SUN VALLEY, CALIF. -- She walked back and forth across a parking lot behind a converted-warehouse soundstage here on the industrial fringes of the San Fernando Valley. Brett Butler was smoking a cigar, her hair in curlers, practicing her lines -- of which there were not many -- over and over again.

“You may not know this because you’re” an idiot, she said, in character as she paced. “But women who base their self-esteem on their looks are usually pretty insecure.”

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