Chatter

updated 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/24/2000 01:00AM

Pitch Control
Having millions of screaming girls as fans has become a health hazard for the megapopular boy band 'N Sync. "It started affecting our ears, actually," says Lance Bass, 21, whose group also includes Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. "We had a doctor a couple of years ago say that our ears are going bad because there's a certain pitch that those girls send out that will deafen you. So we have these in-ear monitors now that block out most of the screaming." Bass says he won't miss all the high-pitched pandemonium when 'N Sync brings their sold-out U.S. tour to New York City's Madison Square Garden July 27 for a concert airing live on HBO. "Not really," he says. "It's actually better when there's less of it."

Shticking Together
Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who costar in the horror spoof Scary Movie, a film directed by their older brother Keenen Ivory Wayans, say that it's not surprising that their family remains tight. "As kids there were so many people in our house that the brothers had to sleep in one bed," says Shawn, 31, who has four brothers as well as five sisters. "On a hot summer night in the projects of New York City we were better than close. We had no air-conditioning, so we would wake up stuck together."

A Tangled Web
Since appearing in American Pie and American Beauty, Mena Suvari has seen her popularity rise on the Internet, where there are various Web sites devoted to her. "They're really funny," says Suvari, 21, who costars in the comedy Loser, due July 21. "I went on once and somebody wrote in that she was Mena from Burbank. This girl writes, 'Hello to all my fans. I love you.' It was so weird." Even weirder, when Suvari identified herself online, she was mistaken for an impostor. "I wrote that I was Mena from California, and they ignored me," she says. "They wouldn't even allow me to fix my bio. And all the facts were wrong!"

The $19,999,980 Pay Cut
Even as he sails very high seas in The Perfect Storm, George Clooney is planning to produce and costar in an upcoming remake of the 1960 Rat Pack classic Ocean's 11. "I know we won't be as cool as those original guys," says Clooney, 39, referring to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and company. "But we might make a better movie." Clooney even bargained to afford a cast that will reportedly include Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Mark Wahlberg. "If I paid everyone their real salaries," he says, "it would be a S250 million movie before we filmed one frame." As for how he wooed $20 million woman Julia Roberts to come aboard, Clooney says, "I sent her a script of Ocean's 11 with a $20 bill in it. I wrote, 'Hi, Julia. I hear you make 20 a film now. Here's your cash.' "

X-Essentials
Mutant supervillains aren't Sir Ian McKellen's usual fare. In fact the British thespian had never heard of the Marvel Comics characters that his new movie X-Men is based on until director Bryan Singer gave him a script. "I was an X-Men virgin," says McKellen, 61, who plays Magneto. A stage icon revered for his Shakespearean roles, he found that playing a superpowered mutant does have its perks. "I got to fly!" McKellen says proudly. "I also got to raise some cars and break a few trains." Let's see Hamlet do that.

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