Talk about attention-grabbing! As a married couple in Impostor, Madeleine Stowe and Gary Sinise forget foreplay and cut right to the passion, making steamy love in the sci-fi thriller's opening credits. Says Stowe: "We wanted to show that the two of us are not only married, we're very deeply in love." And how! While Stowe doesn't get much screen time, her role is crucial to Impostor's surprise ending, which she admits "was a total shock. I was reading the script and I didn't see it coming."

What she also didn't see coming was the struggle she'd face while shooting A&#38E's upcoming The Magnificent Ambersons. Feisty director Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate) helmed the ambitious remake of Orson Welles's 1942 epic — and clearly kept things on a "need-to-know" basis.

"I've never had an experience like it," the actress admits. "Alfonso wouldn't share his vision of the script with me or anybody else in the cast. He kept everything to himself, except [for] talking about the incest theme in the story. I know there's a sort of implied Oedipal complex, but it's about much more than that.

"He would just throw us in front of the camera and say, 'Okay, act!'" Stowe adds. "At one point, when he was behind schedule and was slashing scenes, Alfonso actually said, 'Orson Welles didn't know what he was doing.'"

Fortunately, Stowe had much more fun co-starring with Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers, a Vietnam war movie due out March 1. "I'd heard that Mel was a practical joker," she says, "so all during filming, I waited for him to pull something and he didn't. Finally, I decided on a preemptive strike. I went into his trailer and stole all of his clothes. He was sort of freaking out, so I went up to him wearing some of his stuff and he got the joke. I'm still waiting for him to retaliate!"