At 14, actress Kirsten Dunst
has already played a bloodsucker in Interview with the Vampire, spoiled Amy in Little Women and a German child unlikely to survive World War II in the new drama Mother Night. "But," she says brightly, "I'm a young hooker now." On NBC's ER, that is, where she's currently guest-starring in six episodes as a teenage prostitute befriended by George Clooney
. Dunst has become Clooney's biggest fan. "He's double funny, like a kid," she says. "We did our first scene in this emergency trailer, and he kept throwing cotton swabs at me and just being really stupid. I had a fake knife for the scene, and he kept stabbing it into his head. He's always making jokes. And you know, now he's Batman too."
OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL
As a desperate dad determined to find his son a scarce, must-have Christmas toy, Arnold Schwarzenegger risks all sorts of perils in his new comedy Jingle All the Way. "I was in that situation once," says Schwarzenegger, 49, who has three children (Katherine, 6, Christina, 5, and Patrick, 3) with wife Maria Shriver. His mission? To buy a Barbie doll. "I'm very organized, so I bought the toy three weeks before the holiday," he says. "Then, the day before Christmas, I was wrapping it. My wife saw it and said, This is not the doll Katherine wants! You got her Malibu Barbie. She wants Bay watch Barbie!' " So Christmas Eve found the action hero cruising the Barbie aisles of toy stores. (Maybe they hadn't taken him seriously when he said, "I'll be bock.") "I was out there racing around with the other parents," says Schwarzenegger, adding triumphantly, "but it was a special moment when I found the doll."
Timing is crucial to any actor, but especially when he's playing Celebrity Jeopardy! "That damn buzzer drove me nuts," says Frasier's John Mahoney, 56, who lost his round to ER's Laura Innes, the eventual winner of the show's recent weeklong, allceleb contest. "If you press the buzzer before [host] Alex Trebek finishes, you're locked out. I knew 90 percent of the answrers, so it was my bad luck to play against somebody who was so dexterous with the buzzer." Not that he knew all the answers. "I got a daily double which was, 'Famous Seattle coffeehouse named after a character in Melville's Moby Dick.' Considering that I have a master's degree in English and how much of our show takes place in Cafe Nervosa, I still couldn't come up with the answer: Starbucks. That was my downfall." But, adds Mahoney, "I was an answer on Jeopardy! recently—'the actor who plays Martin Crane'—and got a lot of calls from people who decided that I must be somebody."
THE VISION THING
Actor Eric Lutes wore his glasses when Caroline in the City began last season, but then he switched to contact lenses. Big mistake. The key to his character's popularity was his specs appeal. "When I stopped wearing glasses, I got a lot of letters telling me to put them back on," says Lutes, 34, who plays Del Cassidy, Lea Thompson's boss and ex-fiance. "I guess glasses mean you're kind and softhearted. When they're off, people think, 'What an ass!' " Now, Lutes wears his specs on—and sometimes off—the show. "When I want something from my wife [actress Christine Romeo]," he says, "I always throw a pair of glasses on. She can't resist."