PAPA'S GOT A BRAND-NEW BAG
"I'm a music freak," explains Michael Douglas, 48, of his reason for starting up a new record label. In signing Third Stone/Atlantic's first group (Saigon Kick, which already has a hit single, "Love Is on the Way"), the actor sought a second opinion from son Cameron, 14. "I got his seal of approval," says Douglas. Are his and Cameron's instincts always in sync? "We only argue about whether we'll listen to heavy metal or oldies," says Douglas. "I love putting on a Led Zeppelin album and saying, 'Do you like this? It's 20 years old.' "

GET ME REWRITE
Body of Evidence may be a critical disaster, but it's not for lack of effort by the picture's headliner. Prepping to play a siren accused of murdering her lover, Madonna, 34, says she watched "a lot of film noir from the '40s and Hitchcock movies," as well as "courtroom dramas and movies with Kim Novak and Lana Turner." In addition, to get the script up to her specs, she recalls, "we spent a lot of time reworking it. I can't think of any specific lines I wrote myself. But all the things that everyone thinks I wrote—like 'Men lie' and 'That's what I do, I f—-'—those were already there, I'm sorry to say."

POLAR BEARER
Michael Palin followed longitude 30°, north-to-south, to film Pole to Pole, his new series on cable's Arts & Entertainment network. Antarctica proved a source of some unexpected souvenirs. "They have this policy that everything you bring down has to be taken out again," says Palin, 49, a charier member of Monty Python's Flying Circus. "This means all human waste. It's 25° below 0 [centigrade], you've got goggles and hoods and all that sort of stuff and there you are, struggling to get out of Antarctica carrying a bag of your own crap." Plus, what do you put on your customs declaration?

SIGNS OF THE TIMES
When the Buffalo Bills meet the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII on Jan. 31, the National Anthem will be sung by Garth Brooks and also performed in American Sign Language. The translator: Reasonable Doubts' Marlee Matlin, hearing-impaired since she was 18 months old. "Like most Americans, I don't know all the words, and I've been rehearsing like crazy," concedes Matlin, 27. "Garth sent me a practice tape, so I could study it. I play the cassette when I'm driving, practicing it over and over again, just so I know the pattern of the words. The funny thing is how people stare at me." Perhaps they're merely counting how many hands she has on the steering wheel.