in the Press: Associated Press)

two-time Academy Award® nominee
Ann-Margret (Carol Hargrave),
is Taylor’s mom’s best friend.

(c) 3210 Films

Ann-Margret in New Orleans for movie premiere

03:02 PM CDT on Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stacey Plaisance / Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS: For the first time since the mid-1960s, Ann-Margret was is in New Orleans for the world premiere of a major film in which she stars.

But unlike 1965's "The Cincinnati Kid" with Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson, the latest film, her latest film is a psychological thriller. Some days, just the making of it made her "too afraid to go to work," she said in a telephone interview from her hotel suite a few hours before the premiere.

"It is just scary, really scary," she said.

"Memory" will open in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and nationwide on April 6.

The independent film, which also stars Dennis Hopper and Billy Zane, is based on a novel by the movie's director and producer, Opelousas, La., native Bennett Davlin. In the film, a medical expert, played by Zane, unlocks genetically stored memories of a killer.

Proceeds from the premiere and a $500 (€376)-per-person dinner in New Orleans Wednesday will benefit the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a school that opened in 1973, providing free instruction in various arts, including music, theater and creative writing.

The New Orleans premiere should generate as much as $50,000 (€37,613), Davlin said, adding that he wanted his first major film project to in some way benefit hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.

"It is such a unique city and has such a rich and diverse community. Doing something for the arts and the kids is a step toward helping to preserve that," Davlin said.

Ann-Margret, whose films include "Bye Bye Birdie," "Viva Las Vegas" with Elvis Presley, "Carnal Knowledge" and "Grumpy Old Men," said she planned to tour devastated parts of the city Thursday.