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TINSELTOWN SPYWITNESS.

Byline: Elizabeth Snead

REGULAR MATES, THEY IS: It's been three years since Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan met and created a box-office success with ``Shanghai Noon.'' Wilson definitely gets most of the laughs (and the girls) when they reunite for their new film, ``Shanghai Knights.''

It's the continuing misadventures of Roy O'Bannon, a ne'er-do-well cowboy, and Chon Wang, a Chinese imperial guard. But this time, they leave the Wild West and travel to not-so-jolly old England circa 1880 to avenge a murder and retrieve a Chinese royal treasure.

Wilson, looking quite dapper in a gray suit at the premiere this week at the El Capitan in Hollywood, admits he was no match for Chan in the martial arts department. ``The only time I got into martial arts was when I was young, after I'd seen 'The Karate Kid,' '' he recalls. Wilson had earned a purple belt but a serious beating during a competition turned him off the sport.

But Fann Wong, who plays Chan's kick-butt sister, definitely gives Chan (and all the bad guys) a run for their tuppence. At the film's after-bash across the street in the Highlands restaurant, Wong revealed her dance background and past experience doing martial arts and wire work for a TV series in China. But she says the most difficult stunt was keeping a poker face during filming. ``Owen and Jackie are so funny together, always joking around,'' Wong says. ``I don't know when they are ever really serious and I could not keep a straight face. And Owen was always teasing me, especially after the licking scene.''

Licking? Trust us, it's just good barnyard fun ...

Spotted wandering the party, which was decorated with red Chinese lanterns and Union Jack tablecloths: Fabio; Vince Vaughn; Stephen Dorff; Owen's older, taller brother, Luke Wilson; Edward James Olmos; Jon Voight; ``My Big Fat Greek Wedding'' star Nia Vardalos; and Kiss rocker Gene Simmons with son Nick, who blushed beet red when asked by a reporter on the red carpet if his tongue was a big as his dad's. Ouch. Everyone stuffed themselves on the spicy Chinese dishes but saved breathing room for a dessert of tea, shortbread cookies, scones and crumpets. A few guests even lined up to have their photos taken in a red rickshaw and get their fortunes told by a tea leaf expert.

Judging from the reaction to the film, audiences will be pleased to know that part three - ``Shanghai Dawn'' - is in the works. And Wong seems ready for action.

``Jackie was kidding around saying that in the next one he will make me pregnant with Roy's child,'' Wong says. ``Who knows? We shall see!''

RETRO FIT: Hollywood is on the hunt for old clothes.

Film and TV costumers dug up the latest hot looks in vintage clothing at the Vintage Fashion Expo last weekend at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Hip L.A. fashion designers Henry Duarte and Jennifer Nicholson (Jack's daughter) gathered inspiration. Vintage victims included Mimi Rogers, Lisa Bonet, Jane Seymour, Sofia Coppola, Kelly Lynch, Kate Moss, Keanu Reeves (he brings his stylist), Shiva Rose, Barbra Streisand (she often brings hubby James Brolin), David Arquette and Social Distortion's Mike Ness.

``The appetite for vintage has grown over the past decade,'' explained Doris Raymond, whose The Way We Wore San Francisco warehouse has supplied costumes for films from ``Titanic'' to ``Batman,'' ``Apollo 13'' to ``Almost Famous.''

``Costume designers have found vintage clothing for 'Seabiscuit' and NBC's 'American Dream.' The costumer for a new Tom Hanks film, 'Polar Express,' set in 1956, was here looking for children's bathrobes, slippers and pajamas. And the costumer for 'Haunted Mansion,' starring Eddie Murphy and Terrance Stamp, wanted clothing circa 1880.''

Also lurking in the booths were star stylists, secretly searching for eye-catching gowns for their clients to wear to upcoming red-carpet events. ``More and more young actresses are choosing to wear vintage to awards shows,'' Raymond said. ``This year's Oscars will be no exception.''

Jada Pinkett Smith wore a Lanvin Castillo ball gown to the Oscars last year. Julia Roberts accepted her ``Erin Brockovich'' Oscar in an '82 Valentino couture gown. Nicole Kidman is a huge vintage fan. Renee Zellweger has worn old threads on a few ``Chicago'' red carpets, and Marisa Tomei sported a vintage YSL jumpsuit from Decades at the L.A. premiere of ``The Guru.'' If you missed the mob this week, the next Vintage Fashion Expo hits Santa Monica on May 3-4. For more info, call (707) 793-0773.

THE PICK-UP ARTIST: A very thin but handsome Robert Downey Jr., fresh from his Sundance appearance for his new film, ``The Singing Detective,'' was spotted in a mega-make-out session with a hot brunette outside the Buffalo Club in Santa Monica last Friday night.

The brunet babe pulled up in her red SUV and Downey, who was waiting outside the club talking with friends and fans, leaned into her front window and started kissing her at the valet. When she climbed out, the two love birds kept making out in front of everyone before heading inside to have dinner with friends on the indoor patio.

The PDAs weren't exactly ``get a room'' material but were definitely lovey-dovey lip-locks with a little tonsil-cleaning action.

CAPTION(S):

4 photos

Photo:

(1) GENE AND NICK SIMMONS: A couple of wags.

Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

(2) WILSON, CHAN: Let's go for two.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com

(3) no caption (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.)

Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

(4) TOMEI: Might as well jump.

Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 7, 2003
Words:918
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