To portray a quadriplegic in the drama Whose Life Is It Anyway? in London's West End, Kim Cattrall had to learn how to spend the entire play in a hospital bed without moving from the neck down. "Every night, I'd relax my body in a meditative state to disconnect from the fact that I couldn't move," says Cattrall, 48, whose play runs through April. "In rehearsal, I'd ask people to do everything for me. I became completely reliant on everyone around me. It's horrible. You can't scratch your nose or get hair out of your eyes." The actress still does one thing herself between acts. "During [curtain] breaks, I blow my nose because some of the scenes are very emotional."
Rock's New Role
It's flattering when a role is written specifically for an actor, though a sense of humor maybe required. "My agent told me to check out a script, and it said, 'Elliot Wilhelm, aspiring actor, talented, raises one eyebrow—and gay,' " says the Rock, 32, of his role in the comedy Be Cool. "When I met Elmore Leonard, who wrote the novel [the film is based on], he said, 'I wrote this for you.' I said, 'Where'd the gay part come from?' He said, 'I just thought that would be interesting.' " Fortunately for Leonard, so did the former pro wrestling star. Says the Rock: "I love it, it's really great."
Anna's Doll Rears Its Ugly Head
For Anna Paquin, having an action figure made for her character Rogue in X-Men was a bit traumatic. "I had head approval, so [the designers] would bring me samples and ask, 'Do you like this one?' I'd say, 'I'm not that ugly. Seriously, could you maybe make it a little prettier?' " says Paquin, 22, who stars in the Off-Broadway play After Ashley. "Also, my knees turn in a bit, which you wouldn't know, except the prototype box had a picture that was totally pigeon-toed! I said, 'Come on, guys! I understand giving the dolls bigger boobies or longer legs—which they did anyway—but did you have to accentuate the knees-that-face-each-other thing?' "
Regina's Tina Turn
"Tina Turner is my hero," says Regina King, 34, who disguises herself as the diva (and does a rousing version of "Proud Mary") when she and her FBI partner (Sandra Bullock
) wind up in a Vegas cabaret act in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. "Look how she looks at 60-something years old, with the super kick-butt hair and honking-mama earrings. She's so strong." The actress had a lot less faith in the brawn of the transvestites who, dressed as showgirls, lifted King over their heads during the scene. "I'm not scared of heights, but I am scared of people who do things that aren't their jobs," she says. "But the drag queens were buff guys. One said, 'Don't worry, baby. If you just relax, you'll be okay. I'll let you fall on me.' "
Carlos Clowns Around
Kiefer Sutherland's character on 24 trusts only one man in the field: Carlos Bernard's Agent Tony Almeida. Between takes it's another story. "When we do a scene together, I try to break his focus, just to give myself a giggle," says Bernard, 42. "The language is hard to get your mouth around because of the technical dialogue. I might take a word he's having trouble with and pronounce it wrong, so it will stick in his head and he can't say it right. It's the little things. If I have a chance to screw him up, I'll take it."