As the son of a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, the Philippines and Zambia, Oliver Piatt learned politics firsthand. But observing his father, Nicholas, a career diplomat who moved his wife and three sons around the world, couldn't prepare Piatt, 38, for his turn as the opportunistic campaign manager in Bulworth. "Diplomats live by the creed 'There's no end to what you can accomplish as long as you don't take the credit,' " says Piatt. "Now it's much more about getting the credit. There's more of an intersection with showbiz."
Make that a head-on collision in Bulworth. When Platt's boss, a senator played by Warren Beatty, has a breakdown and starts speaking the truth, Piatt also transforms himself—from earnest handler to coke-snorting media star. The actor, who also played memorable sidekicks in Indecent Proposal and A Time to Kill, will return June 26 as Eddie Murphy's partner in Dr. Dolittle. A graduate of Tufts, Piatt lives in Manhattan with his wife of six years, homemaker Camilla, and children Lili, 4, and George, 1. Did Piatt ever consider a political career? "No, no, no, no," he says—and if that's not clear, he gives a lounge act leer and adds, "I'm just an entertainer, honey."