updated 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The three ninjas are back, but now, in 3 Ninjas Kick Back, the sequel to 1992's surprise summer hit, there's a blush of romance. Caroline Junko King, 14, plays a Japanese ninja who tutors the three American boys in martial arts technique and falls for one of them, costar Sean Fox. But King, who was totally unschooled in martial arts when she won the role, is quick to point out that she got no special kick from her romantic leading man. "We didn't develop that kind of relationship," says King, who just finished the ninth grade in Burbank, Calif. "And we didn't do anything physically romantic 'cause it's a kids' movie. I don't think kids are really interested in that kind of thing."

Woody Harrelson displays just about everything in The Cowboy Way, a comedic adventure about two New Mexican cowhands. "I'm an exhibitionist at heart," says Harrelson, 82, who had no qualms about wearing only a cowboy hat and a grin for one scene. "I think it's high time to turn around the idea that women should do all the screen nudity. I'll be happy to do what I can." He does have one regret. "I wished I'd done sit-ups for four weeks before," he says. "I wanted to be a little more primed." Still, Harrelson's almost-nude scene is magical. When he lets go of the strategically placed cowboy hat, it stays in place. "Some kind of antigravitational device," he suggests coyly. "I think it was Scotch tape, but it sounds much more interesting if you say I was up for the scene."

Playing Billy Crystal's unemployed and annoying younger brother in City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold was truly a pain in the butt for Jon Lovitz: He rides a donkey-drawn buckboard in the film. "When I read the script, I was so glad that I didn't have to ride a horse," says Lovitz, 36, "but this gives new meaning to the word saddle soreā€”and I wasn't even in a saddle." He gained 30 pounds for the role, claiming, "I needed padding for this mode of transportation. I sacrificed my health for the movie." But not his precious bod; doubles perform all the rigorous stunts. "You could get crushed!" says Lovitz. "I could just see a donkey stepping on my head and me waking up in the hospital three years later going, 'How did the movie do?' "

When filmdom's grande dame Elizabeth Taylor swept onto the set of The Flintstones for the first time, everyone was so awed they turned to, er, rock. Well, almost everyone. "Someone had to break the ice," says Rosie O'Donnell, 31, who plays Betty Rubble in the comedy. "So I went up to Liz and said, 'I really love your perfume.' " End of story? Not quite. Next day, O'Donnell entered her movie trailer to find a crate of different fragrances courtesy of La Liz. Says Rosie: "She's such a sweet woman."

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