ROCK ON RAP
Saturday Night Live's Chris Rock is into wish fulfillment. "I had a fantasy about being a rapper. Like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. I was always rapping in front of the mirror," says Rock, 26. He takes his rapping from the mirror to the big screen in CB4, a new comedy he cowrote, coproduced and stars in. "It's totally my boyhood fantasy. I grew up on Run-DMC. I wanted to be Hun Joe Simmons. To this day. Kun is the only celebrity I talk to that I think. 'I'm talking to a star." I get a little nervous and say, 'Wow, Run shook my hand!' And then I go call my brother."

ALL BOXED UP
Sure, everybody's a critic, but how often does a director trash his own film? When Jonathan Demme, 49, lived in the City of Brotherly Love recently while filming Philadelphia, his forthcoming drama about a lawyer with AIDS, he frequently visited TLA Video (which stands for Theater of the Living Arts), a local store. Now, anyone looking there for Swing Shift. Demme's 1984 comedy-drama starring Goldie Hawn, will find the following note, handwritten by Demme and carefully taped to the box: "There was a much better version of this picture before Warner Bros, recut it, junked our score and added some ridiculous new scenes, completely changing the whole thing. Thanks, Jonathan Demme." TLA's assistant manager, Marianne Fahey, says, "We have it proudly displayed. We want to keep an eye on the note so nobody takes it and makes Jonathan Demme their own."

OVERWORKED, OVERJOYED
Forget that tabloid story about Deidre Hall's marriage to TV producer Steve Sohmer hitting bottom. "We have never been happier," says Hall, 45, going on about the "Norman Rockwell weekends" the two spend with their 6-month-old son, David. "A baby really changes you. Everything I thought was so important before is really just silliness." Specifically, the Days of Our Lives star claims motherhood has changed her overbearing ways at work. "Recently, my makeup man asked if he could give me a gash on my face [to enhance a story line] and I said OK. Then he said, 'What if it's bleeding? What if it's oozing?' And I said, 'It's your job, you do it.' And he said, 'A year ago, you would have said OK, a little cut, but make it on the cheekbone. You know, I think you're finally over yourself."

THAT WORKING GIBSON GIRL
Debbie Gibson, now 22 and still trying to break out of her teen-queen pop-star image, slinks around in Bob Mackie gowns and Madonna-esque body suits to play—gasp!—a stripper in her new video, Losin' Myself. Not that she lost herself totally. "Tin video crew are used to models just changing in the middle of the room. I was always saying, 'Excuse me, where's the ladies room?' I do have a degree of modesty," says Gibson. "I'm basically pretty goody-goody. That's how I see my video—the girl next door who just happens to work it from time to time."