To prep for her daytime talk show, which debuts in 2003, Ellen DeGeneres is already taking notes from the competition. "I am watching Jerry Springer a lot, and I think I am going more in that vein," says DeGeneres, 44, laughing. "But the biggest decision right now is between a desk or no desk." She may learn a thing or two about dealing with difficult guests as the host of the fifth annual VH1 Divas concert airing May 23. So how will she handle the demanding divas, including Cher, Celine Dion and Mary J. Blige? "Actually, I am trying to become one so I can understand them more," says DeGeneres. "I am pretty easygoing, but that night I'm asking for ice—a lot of ice—a wide-tooth comb and three bottles of conditioner. There is no specific reason, but I better get it or I'm not coming out of my dressing room."
Voo Doing Right by Judi
Long before Rupert Everett shared the screen with Dame Judi Dench, his costar in the adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, he held a less prominent role in her life. "My first job working in the theater was sweeping and taking the ticket stubs on Judi and Ian McKellen's production of Macbeth," says Everett, 42, recalling the Royal Shakespeare Company's production in 1977. "I used to kneel by the side of the stage, and Judi would come up with these voodoo dolls [used in the production], and she would give me the dolls. I would put them on her dressing-room table and say, 'There you are, Miss Dench.' That was really one of the high points of my career: being able to hold her voodoo dolls."
On the Move
Pop princess Mandy Moore, who starred in the teen romance A Walk to Remember, tries to lead a pretty normal life. "I want to study journalism, musical theater and fashion. Random stuff. And I want to have a roommate," says Moore, 18, who lives in Orlando with her parents but still plans to attend college in the future. Lately, Moore wonders whether some devotees have taken her hit "I Wanna Be with You" a bit too seriously. "A person sent a satellite picture of my home with a note that said, 'It took longer to print this picture than to find it on the Internet' My parents opened it and were like, 'You know what? We're moving,'" says Moore from her family's new home in a gated community.
30: The Sum of His Fears
Ben Affleck has some trepidation about losing his twentysomething status on Aug. 15, when he turns 30. "I'm really not fired up about it, to tell you the truth," says Affleck, who stars in the thriller The Sum of All Fears, opening May 31. "All my friends are getting married and having kids, and I sort of think, 'That's the point after which if you're not starting to think of marriage and having kids, you're immature and have a Peter Pan complex.'" So is he ready to give up the single life? "Yeah, I would like to start a family. I'm at a point where I feel like what's important to me is not just work, but something beyond that," says Affleck. "I want to have kids. I want to take those steps. I finally feel ready to do that."
Playing a hard-nosed CIA operative on The Agency earned Gil Bellows an invite to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. "They have spy stuff confiscated during the Cold War," says Bellows, 34. "I found a foldable motorcycle that was about 18" high and weighed 20 lbs., used by the Special Forces when they parachuted into certain places. It was a great James Bondy thing. The funniest was this overcoat with 400 cameras in the lining, so no one has any idea you are taking pictures." Unfortunately, such high-tech oddities weren't for sale at the CIA gift shop. "I thought about taking something as opposed to buying it," says Bellows with a smile. "You know, just to see how good their internal security is."