Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks may be a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination for his gritty performance in Steven Spielberg's war drama Saving Private Ryan, but he isn't prepared for another Oscar battle. "Oh, Lord, I can't even think about it," says Hanks, 42, who reteams with his Sleepless in Seattle costar Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy You've Got Mail, opening Dec. 18. "The Oscar race begins in November now. I just hope we make the play-offs." Meanwhile, the actor is shooting the death-row drama The Green Mile, due next year. "I get to be fat because I'm playing a prison guard in 1935," Hanks reports. "You don't want to look like you have buns of steel. So I get to eat a few more cheeseburgers."
So where has Lisa Bonet, best known as Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, been hiding since the popular NBC sitcom's finale in 1992? "I've been a mom—I don't even have an agent anymore," says Bonet, 31, who has a daughter, Zoe, 10, with her ex-husband, rocker Lenny Kravitz. "I've turned things down over the years, but I have no regrets. If there was any project strong enough, I would have done it. But nothing has left a lingering feeling." The actress reemerged, though, to play Will Smith's ex-girlfriend in the new government-espionage thriller Enemy of the State. "Will is a big box office ticket," says Bonet, explaining her attraction to the project. "But I can't honestly say that I had seen much of his work before. I just knew that my daughter liked him."
Although Brandy, at 19, is saying goodbye to her teens, the singer-actress wants to protect her good-girl image. "If I started freaking out, it would not be acceptable," says the star of TV's Moesha. "I chose this life, so I have to take on the responsibility." Even so, fans will see a coarser Brandy in her big-screen debut, the horror flick I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. "In this movie I'm saying bad words," she says. "I'm freely cursing. It's hard to curse in front of all these adults and really mean it."
The "Goodbye" Girls
Does "Goodbye," the new single from the Spice Girls, mean good riddance to former group member Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice)? "No, it's not about Geri leaving," insists Victoria Adams (Posh Spice), 24. "Even though Geri's not in the band, we still speak. We're all still friends. Basically, we're saying goodbye to a lot of things that have gone on in the past." That includes goodbye, at least for now, to those sexy Spice Girls outfits for expectant new mums Adams and Melanie Gulzar (Scary Spice). "I'm not embarrassed that I'm putting on weight," says Adams, who is expecting a baby with her fiancé, British soccer star David Beckham, in March. "I'm proud of my stomach. I like showing it off!"
The royal treatment
Having won raves for her star turn as Queen Elizabeth I in the period drama Elizabeth, Australian actress Cate Blanchett (Oscar and Lucinda) is feeling like Hollywood royalty these days. "It's overwhelming when you suddenly become somebody in Hollywood," says Blanchett, 29. "I don't mean to be ungrateful, but it's vaguely insulting to the people you've worked with before. It's like saying none of that is important. Film is exciting to me, but it's not the be-all and the end-all." Still, Blanchett admits that she enjoys making like queen for the day at home. "I did keep her slippers," she reports. "It's odd because they're so beautiful, I feel bad about wearing them in my kitchen."