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Mitternacht im Garten von Gut und Böse

Nach Film von Clint Eastwood nach dem gleichnamigen Roman. Ein schwuler Kunsthändler bringt offentsichtlich seinen Freund um. Das Drama spielt in der Südstaatenstadt Savannah. Einen wichtigen Part hat die Travestie-Künstlerin The Lady Chablis, die sich selbst spielt.


Lady Chablis

From the book: ''She was wearing a loose white cotton blouse, jeans, and white tennis sneakers. Her hair was short, and her skin was a smooth milk chocolate. Her eyes were large and expressive, all the more so because they were staring straight into mine. She had both hands on her hips and a sassy half-smile on her face as if she had been waiting for me. ... She was beautiful, seductively beautiful in a streetwise way. Her big eyes sparkled. Her skin glowed. A broken incisor tooth punctuated her smile and gave her a naughty look.''

In real life: The Lady Chablis now lives in Columbia but performs frequently at Club 1 Jefferson. Born Benjamin Knox, the female impersonator legally became The Lady Chablis on Sept. 15, 1995. In 1996, Chablis published the autobiographical ''Hiding My Candy'' (Pocket Books, $22), reportedly earning a six-figure advance. Arnold Stiefel, an agent and manager to the stars who bought the film rights to ''Midnight'' early on, hopes to interest Warner Bros. in filming Chablis' story.

Movie role: The Lady Chablis
Born: 1957 in Quincy, Fla.
Recent projects: ''Hiding My Candy,'' an autobiography

Since John Berendt told the world about the drag queen, Chablis has made the pop culture circuit, appearing on ''Good Morning America,'' ''Oprah'' and ''Entertainment Tonight'' and gracing the pages of ''U.S.A. Today'' and ''People'' magazine.

Berendt, when he met Chablis, was immediately fascinated by The Lady: ''She was beautiful, seductively beautiful in a streetwise way,'' he wrote in his book. ''Her big eyes sparkled. Her skin glowed. A broken incisor tooth punctuated her smile and gave her a naughty look.''

In 1996, Chablis published an autobiography, ''Hiding My Candy,'' the story of Chablis' rough adolescent years and subsequent coming out. The young man started dressing exclusively in women's clothes at 14 and began using the name Chablis at 15. Two years later, Chablis moved to Atlanta and began performing in drag shows.

The Lady Chablis has required little preparation for the part of a lifetime, and has taken to acting like a child to candy. ''I developed a nice rapport with everyone on the set,'' Chablis said. ''John Cusack and I worked closely together and he was very gracious. He's picked up on a lot of my slang. He'd say, 'Doll, just be yourself,' which is the best advice anyone could give me. Because it's my life, I don't really need a script.'' Chablis says Eastwood has given her a nickname, ''The One Take Wonder.''

It comes as no surprise that The Lady is an actor. ''Every day when I walk out the door I have to act. At church, at the grocery store, or at Saks, I'm always an actress.'' Chablis said she has refused to watch the ''dailies,'' for fear she would change something. Recently, she had the honor of showing the Oprah Winfrey show Savannah through Chablis' eyes. Although Club One Jefferson will appear in a scene in the film with Chablis performing as she did in the old days, the actress stated that she will no longer work there. Chablis traveled with the cast to Hollywood to complete filming. Whether it's in Savannah or Hollywood, Chablis quipped, ''Girl, you know I'm going to the premiere.'' And, perhaps a lot further.

By Gene Downs, Savannah Morning News and Dufflyn Lammers with contributions from Mary Beth Kerdasha, Savannah Magazine

Die zweite von links: The Lady Chablis