A SENSITIVE MATTER
'Tis the season to be jolly, and Oscar-winning actress-turned-director Jodie Foster is delighted to deliver Home for the Holidays, her second feature film since making her directorial debut with 1991's Little Man Tate. Not that the critics make her burden any easier. "I take those reviews very personally," says Foster, 33. "As an actor it's easy to go, 'Oh, well, the director ruined my performance.' You can walk away. But as a director, I find myself wearing dark glasses outside some theater saying, 'Would you recommend this to your friends?' It is humiliating to become this person who really cares if the movie does well." When the first test audience for Holidays laughed in the wrong places, Foster says she "was totally insulted. Then I realized people laugh at things that touch them, and if I didn't have a sense of humor, I would really be an idiot."

HOME IN INDIANA'S HAT
Harrison Ford next plays the romantic lead in Sabrina, due Dec. 15. But growing up near Chicago, he felt more like the Fugitive than Indiana Jones or any action heroes he has portrayed. "I wasn't athletic at all in high school," says Ford, 53. "But I was very popular with the girls, and the guys hated me for it. We had this ledge by the parking lot of our school. So the guys would get me out to this ledge and beat me up. Now those same guys might see me and say, 'Wow, you're Indiana Jones!' " But he's unlikely to run into them: Ford lives on a Wyoming ranch with his wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, and their two kids. "There are no traces of my movie life at home," he says. Not even Indy's famed fedora? "Okay," he admits, "I do have that."

CATCHING HER Z'S
On the blue-collar comedy series Grace Under Fire, Texas-reared actress Julie White plays Brett Butler's best friend Nadine, who is married to husband No. 4, Wade Swoboda (Casey Sander). But in real life, White has more in common with the fictional Ilk Grace, a single mom. "Except that Grace gets a date every time she turns around," says the divorced White, 34, who has a 9-year-old daughter, Alexandra. "Not me. The guy would have to be perfect in every way because I don't want to spend the money on a baby-sitter and miss out on those extra hours of sleep. A lot of great guys around my age are married: They love women and they wanted to settle down, and that's one of the things I that makes them great guys. Maybe it's like musical chairs. I have to wait until the music stops for someone to be left without a chair."

LET PARKER DO IT
Since Cheers ended in 1993, Kirstie Alley has played her share of strong onscreen characters like the independent social worker in the romantic comedy It Takes Two. But in real life she prefers to be deferential—at least in matters of breaking-and-entering. "This sounds very un-feminist, but I think there has to be a boss in every arrangement, and I prefer it being the man," says Alley, 40, who has two children with her husband, actor Parker Stevenson. "If an intruder breaks in, I'm not going to say, 'Honey, give me the gun.' Parker and I have what I call the burglar relationship. I wouldn't think of going down to see who broke into the house, and he wouldn't think of letting me. I think it's romantic."