updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

A buckskin-clad Anjelica Huston saddles up as Calamity Jane in the CBS Wild West miniseries Buffalo Girls, which concludes May 1. "It's a very strong part, which for women is as rare as roses in winter," says Huston, 43, who is an experienced horsewoman. Mastering a bullwhip was another matter. "I had to have intensive lessons," says the actress. "There's an art to maneuvering it. The first time I tried one, preparing to play a lion tamer in The Postman Always Rings Twice, I was practicing in my backyard, and I hit myself so hard on the head with the lash that I knocked myself into the pool." Fortunately, she has since perfected her stroke. "It's a good weapon," says Huston. "It served Harrison Ford well, not to mention Michelle Pfeiffer."

He's tall, handsome and intelligent, with a pleasing smile and a full head of hair. So how come Bill Pullman has played so many losers? "My agents say, 'People come to us with parts they can't solve,' " says Pullman, 41, who has been dumped onscreen by Meg Ryan (Sleepless in Seattle), Nicole Kidman (Malice), Jodie Foster (Sommersby) and Linda Fiorentino (The Last Seduction). "I'm intrigued by a tough situation, and I try to do something with it." Now, in the hit romantic comedy While You Were Sleeping, he finally succeeds in getting the girl, played by Sandra Bullock. But his reign as a romantic leading man may be brief. He begins filming Mr. Wrong, which costars Ellen DeGeneres, May 1. "It's a dark comedy—Ellen thinks I'm Mr. Right, but of course I'm Mr. Wrong," sighs Pullman. "I'm following an uneven moves—for path not many actors have fog walked."

"Seeing Mike Tyson fall was like seeing Superman cry," says Michael Jai White, 27, a karate champion who plays the ex-con, ex-heavyweight champ in the HBO movie Tyson, airing in May. "I was a problem child and wanted to build up my armor, the same as Mike did," says White, who grew up in Bridgeport, Conn. "I started karate when I was 8 so I could beat up everybody. I got my black belt when I was 12." But White went on to college and became a teacher, while taking acting classes. "Karate teaches you that you can go further than you think," he says. "One day you can't throw a kick, the next day you can. You learn to turn thought into action. I hope Mike will find himself and not listen to what others tell him."

Kellie Martin, the ingenue co-star of Life Goes On and Christy, is keeping late hours. A freshman at Yale since January, she's living in a dorm and worrying about her exams. "I just pulled my first all-nighter," says Martin, 19, who has two new TV movies, NBC's If Someone Had Known (May 1) and CBS's The Face on the Milk Carton (May 24). "I had a psychology test at 9 this morning, and it was all essay. The night before was kind of fun, drinking too much coffee and cramming for the test—I felt like a real college student." Martin's still adjusting to campus life. "I was tutored on the Life Goes On set for four years. So I've gone from the set, where everyone kept tabs on me, to here, where people couldn't care less what I'm doing. For the first time in my life, I've had to be completely self-sufficient and take care of myself. It's been a very humbling experience."

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