"Hollywood Squares pays for a lot of my bills. I have the freedom to cruise along," says Whoopi Goldberg, who has been focusing on smaller projects like the upcoming comedy Kingdom Come. She's amazed that Hollywood still has a place for her. "I don't think anyone expected me to be here 20 years later," says Goldberg, 45, who broke into the mainstream in 1985's The Color Purple. "They didn't like my clothes, they didn't like my hair." Her secret to cinematic survival? "You do what you can and hope for the best." But plan for the worst. Inspired by Kingdom's funeral-centric plot, Goldberg has been thinking about what she would like on her tombstone: "Maybe 'Crabby Whoopi Goldberg lies here.' "
The wardrobe budget on Heartbreakers seemed a bit skimpy to Sigourney Weaver, who found the hemlines of costar Jennifer Love Hewitt brief beyond belief. "She looked absolutely gorgeous," says Weaver, 51, who plays Love Hewitt's crafty mom. "But her dresses looked like they [had been] cut in half." In the movie the mother-daughter team scams unsuspecting men for big bucks, but Weaver has never been an easy mark, thanks to her mom, actress Elizabeth Inglis. "I think I've been scammed like all women have: I'll call you,' that sort of thing," says Weaver, who has been married to director Jim Simpson since 1984. "But my mother is such a suspicious person, I grew up preter-naturally suspicious of people."
Keeping Up with Jones
"I've been dying to go back to being a bastard," says Hugh Grant, who plays love-'em-and-leave-'em Daniel Cleaver in the film adaptation of Bridget Jones's Diary, opening April 13. "I used to do a lot of those roles pre-Four Weddings. I'm sick to death of being Mr. Nice Guy on film." The British actor has high praise for costar Renée Zellweger, who gained 25 lbs. and swapped her Texan twang for an English accent to play the title character. "I always knew she could nail it," says Grant, 40, adding that it took time for the right accent to evolve. "For a brief stage she sounded like Princess Margaret, then there was another brief phase where she sounded like she had a stroke. Two weeks before filming, she was bang on."
Slow, Speed Racer
Race car driver Dario Franchitti feels the need for speed on the track but not when he rides with fiancée Ashley Judd. "He's the most nervous passenger in a car when we're at home," says Judd, 32. "In fact, I don't get to drive most of the time, and if I do, he's always telling me to slow down." Judd, who stars in the romantic comedy Someone Like You, says that the Feb. 18 death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt has not increased her anxiety about Franchitti's day job. "The fact of the matter is, we're all mortal and we're all going to go," she says. "If I conceptually have to deal with that at a younger age, it's a bonus: It enhances the sweetness of the moments. And all we really have on this planet is our sweet moments to savor."
An American in Paris
"France has given me the opportunity to have a fairly normal, simple life," says Johnny Depp, 37, who moved to the country a few years ago. "I can go to the little village not far from my house and have a cup of coffee, sit there with my girl and not worry about paparazzi." The actor, who costars with Juliette Binoche in Chocolat, still commutes to America to make movies, like his new drug-trafficking drama, Blow. But he's happier at home with his live-in girlfriend, singer-actress Vanessa Paradis, and their 1-year-old daughter, Lily-Rose. "It's been everything for me," Depp says of fatherhood. "It's the only thing that matters. That moment [my] daughter arrived was the first real selfless moment that I had in my life. I want 100 kids. If Vanessa's willing to try, I'll try."