Charlie Mason with Michael Ausiello

Birds' Fine-Feathered Superfriends

Can we please get a big "Oh, you poor dears!" for the superbabe crime-fighters of the WB's glossiest new guilty pleasure, Birds of Prey (making its debut Oct. 9). Not only is the dynamic trio entrusted with the thankless job of cleaning up New Gotham without Batman's help, but they do their perp-busting while wearing to-die-for duds that are better suited for bar-hopping than leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

For instance, no Joker... er, joker... would argue that Ashley Scott looks anything but arresting in the corseted dominatrix outfit she wears in the premiere. However, says the newcomer, who plays the Huntress, the love child of the Caped Crusader and Catwoman: "I couldn't breathe [in that gear]! It's sexy, but good God, is it uncomfortable!

"And to fight in... " she continues. "Well, it's not very realistic."

We'll s read more

Simon Rex, Destiny's Child

Had destiny not smiled upon Simon Rex during his late-1990s run as MTV eye candy, he easily could have suffered a fate worse than death — becoming the next Downtown Julie Brown. But before he fully committed himself to a career as a small-screen personality, he received a call that would forever alter the course of his life.

"Gus Van Sant requested to meet me for Good Will Hunting," the 28-year-old San Francisco native tells TV Guide Online. Although the onetime skin-flick star didn't get cast, he did get ideas. "I said to myself, 'Okay, I can stay [and keep introducing videos] or I could go down this [other] road, because this looks like it might happen. So I went down the other road."

In no time, thanks to roles on WB's Felicity read more

Gwyneth: 30th B-Day Won't Be the Death of Her

While most folks dread their birthdays, especially in youth-obsessed Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow is actually looking forward to blowing out the candles on her cake come September 28 — and this year, she'll be facing quite a bonfire. "I cannot believe that I'm turning 30," exclaims the big-screen scene stealer, coming off as incredulous as a teenager who has just gotten away with using a fake I.D. "It sounds so grown-up."

At the same time, hitting the three-decade mark also feels quite right to the Shakespeare in Love Oscar winner. "My 20s have been action-packed," says the tabloid favorite, whose little black book reads like a Who's Who of A-list actors. "I think I've lived more in my 20s than most people live in a lifetime, and in a way, I'm sad to let go of it. In [another] way, I'm relieved to sort of enter into the next ph read more

Seven Silly Questions for William Shatner

Be afraid. Be very afraid. First, the Sci Fi Channel made a deal with cheese whiz Charles Band to broadcast a whole bunch of his company's creature features, among them Shrunken Heads and Castle Freak. Then, the cable network retained as ringmaster of the B-movie showcase one of the most shameless thespians in history: William Shatner. Now, the prospect of tuning in each week to William Shatner's Full Moon Fright Night (starting Saturday at 11 pm/ET) has given us such a terrific case of the willies that we wonder how we'll ever stop our teeth from chattering long enough to ask the erstwhile Star Trek captain seven silly questions.

TV Guide Online: A lot of people may not realize it, but you are uniqu read more

New Alias Baddie: Mom's the Word

Since villains as treacherous as Alias secret-agent woman Sydney Bristow's mother, Laura, are hard to come by in the real world, we can all rest a little easier. The ABC sleeper's producers, on the other hand, can't afford a moment's shut-eye. Since they teased the character's introduction in the season finale, they now are faced with the formidable task of filling the role — no mean feat, considering that the double-dealing spy babe, also known as Irina Derevko, is hot enough to have enticed Sydney's dad, Jack, into marriage and cold enough to have iced good guy Michael Vaughn's father. "We are on the verge of casting it," series creator J.J. Abrams tells TV Guide Online. "It's very exciting!" But, before the powers that be settle on an actress, perhaps they should break into our top-secret files and peruse the list of contenders we think might kick read more

Hollywood Can't Bedevil Angel Star

As lethal with a punch line as a broad sword, Charisma Carpenter ought to be making a killing in Hollywood. But the Angel scene stealer keeps such a low profile, she might as well be a fugitive on America's Most Wanted. Heck, she even blew off TV Guide Online three times before finally calling for this interview.

"I just don't think I'm a big, fat star," she explains. "There isn't a high demand there [for press coverage]. Like, if I go to an event and have my picture taken, nine times out of 10 it will be someone else who's a little more famous that gets [their photo] published — and that's fine. I don't go [to a premiere] unless I'm going to see something that's of interest to me. I don't do it to get pumped up.

"[Publicity] can be fun," she continues. "But the more you leave yourself open to that, the more backlash you can ge read more

SU2 Star Isn't Your Garden-Variety Gnome

Standing just 4'0" tall, Danny Woodburn can state with great certainty that there are, in fact, small roles. Since the actor broke into showbiz a decade ago, his career has been full of 'em, from Tony the Elf in 1996's Jingle All the Way to Kramer's diminutive rival, Mickey Abbott, on Seinfeld. However, when Special Unit 2 offered him a part that was a little supernatural — that of Carl the Gnome — he expressed a few big concerns.

"I had some trepidation originally," he confirms for TV Guide Online. "But I justified [coming onboard by reminding myself] that I was not going to be the only one in makeup. There are creatures-of-the-week from all different walks of life, in all shapes and sizes.

"Plus, I realized that this character is sort o read more

A New Scully... Isn't That Special!

Since David Duchovny has blasted out of The X-Files's orbit, and Gillian Anderson is counting down to her own take-off, it would make sense for UPN to position the stars of its high-spirited supernatural police show, Special Unit 2, as the next Mulder and Scully. But the very notion gives the giggles to leading lady Alexondra Lee, who plays by-the-book detective Kate Benson opposite Michael Landes's rogue cop Nick O'Malley.

"They're fighting real aliens on The X-Files," she points out to TV Guide Online. "They've got a serious job to do. We've got, like, fantasy creatures. We had models that turned into spider-women... and a monster that was made out read more

Buffy Vamp's Rockin' Role

We knew it was only a matter of time: In this fall's eagerly anticipated musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the title butt-kicker's blood-sucking suitor finally rocks her world — literally. But James Marsters warns TV Guide Online not to expect a Celine Dion power ballad from his counterpart, Spike, Sunnydale's fanged Sid Vicious.

"We were in London on the dance floor, and Joss Whedon [the series's tuneful creator] actually stopped dancing, going, 'I'm in the middle of your song — I'm on fire, I can't get it out!'" relates the actor, who covers Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen with his own band. "Just today he was like, 'The last stanza needs more balls.' He wants it to be really rock and roll."

However the number turns out, Marsters tea read more

Hoof-and-Mouth Disease Strikes Buffy

In anticipation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's highly anticipated November sweeps musical episode, Michelle Trachtenberg — who plays the eponymous supergirl's kid sister Dawn — isn't taking voice lessons, but rather, practicing her pleading.

"I begged [series creator] Joss Whedon not to have me sing as much [as everybody else]," she tells TV Guide Online. "I'll dance, though. I love dancing, so he was checking to make sure of my ballerina skills. I'm like, 'Why, exactly?'"

Perhaps, besides tailoring Trachtenberg's rockin' role to her aptitudes, Whedon is gauging her surefootedness in case Sarah Michelle Gellar ever gives up kicking butt. "I've been asked if a spinoff or a continuation [of read more

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