The Insider

updated 04/06/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/1998 01:00AM

That big wet smooch between Oscar winner Kathy Bates and Stacy Edwards in Primary Colors wasn't as effortless as it looks onscreen. Bates, who plays an old friend of and political henchwoman for the presidential candidate, portrayed by John Travolta, was a trifle nervous when it came to filming the scene, according to Edwards. The first time around, Bates gave Edwards, who plays her lesbian lover, a quick peck on the lips. Apparently it was not convincing enough, since director Mike Nichols asked for a couple of retakes. Finally, after Bates and Edwards exchanged a long, romantic kiss, Edwards responded dreamily, "Kathy, that was so good!" Everyone laughed, the tension was broken, and they were able to get on with making the movie....

What's the deal with Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock, who costarred in 1996's A Time to Kill and have been insisting for more than a year that they're just friends? At the Austin, Texas, premiere of McConaughey's new movie, The Newton Boys, Bullock was in the audience. Just before the film started, McConaughey slipped into the empty seat next to her. The pair whispered cozily, he at one point resting his head on her shoulder. But after the house lights came up, she was gone....

How do you cope with being caricatured, as the band U2 was for the 200th episode of The Simpsons, airing April 26? "You know what they say: 'Hold your friends close, but your animator closer,' " says lead singer Bono, who, nonetheless, has been portrayed with an overbite and no chin. Jokes guitarist the Edge: "We know where [the animators] park their cars, so we'll be around."...

Leonardo DiCaprio may have looked fast on his feet during Titanic's jig scene, but choreographer Lynne Hockney reports he was among the least nimble of the actors when he started rehearsing last year. "I think he was nervous at first," says Hockney, a former dancer at London's prestigious Royal Ballet School, who taught DiCaprio special breathing exercises to help him stay poised while spinning Kate Winslet. "His feet were a bit sluggish, but they got faster and faster," she says. "He worked hard."...

Speaking of Titanic: He has made the most successful movie in history, but what is director James Cameron's own all-time favorite flick? "To this day, I've never found a movie I like more than The Wizard of O," says Cameron, 43. "I loved it when I was a kid, I loved it when I was a teenager, and I still love it. Now I share it with my 5-year-old daughter, Josephine, and she loves it—but probably not as much as me."

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