Rich Brown


Katarina Witt Sounds Off on Divas


Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Katarina Witt, who's producing and starring in her second Divas on Ice special for NBC (Saturday 4 pm/ET), insists the world of figure skating is a much friendlier place than that depicted eight years ago in the notorious Tonya Harding&#150Nancy Kerrigan incident.

"That was the only one [of its kind], and it still stuck in people's minds," she tells TV Guide Online. Like most pro skaters, the German-born Witt isn't particularly comfortable discussing the rivalry that eventually led to Kerrigan getting her knee smashed by a hired thug. "[That] was really one thing that happened eight years ago, and it's time to get over with it. Basically, it's a very friendly environment. We love the sport, and most of us try to represent it in the right way."

Kerrigan will be among the skaters joining Witt on the Divas special, which also will feature performances by Ekatarina Gordeeva, Surya Bonaly, Nic read more

Cate Blanchett's Horror Story


While preparing for her role as a deep-South clairvoyant in The Gift, Cate Blanchett received some strange advice from a real-life fortune teller: Hire some protection and don't commit to any boozy movie roles.

"It was nothing really bad," the Australian native tells TV Guide Online. "[She] said I'm going to need two bodyguards — but that hasn't come to fruition yet, touch wood. And she said not to do any films where I played an alcoholic."

Blanchett, who had no previous experience with psychics, joined director Sam Raimi in visiting several L.A. fortune tellers prior to the film's shoot. "I didn't talk about being an actor at all, and after 15 minutes they were basically sounding like the trades," jokes the Elizabeth star. "I think they assume whoever comes in for a reading must be an actor wanting to know if they're going to make money."

Also helping Blanchett get into character for the psychological thriller (opening wide Jan. 19) was read more

Kinnear Helps Creek Cutie Bare All


Dawson's Creek babe Katie Holmes, who goes topless opposite Greg Kinnear in the new psychological thriller The Gift (opening wide Jan. 20), counted on the former Talk Soup funnyman to help ease her through her first-ever nude scene.

"I hadn't been involved in anything like that — and she hadn't either — so I think we diffused it with some good humor on the set," Kinnear tells TV Guide Online. "I think something like that is always percolating at total discomfort. And yet, if you can have at least some sense of the silliness of it, [you] can diffuse it a little bit.

"It was a closed set and it was handled with great dignity, I think, by the crew and by [director Sam Raimi]," adds Kinnear, whose character is engaged in a heated argument with Holmes during the pivotal sequence. "I think we set out to make the scene as impactful as we could, but not make Katie uncomfortable. She read more

Zeta-Jones "Born to Breed"


Being six months pregnant during the making of Traffic didn't pose any problems for star Catherine Zeta-Jones. When it comes to making babies, the newlywed wife of actor Michael Douglas — who also appears in the Steven Soderbergh-directed film — says she was "born to breed."

"I had a very easy pregnancy," the actress tells TV Guide Online. "If I didn't feel so good, I would never have put myself and my baby at risk just for a movie — as much as I wanted to do this."

Zeta-Jones, whose Traffic duties netted her a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress, didn't experience one single bout of morning sickness during the entire shoot. In fact, she says, being pregnant actually helped her prepare for her role as a protective mother caught in the world of drug trafficking.

"There is this profound instinct that kicks in when you're carrying a child," says Zeta-Jones, who gave birth to son Dylan four mon read more

Douglas Dredges Up Past


Michael Douglas says he couldn't help thinking about the troubled pasts of those close to him — including his half-brother, Eric, and his son, Cameron — while playing the father of a drug-addicted daughter in Traffic (opening wide on Jan. 5).

"A lot of people came to mind, both family and friends," the actor tells TV Guide Online, noting that one particularly intense scene in which he confronts his daughter (played by Erika Christensen) about her drug use was eerily reminiscent of his own problems with Cameron. "In any role, you try to bring [in] your own personal experiences."

Douglas is happy to report that 20-year-old Cameron — whose past drug exploits made him a familiar face in the supermarket tabloids — is "doing great. For me, the fact that my son doesn't have the ability to make mistakes out of the public eye is one of the most unfortunate aspects of celebrity-dom. You wouldn't wish that on any of your own child read more

Keanu's Sex Scenes Snipped


Some steamy sex scenes shot for the upcoming Keanu Reeves&#150Charlize Theron romance Sweet November (opening Feb. 16) have wound up on the cutting-room floor, and the pic's leading man is peeved with Warner Bros. for bowing to pressure from the MPAA.

"We shot them, but the studio wants to make a PG-13 film, so it's all been cut down," Reeves tells TV Guide Online. "I trust Pat O'Connor, the director, and he says [the cuts don't] compromise what we did. But I think you lose something."

One of the re-edited sequences involves Reeves playfully dipping below the water during a bubblebath with Theron. The studio suits were okay with showing both actors covered in bubbles, but they decided that the suggestive dive had to go. "That's a drag," he sighs, "because I think it shows a nice intimacy and humanity."

Reeves — who's currently starring in the Sam Raimi-directed psychological thriller The Gift (opening wide on Jan. 20) & read more

Bullock's Big Knightmare


Sandra Bullock found herself in some compromising situations with co-stars Sir Michael Caine and Benjamin Bratt on the set of Miss Congeniality (opening Dec. 22). Bullock, who plays an FBI agent who goes undercover at a beauty pageant, panicked when she realized one scene called for Caine to put his hand down her shirt.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, Michael Caine is going to be touching my boobs!'" recalls Bullock of the recently knighted Oscar winner, who plays a pageant consultant who teaches her the fine art of bra-padding. "It was like, 'How [can] you be calm about that?'"

Caine, on the other hand, kept his cool while fondling the star of Speed and Hope Floats. "To him, it was like [being] a doctor," she says. "He was like, 'Okay... no sweat.' It didn't matter. Maybe he didn't find anything."

Bullock also found herself getting intimate with Bratt, an off-screen pal who plays her FBI partner and love interest in the big bud read more

The Skinny on Benicio Del Toro


Benicio Del Toro, just named best supporting actor by the New York Film Critics Circle for Traffic (opening in L.A. and N.Y. on Dec. 17, elsewhere on Jan. 5), is prepared to give his all for a role. Unless, of course, it involves the sort of weight gain required for his part in the 1998 pic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

"I wouldn't do the weight [gain] again for anything," says Del Toro, who packed on 45 pounds for his role opposite Johnny Depp in the hallucinatory Fear and Loathing. "It took about three months to take it off. It's not healthy."

Del Toro said the extra pounds, combined with the disappointing box office for Fear and Loathing, managed to set him into a deep funk. "What I did there was just really hard work and it just got thrown in the garbage can, in a way," he said. "It got really bad reviews — unfairly so, I think. That was a little bit of a depressing time, right there."

Those days are far behind him no read more

Stewart Kisses and Tells


French Stewart says he didn't get too worked up sharing a passionate kiss with sexy co-star Karina Lombard in Murder at the Cannes Film Festival, the new E! original movie debuting Sunday at 9 pm. After all, what's an actor to do when his wife and scores of stage hands are standing on the sidelines?

"I always thought it was sort of disingenuous when you would hear actors saying, 'Oh, well, it's very technical and there are a lot of things going on,'" the 3rd Rock From the Sun star tells TV Guide Online. "But it's actually kinda true. You're trying to make sure your head is in the right place and that she's getting some light, and meanwhile, there are 60 people there watching you. And my wife [fellow thesp Katherine LaNasa] was right there, policing all the activity."

LaNasa wasn't spying on her hubby, however. The actress — who stars in the NBC midseason sitcom These Wom read more

Traffic Star Trashes Teen Pics


While Ashton Kutcher makes his leap to the big screen in Dude, Where's My Car? (opening Friday), his That '70s Show co-star, Topher Grace, says he wants no part of dopey teen pics.

"I'm kind of hard on teen movies," Grace tells TV Guide Online. "I don't like a lot of them, because [they're] from older executives guessing what their kids want to see. If my dad decided the kind of movie I'd want to see, I can guarantee you I wouldn't like it."

Grace — who makes his theatrical debut as a prep school drug addict in the new Michael Douglas film, Traffic (opening in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 27, followed by a wide release on Jan. 5) — says he actually turned down several teen comedy scripts prior to taking the role in the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama.

"I remember saying to Steven that I wanted to do a one-eighty from what I am on TV," says Grace, who plays it read more

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