Having worked with two Jedi insiders in the past year, you'd think Kevin Kline could sneak us some preview tidbits about Star Wars: Episode II &#150 Attack of the Clones (due in May 2002). This summer, Kline shared the stage with Natalie Portman — aka Queen Amidala — in a New York production of Chekov's The Seagull. And in Life as a House (opening today), Kline co-stars with Hayden Christensen, the newcomer tapped to play Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in George Lucas's next two Star Wars films.

Yet, despite these connections, Kline feels ill-equipped to divulge the latest gossip from a galaxy far, far, away — especially considering he could barely follow the last flick, Star Wars: Episode I &#150 The Phantom Menace.

"I loved the early Star Wars movies, but for the last one, I was so confused by the end of the opening crawl that it left me completely bewildered," confesses Kline, who can't even pronounce the name of Portman's character: "I had forgotten that she played Queen Ami... Amigullus... Amidula. Isn't that a part of the brain?"

While Phantom Menace left him cold, Kline says his own current release wreaked major havoc on his tear ducts and heartstrings. For House, Kline lost 20 pounds to play a cancer-stricken father who makes a final attempt to bond with his angry teenage son (Christensen).

"I'm embarrassed to say when I saw the movie for the first time... Well, I was just a mess," confides the thesp, whose Oscar-winning performance in A Fish Called Wanda wrenches guts with the best of 'em. "[But] I love a good cry." What's his favorite three-hanky movie? Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. "That one gets me every time. The first time I saw it, I just remember having a mighty cry."

Asked whether raising an ungrateful hellion in House mirrors his own experience as a father of two, Kline insists his kids, Owen and Greta, haven't caused him much parental angst... yet. "I'm still in that relatively blissful period where my son is only 10 years old," grins the hubby of actress Phoebe Cates. "I have not encountered his adolescent demon that has yet to emerge. It's something to look forward to, I suppose."