On a recent flight Ray Romano discovered that all kinds of people love Raymond. "Quentin Tarantino was in the seat next to me, and basically I was afraid to talk to him," says Romano, 44, of the iconoclastic director. "We sat elbow to elbow for three hours without any eye contact. I assumed he didn't know me." The Everybody Loves Raymond star couldn't have been more wrong. "My show came on, and Quentin leaned over and said, 'I have to tell you that I watch it all the time and I just have to talk to you,' " says Romano, who voices Manfred the Mammoth in the animated movie Ice Age. "Literally, he didn't stop talking until we made it past baggage claim."
Halle Berry's graphic love scenes with Billy Bob Thornton in Monster's Ball drew enormous attention, but it was playing the abusive mother of her young costar Coronji Calhoun, 10, that really touched her. "That was harder than the butt-naked love scene because he had real issues with obesity," says Berry, 35, whose character harangues her son about his weight. "He told me a lot of things that made me connect with him. I was really worried we could damage him in some way." To safeguard his feelings, says Berry, up for a Best Actress Oscar for the role, "I would hug and kiss Coronji after every scene. I didn't want to say, 'Okay, thank you very much. See you.' I felt I needed to keep in touch with him, and I've stayed in his life."
Jane Kaczmarek plays the mother of TV's most mischievous family, but the Malcolm in the Middle hijinks compare favorably to those of her real-life clan. "Nothing that happens on Malcolm seems that outrageous to me," says Kaczmarek, 46, who grew up in Milwaukee with three siblings. "My father was always doing crazy things. He once switched the hot and cold faucets in the kitchen to keep us on our toes." Kaczmarek admits that her husband, The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, 42, and their kids Frances, 4, and George, 2, have to deal with a few of her quirks too. "I'm pretty loud and opinionated," she says. "My husband says, 'Gee, Jane. Too bad the position of God is already taken.' "
In his one-man Broadway show Sexaholix, John Leguizamo pretended to have his whole family figured out. In real life, the actor's children—daughter Allegra Sky, 2, and son Ryder Lee, 1 (with girlfriend Justine Maurer, an estate planner)—remain a mystery. "People shouldn't have girls first because then you start thinking that your son's slow," says Leguizamo, 37. "Girls are so fast. I mean, she walked at 8 months and talked really early." His son, on the other hand, took a little longer to master the basics. "I thought, 'Is he okay? Should we go to a psychologist to find out?' " Even though he's catching up with his big sister, Ryder Lee won't be joining the family business. Says Leguizamo: "My son's jokes are smacking, hitting and banging his head against the wall."
"Contrary to my onscreen persona, I am not really one of those party-animal kinds of people," says comedian Tom Green, 30, who has found it tough to re-enter the dating game since his December split from Drew Barrymore, 27, after 163 days of wedded bliss. "I feel bad that the marriage didn't work. I wanted it to and I am sure she did, but that is just the way it goes. I am sure we will be friends at some point if we ever bump into each other." His advice to the lovelorn: Get a pooch. "I am kind of dating my two Siberian huskies," says Green, whose MTV special The Subway Monkey Hour airs March 27. "I am married to my dogs—in a very nonsexual way."