his pals in the National Rifle Association, of which he is president.

"As he is dying, he looks at a character holding a pistol and says, 'Guns are the root of all evil,'" says Linda. "It's a classic line!"

- PETE TRUJILLO