Amy Helmes

Practice Star Goes Blonde

Looks like The Practice's Holland Taylor is raising the bar on her on-screen law career. An Emmy winner for her randy role as Judge Roberta Kittleson, she also plays Reese Witherspoon's cantankerous Harvard Law professor in the summer comedy, Legally Blonde (opening Friday).

"They probably got the idea to use me in this role because [of] The Practice," Taylor concedes, adding wryly: "But that's where the comparison stops — I haven't slept with any of the undergraduates in this film."

Indeed, Taylor takes pride in her libidinous Judge Kittleson, who's indulged in naughty fantasies about Dylan McDermott's Bobby, bedded Michael Badalucco's Jimmy — and s read more

Pussycat Purr-plexed by Josie's Bomb

If cats have nine lives, why can't movies? Josie and the Pussycats couldn't scratch up decent box-office results — it has banked a dismal $15 million since its April release — but star Rosario Dawson isn't crying over spilt Meow Mix. In fact, the actress hopes Josie's satirical humor and edgy 'tude will lure a bigger following in time.

"I think it's one of those movies that could hit later [on video] through word of mouth," she insists. "The people I know who saw the movie saw it three times. I think a lot more people would have gone to see it if they realized it was smarter, not just a little chick flick."

As a result, Dawson — whose kittenish co-stars include Rachael Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Parker Posey — wouldn't mind sinking her claws into marketers at Universal Pictures. She thinks they failed to appeal to Gen-Xers who remember Josie's original incarnation read more

The Queen of the Hill

Actress Brittany Murphy is ready for her close-up! Unfortunately, she never gets any as the voice of Hank Hill's trailer-trash niece, Luanne Platter, on Fox's animated comedy King of the Hill. "I also used to play Joseph, the little [Native American] boy next door — until his voice changed this season," she grins.

Far from frustrated by her as-never-seen-on-TV gig, Murphy is glad the voiceover work frees her up to pursue film roles. Perhaps you'll recall her as Tai, Alicia Silverstone's fashion-deprived pet project in Clueless or as the suicidal Daisy in Girl, Interrupted. "I had spent time in mental institutions for Girl," she says. Indeed, having played her share of movie loons has necessitated some field research. "I got my picture taken behind bars at Bellevue," she quips. "That was kind of cool. I met some very interest read more

Duchovny Haunted by The X-Files

Having spent the better part of a decade as UFO-chasing FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files, David Duchovny was hesitant about playing another alien-buster in the big-screen comedy Evolution (opening today).

The actor says he jumped at the chance to re-team with director Ivan Reitman (with whom he made his first comedic foray in Beethoven). But his heart sank when he realized the script centered on aliens — a subject he felt he'd already covered more than thoroughly. "It was such a weird coincidence, because Ivan doesn't watch The X-Files and doesn't even know what it's about," chuckles Duchovny. "The fact that there are aliens in this movie is just a pain in the ass."

After mulling over the dilemma with his wife, actress T&#233a Leoni, Duchovny concluded that the benefits of working with Reitman outwe read more

Evolution Co-Star Defies Duchovny

What's it like to be hoisted 20 feet in the air while suspended inside the slimy rump of a gigantic, amoeba-like alien? Only Orlando Jones — who co-stars with David Duchovny and Julianne Moore in the sci-fi comedy Evolution (opening Friday) — knows the answer to that unsavory question.

Though much of the film is filled with computer graphic imagery, Jones couldn't rely on technology to fake this particular scene. "That actual set piece was there," he groans. "I kept slipping as I tried to find my footing on the ladder. When you hear me yelling to David, 'Grab me' — I wasn't joking. I thought, 'If David lets go of me and I fall down and break my neck, I'm going to kill him.' It may have been difficult with a broken neck, but I felt I was up to it!"

Jones — who has previously appeared in The Replacements read more

SNL Alum's Pet Project

In The Animal (opening tomorrow), Rob Schneider plays a one-man menagerie plagued with an array of animal instincts — which include sniffing crotches, eating raw meat and seducing barnyard critters. While co-writing the screenplay, the SNL alum was inspired by watching When Animals Attack. Little did he know how prophetic it would prove in working with his creature co-stars!

"You don't see orangutans in a lot of movies because they're very dangerous and unpredictable," says Schneider, who so displeased one grumpy primate during production that trainers had to haul the beast off the set. A hulking young orangutan named Louie then took over. "Louie and I got along famously," he recalls. "Although my neck still hurts a little from when he put me in a headlock."

Fortunately, Schneider found former Survivor castaway Colleen Haskell a much mo read more

Survivor's Colleen Has Animal Instinct

Apparently, spending a month on a far-flung island with rats, snakes and Richard Hatch can prepare you for anything — even a movie career. To wit, original Survivor castaway Colleen Haskell, 24, makes her big screen debut on Friday in The Animal, which co-stars a motley menagerie including Saturday Night Live alum Rob Schneider.

Though she initially wasn't too confident about her acting ability, the novice says sharing screen time with a cast of critters helped take the pressure off. "I liked having the animals on the set because they attracted attention away from me," Haskell chuckles. "No matter how bad I was messing up, the goat was really messing up!"

Unfortunately, when it came time to film one unsavory scene — in which Schneider chews up a live worm and lets a baby turkey vulture eat it from his mouth — her gag re read more

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