updated 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Before heading into his eighth season as Full House's lovable Uncle Jesse, John Stamos spent his summer vacation playing a serial killer in the CBS movie Fatal Vows: The Alexandra O'Hara Story, airing Oct. 25. "For six weeks I was this miserable, rotten guy," says Stamos, 31. "I hated myself but loved the work." It was a refreshing change from the popular sitcom, which recently called for Stamos, who plays a father of two, to serenade a donkey to sleep. "The producers love getting me in bed with animals," he says, recalling how last season's story line had him crawl into bed with a monkey whom he briefly mistook for his wife. "But I draw the line with sheep. Unless, of course, the sheep takes me to dinner and a movie first."

To enhance her sex appeal for the movie Sirens, Elle Macpherson added 20 pounds to her lean frame. But instead of bench-pressing Twinkies, she bulked up by lifting barbells and training four hours a day. "I didn't dislike the look," Elle says now, "but it took too much work to keep it. I was pumped up like Arnold. And I couldn't bear the thought of going back to the gym to take the weight off." What's a supermodel to do? Hire fitness guru Karen Voight, who devised a program that worked so well that she and Macpherson are now shooting a fitness video. "I'm not the kind of girl who wears leotards and likes to dance around," says Elle, 30. Instead, the program includes jumping rope, swimming, skating and basketball, which is also her favorite spectator sport. "I love to sit courtside and watch," says Elle, "because you can see the players' bodies."

Since JoBeth Williams and her husband, director John Pasquin, have two boys at home, Will, 6, and Nick, 4, a script has to justify being away from them. "My kids are a priority," says Williams, 45. Still, she couldn't resist starring in NBC's recent thriller Voices from Within or playing Kelsey Grammer's girlfriend in two upcoming episodes of Frasier. Only two, says Williams, "because when I'm working too much, the boys punish me for being gone. I come back, and they wake me up every two hours to make sure I'm still there."

"This is the best time in my career," says newly resuscitated star John Travolta, 40, who calls his much-praised performance in the thriller Pulp Fiction his "sixth or seventh" comeback since 1977's Saturday Night Fever. "I'm just trying to keep my sense of humor about the whole thing." Especially since the erstwhile disco king never gets too far from the dance floor. "For whatever reason, the audience gets so excited when I dance," says Travolta, whose puffy, overweight thug-on-drugs engages Pulp Fiction's Uma Thurman in a stylized twist. "I'm a heroin-addicted hit man with a gut, and it still gets the audience to go, 'Whooo, he's dancing!' It never ceases to amaze me, and at least I didn't have to wear white polyester."

From Our Partners