FREELANCE TOUGH GIRL
For the upcoming movie Double Dragon, in which she plays the karate-kicking leader of a futuristic girl gang, Alyssa Milano, 20, was happy to shed the wholesome airs—and hairs—of her role as Tony Danza's daughter, Samantha, on TV's Who's the Boss? "I kick ass in this movie," she says. "We were going for the industrial sexy look." Milano says her close-cropped white hairdo "freaked" her father, who didn't mind the minor alterations needed when she played Amy Fisher on CBS this year. Just don't ask him about Conflict of Interest, a '93 HBO video that had Milano as Judd Nelson's S&M girlfriend. "He wouldn't even visit me on the set of that one. When he finally saw it, all he could say was, 'Ahh, at least they shot you really well.' "

CASH COMFY WITH ROCK, AND VICE VERSA
Johnny Cash has always walked the line—between country and rock. But with his lead vocal on the closing track of U2's new Zooropa (see review, Song Picks & Pans) and his recent signing to Rick Rubin's L.A.-based Def American label (home to rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot and rockers the Black Crowes), some folks are wondering if he's crossed the line. "People think it's a far-out kind of wedding," says Cash, 61, who sparked similar rumblings when he sang on Bob Dylan's 1968 Nashville Skyline. "But it was very comfortable working with U2. I've known them several years. Bono is brilliant, he knows all about country and rockabilly. We can try to stump each other all day and not do it." What did stump Cash was his place in the changing landscape of country music. "I had hit a point where I felt like I was just spinning my wheels and couldn't accomplish anything," says the Man in Black. "Nashville is doing all right without me, to put it kindly."

WHERE TOM TAKES RITA
Spouses Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson brought domesticity to the set of Sleepless in Seattle, in which she plays the old friend who cries over An Affair to Remember. "The funniest part was that I shared his trailer. Undress in front of any other leading man but my husband? I don't think so." Tearjerkers like Seattle appeal to her, she adds tongue-in-cheek, because they produce "the underlying feelings that most resemble PMS." Taking in a tearjerker, or any flick, is the perfect date for the pair, who have a 3-year-old at home. "I wish it were more original than a great meal and a movie, but that's it. The classic date. In fact, we call it Date Night U.S.A., and we have one about once a week."

ELVIS: SEER OF SPORT
Actress Lisa Hartman Black expected to find Grace-land, Elvis Presley's Memphis mansion, to be every bit as "humongous" as the legend surrounding its former owner. But after three days filming the documentary America Comes to Graceland. which begins airing in syndication this week, Black came away with "a real appreciation for Elvis's human side," she says. Despite the garishness of furnishings like the fabled fur-covered furniture in the Jungle Room, Black, 37, found Graceland "homey, warm and inviting"—though hardly low-key. "It was all very campy, very '60s and '70s, but it was him. There was stuff in there I know I had back then. Like those bunches of little glass grapes—everybody had those, and so did Elvis." The only thing she found strange was the outdoor racquetball court. "I just don't picture Elvis playing racquetball. It says to me that Elvis sort of had a jump on things."