"Thank God for reflexes, because I really should be dead," says Patrick Swayze of a riding accident last May that left him with two broken legs and four detached tendons in his left shoulder. "If the horse decides to go somewhere else, you're nothing but a human projectile on the back of a bareback horse, no matter how good a rider you are," says Swayze, 45. Given his injuries, signing on to play a truck driver caught up in an illegal run in his upcoming thriller Black Dog was a no-brainer for the actor. "If I was going to do an action movie, I couldn't have picked a better one," he says of the film, which also stars Randy Travis and Meat Loaf. "I spend a lot of the time just driving."
Last seen as an off-kilter TV journalist in Scream 2, which has just been rereleased in theaters, Roseanne alum Laurie Metcalf flipped from news reporter to real-life newsmaker on her next project. The actress, 42, plays suburban housewife-turned-Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in The Long Island Incident, airing May 3 on NBC. "I felt a responsibility that was heavier than when I'm playing a fictional character," Metcalf says of portraying McCarthy, who became a gun-control advocate after a man opened fire on a New York City commuter train in 1993, killing her husband and wounding her son. "I mean, I would never allow anybody to play me. It's so selfless and risky."
Back to the shower
Her mother, Janet Leigh, starred in the 1960 original, so what does Jamie Lee Curtis think of director Gus Van Sant's plans to remake Psycho? "There are few things in showbiz that surprise me—this is one of them," says Curtis, 39, who stars in Nicholas' Gift, a CBS movie airing this week. "The whole thing feels really cheesy." Curtis herself returns to horror flicks this fall with H20: Halloween. But when it comes to watching them, Curtis needs written instructions: "I saw Silence of the Lambs that way. A friend wrote out a sheet that said things like: 'When man brings food to Hannibal Lecter in prison, turn head and start singing to self.' "
Keep back, I say
She plays a half-alien with a violent streak in Species II, and actress Natasha Henstridge, who is pregnant, says she may be even less than cordial in real life to strangers who get a little too close. "I keep hearing about being in the elevator with complete strangers who touch your stomach," says Henstridge, 23. "They feel like they have the right to because there's a baby—like it's not you! I just keep waiting for that day to happen. That's not going to be a pretty day for whoever touches my stomach."
Titanic may finally be losing steam at the box office, but the film's ballad, Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," is still going full throttle on music charts. So when does Dion think she'll grow tired of belting out the love song? "Never," says Dion, 30. "I'm going to sing that song for a long time. I'd better be ready, and you'd better be ready! The audiences sing with me. They stand up, they dance, they cry; they're reminded of the love story." Dion has performed the tune more than 50 times, which, she says, is only a prelude. "When I start my world tour this August, be ready," she jokes. "My heart will go on and on...and on and on!"