WHAT I AM IS WHAT I AM
Having shed her band, the New Bohemians, Edie Brickell has emerged with her first solo album, Picture Perfect Morning, coproduced by husband Paul Simon, whose music she sings "around the house." But for her earliest influence, Brickell, 27, recalls another bohemian: "I loved Carole King. When I was really young, I remember one of my mom's friends playing 'I Feel the Earth Move,' and she just blasted it. It represented these 26-year-old women, my mom's group, and I felt akin to it somehow too. King seemed like a strong, independent woman who could write great songs [that] other women connected with. I was clearly influenced by how much pleasure women were getting from playing this album." Does she remember her first kick from Simon? "Later, when I was about 14, a friend of mine had his first solo album," says Brickell. "I thought he was very handsome on the cover."
Actor Mykelti Williamson, who plays Tom Hanks's shrimp-obsessed Army buddy in the summer blockbuster Forrest Gump, no longer worries where his next meal is coming from—or what it will be. "Everywhere I go, I get free shrimp," says Williamson, 36, who has been coaxed to eat the tasty crustaceans on the air by Tom Snyder and Katie Couric as well as by various restaurateurs. "I ordered free-range chicken at Prego [in Beverly Hills], and instead they gave me a complimentary plate of shrimp." Not that Mykelti plans to crawl back into his shell. His post-Gump career is cooking. "Steven Spielberg was the first person to call, the day after Gump opened, for me to do a drama with him called How to Make an American Quilt," says Williamson, who will play the romantic lead opposite Alfre Woodard. "People have been very nice. And the boneheads—well, there are so few of those, it doesn't matter."
Roseanne's Michael O'Keefe, recently returned from a week on tour with his wife, blues-rocker Bonnie Raitt, is back on the set, reveling in his ever-expanding role as Fred, the laid-back husband of Roseanne's sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf). "It's the job of the century," O'Keefe, 39, says of working on the popular ABC series. "It's a big old ATM. You just take the truck down there, back it in, put your Screen Actors Guild card in the machine and get a lot of money. It's a real bonanza for me. It's 10 minutes from my house, I'm working with some of the best people in television comedy, and we're watched by 40 or 50 million people each week." As for Fred and Jackie's bundle of joy, which arrived at the end of last season: "We haven't named the baby yet," says O'Keefe, "although the prop guy wrote 'Little Ed' right across the forehead of the fake one we use in rehearsals."
PLAYING HARD TO GET
Bodybuilder Jake Steinfeld, the original personal trainer who pumped Body by Jake into a multimillion-dollar health-and-fitness company, parts with the secret of his success: "I had an unlisted phone number," says Steinfeld, 36. "If people can't get hold of you, they want you more. Soon I was hearing from Harrison Ford, Bette Midler and Warren Beatty." For those who can't afford a personal trainer, Steinfeld has launched a new 24-hour fitness channel. Cable Health Club, with continuous at-home exercise programming. "It's about staying healthy rather than, 'I want to take my shirt off,' " says Steinfeld, who offers this get-rippled-quick idea to wannabes who don't wannado the work: "Buy extra-small T-shirts and learn not to breathe."
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