updated 05/15/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/15/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Mel Gibson has wielded most of moviedom's lethal weapons, but even he felt awed by the toys on the set of Braveheart, due May 26. "We had the coolest instruments of torture!" says Gibson, 39, who both directed and stars in the biopic about Sir William Wallace, a Scottish patriot who fought to free his homeland from English rule in 1297. "My favorite was the ice pick, a helmet type of thing that you put on someone's head. The catch is that there are all these blades inside it." Gibson never tried that one on, but he did throw himself into the sword-play. "I was like a human helicopter blade," he says, "which made me think I should market this new skill. Maybe I could do one of those late-night infomercial things and pass myself off as a saladmaker."

Mark Wahlberg, better known by his rap tag, Marky Mark, and as the former briefs boy for Calvin Klein underwear, is working on a new album and on his acting career. "People seemed to really enjoy it when I was in my underwear and nothing else, but you gotta move on," says the rapper, who plays Leonardo DiCaprio's high school hoops buddy in the new movie The Basketball Diaries. Not that success has changed him. "I still live at home with my mom," says Wahlberg, 23, who had a bad cold on this particular day. "My mother almost didn't let me talk to you. She wanted to write me a note: 'Please excuse Mark from his interviews. He's a little under the weather.' "

Meg Ryan's son Jack, 3, had company on the set of French Kiss, the new romantic comedy starring his mom, Kevin Kline and Timothy Hutton. "Everyone was a parent in this movie," says Ryan, 33. "Kevin has two kids, Tim has a boy, the writer had two little kids—it was great. It's surprisingly easy to have kids on the set." Still, she and her husband, Dennis Quaid, worry. "So far, Jack's a happy boy, but it's going to be hard," she says. "We're concerned that we can't relate to what he's going through now. I mean we aren't the children of celebrities, and he is. So we don't know what that's going to be like to be in his shoes. Hopefully we can understand and do the right thing."

Sandra Bullock effortlessly stole the heart of Speed's Keanu Reeves—or, at least, her character did—and now, in the hit While You Were Sleeping, she has the same effect on Bill Pullman. Surely the button-cute actress maintains a frenetic social calendar. "No, that's why I have this big L on my forehead—for Loser!" says Bullock, 28, who reports she isn't dating anyone currently. Maybe it's because she sets her sights a little high. What does she look for in a man? Bullock ticks off her list: "Well, he has to look like Bill Pullman," she says of her costar (who, alas, is married with three children). "He has to be very witty, with a sharp sense of humor and be a really good salsa dancer. And he has to be good with a drill, good around the house." Hmm, doesn't sound like an actor. "I dated an actor for years," says Bullock. "Now it's like—maybe a fisherman. Or maybe someone who's a brilliant salsa dancer and a great carpenter. Yeah, that's it!"

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