Filming on Nicole Kidman's new movie The Stepford Wives has descended into chaos after a number of violent rows between the cast and crew.

Director Frank Oz has confessed tensions are high on the set of the film - a remake of the 1975 thriller that starred KATHERINE ROSS - and he is at loggerheads with a number of the cast, which includes Kidman, Bette Midler and CHRISTOPHER WALKEN.

But he insists he has everything under control.

Responding to reports he had clashed with Midler and Walken, Oz says, "Tension on the set? Absolutely! In every movie I do, there's tension. That's the whole point. And working people hard, that's exactly what they expect me to do.

"Bette has been under a lot of stress lately. She not only has been filming a very large production, but she's had to finish her record BETTE MIDLER SINGS ROSEMARY CLOONEY. She's also been rehearsing for her tour. She made the mistake of bringing her stress on the set."

"There's tension there. There's tension with Chris and Nic Kidman and Roger Bart and Glenn Close to a degree, there's tension with everybody."

"Sure, Christopher and I had words. But I've had words with other actors, and then at the end of the day Chris was fantastic. This is like kids fighting for turf and then they're friends again."

Oz is somewhat of an expert at managing difficult on-set situations - during shooting for his 2001 picture The Score, Marlon Brando refused to take direction from Oz, insisting co-star ROBERT DeNIRO direct his scenes.

02/10/2003 14:00