Jeanne Wolf

Gere's Odyssey with Homer

Richard Gere may have a future as a comedian — at least according to his No. 1 fan, two-year-old son Homer. "I can just raise an eyebrow and send him into hysterical laughter," he tells TV Guide Online. "We [also] have this game where I growl and then threaten to chew on his belly. That just tickles him to no end... My son makes me get goofy, but I guess children make fools of all of us."

Homer is the 52-year-old actor's first child with actress Carey Lowell (Law & Order), whom he refers to as his "wife" although the pair aren't formally married. "I've proposed to her," he explains, "but we just haven't gotten around to making it official yet.

"We're both very protective parents," he continues. "I would love to carpet the world so my son wouldn't get any bruises. read more

Russell Crowe Defends His Rep

Oscar champ Russell Crowe confesses that playing real-life Nobel Prize-winning scientist John Nash in A Beautiful Mind was a bigger challenge than he anticipated. At least when he portrayed tobacco industry whistle blower Jeffrey Wigand in 1999's The Insider he had something to model his performance after. "I spent hours watching tapes of Wigand," he tells TV Guide Online, "but there was not a single piece of film — not even an audio tape — of Nash as a young man."

So, how did Crowe get inside the head of the schizophrenic Princeton mathematician? Well, he let his nails grow, natch. "I have little sausage stumps of fingers, but I'd noticed in a photo that Nash had these graceful hands with tapered fingers," he says. "I decided having longer fingernails would sort of help that image. In fact, the day read more

Cate Blanchett's Big Secret

Cate Blanchett, who recently gave birth to a son, Dashiell John, might have avoided the daunting physical challenges she faced in Charlotte Gray if she had confessed during filming that she was preggers. But Blanchett soldiered on, playing a Scottish woman who goes behind enemy lines to join the French Resistance in World War II.

"I didn't tell anyone at first, not even Gillian Armstrong, the director," she reveals to TV Guide Online. "It wasn't their fault, and I wanted to do my job. But it was bloody cold, the worst winter in Britain in years, and the first week we had to go through this really nasty military obstacle course."

At least Blanchett — whose performance in Bandits earned her a 2002 read more

Kevin Spacey Makes News

Kevin Spacey plays an emotionally damaged man struggling to find his place in the world in The Shipping News (opening Christmas day). In real life, the two-time Oscar winner faced a long struggle of his own to land the juicy part of Quoyle in Lasse Hallstr&#246m's big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by E. Annie Proulx.

"I read it six years ago and immediately called my agent," he recalls to TV Guide Online. "I said, 'I've got to do this.' When he told me that John Travolta had already committed to the project, I hung up the phone and wept like a small child. But I didn't give up. I kept checking back a read more

Will Smith's Knockout Performance

Will Smith didn't pull any punches in his portrayal of Muhammad Ali in Ali (opening Christmas Day). Beyond the challenge of capturing the man and the myth, Smith had to look convincing in the ring.

"I was sparring with former heavyweight champ Michael Bent and I told him not to be afraid to hit me," he recalls to TV Guide Online. "So he landed a punch right in the middle of my head and it sort of compressed down into my shoulders. I felt an electric shock from the base of my neck to the back of both elbows. But I didn't fall down. And that's when something almost animalistic took over, like a catharsis. You think, 'I can do this.'

"That's the day I felt like a fighter," he adds, "because I could take it and give it back. read more

Depp: To Hell and Back

What was the first thing Johnny Depp thought about after the Sept. 11 tragedy? His year-old daughter, Lily-Rose Melody. "You turn away from the TV set and look at your child and imagine what the families of the victims must be feeling, the loss they're dealing with," the actor tells TV Guide Online. "I think about the future of my baby and all our children. What's growing up going to be like for them? What kind of life will they have facing a war with such an uncertain end? The entire world has changed and it will never be the same again."

Depp admits his own universe was drastically altered in May 1999, when Lily-Rose was born. "When I look at my daughter, it's like having a fog lifted from in front of my eyes that was there for 35 years," he says of his only child with French actress Vanessa Paradis. "For the first time, y read more

Bruce Willis: Ex-Action Hero

In his post-Moonlighting years, Bruce Willis became a megastar in a string of action thrillers, starting with 1988's Die Hard. Unfortunately, the recent real-life terrorist attacks have soured his taste for battling baddies onscreen. "I'm not an action hero anymore," Willis declares to TV Guide Online, "and I think it would be inappropriate for me to compare anything that happens in Hollywood and the entertainment industry to the tragic loss of life on Sept. 11.

"I know people who died in that tragedy," he continues. "It's impossible to wrap your mind around what happened there. What happens in Hollywood isn't real — it's about diversion. What I'm trying to do is just entertain people. I'm proud to be an entertainer."

Willis hopes moviegoers will find his screwball comedy read more

Ben Stiller's Touchy Subject

Are American moviegoers really ready for a spoof set in New York City — especially one that revolves around an assassination attempt on a world leader? Ben Stiller hopes so, since that's the basic plot of Zoolander (opening Friday). Admits the actor/director: "You go through every emotion, wondering if it's right to release, much less even talk about it. It does seem so trivial in the wake of what happened on September 11th.

"I thought about it a lot," Stiller adds, "and I finally decided that even in the best of times, this movie is just a silly diversion that makes you forget about your problems for an hour and a half. Hopefully, it will be good for people to have a few laughs. We're giving them the option to do that."

Like many filmmakers nowadays, Stiller was obliged to make some last read more

Jason Biggs's Just Desserts

It's been two years since American Pie was served up to moviegoers, and Jason Biggs continues to be haunted by the now-legendary scene in which his character makes love to an apple pastry. In fact, when filmmaker Kevin Smith asked the 23-year-old New Jersey native to appear in his new comedy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (due Aug. 22), he wanted him to parody his kinky past.

"It's sort of a caricature. I'm trying to deal with being the 'Pie Guy,' which is sort of what my life has been like," Biggs tells TV Guide Online of his cameo, in which he plays himself. "For the last two years I've been known as the 'Pie Guy.' So it's sort of fun to laugh at it."

Well, in the much-ant read more

Danny's Bonaduce: Rehab Redux

Partridge Family alum Danny Bonaduce recently checked himself into rehab — and that's where he'll be when he isn't co-hosting his L.A. radio show and yet another TV talk show, The Other Half. (Unlike his failed solo talk effort, Danny!, Half's an all-male knockoff of The View, with Dick Clark filling Barbara Walters's heels.) Explains Bonaduce: "I come out to do my job and then I go right back in."

No stranger to rehab, Bonaduce kicked his widely publicized drug habit 10 years ago, managing to plea bargain his way out of jail terms for substance abuse and assault. This time, the troubled celeb got a wake-up call about his persisting drinking problem while on a recent cruise to Spain. "I was eating pie out of the tin and drinking beer at eleven o'clock in the morning," he recalls. "My wife said, 'Are you sure this is how you want to be known? The fat drunk guy on TV?' I said, 'You're right. Let's get back and I read more

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