updated 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/02/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Alien Nation
Costarring in director M. Night Shyamalan's alien thriller Signs isn't his first brush with unidentified flying objects, says Rory Culkin. "I was in North Dakota, and you can really see the sky there," says the 12-year-old actor of a recent family trip. "I saw this white thing. Some people said it was a satellite, but it moved through the whole sky in like one minute. It was going really fast." But he's got a theory that would do Agent Mulder proud. "I think aliens created us," says Culkin. "When we see UFOs, they are checking on us, making sure we are not destroying the world they gave us." So what would the youngest of the Culkin clan do if he met an alien face-to-face? "I'd ask, 'Did you make us? Do you know what's going to happen?' And, oh yeah: 'Can you take me to your planet?' "

Football Folly
She's jammed with Bruce Springsteen, serenaded Bill Clinton and hung out with Brad Pitt. Is there anyone else that Grammy-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge, 41, would like to schmooze with? "[Aerosmith front-man] Steven Tyler," says Etheridge, who is featured on VH1's weeklong Behind the Music fifth-anniversary celebration beginning Aug. 26. "I'd love to play with him. He's also got amazing girl lips. Whenever I see him, he kisses me and I'm like, Thank you.' " But Etheridge reserves her highest praise for stars of the gridiron, particularly the Kansas City Chiefs. "I'm a huge football fan," she says. "Why do you think my tour ends the first week of September?" So in February she was horrified to find that due to a scheduling snafu she ended up in London during the Super Bowl, "I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching the British [coverage]." But the announcers' accents and local spin on the American sport altered her viewing experience. "It was hilarious," she says. "But at least I got to see the game."

Look Who's Talking
"I'm already Auntie Kristin," says Sex and the City's Kristin Davis, who got a jump on aunt-hood by chatting up the babies—in utero—of her pregnant costars Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon. "We're already well-acquainted. I introduced myself, and I talked to them daily about what name they'd choose," says the single Davis, 37, whose series wrapped filming its fifth season in July. "At the [Sex and the City] premiere, I asked them if they knew they were dressed up for a party. I asked Spud—that's what I call Sarah's, since we don't know the sex—about that." Since both babies aren't due until the fall, life on the set remained essentially unchanged, Davis says. "We ate more and ordered extra food, but that's about it. It will be much different when those babies are here."

Not-So-Wild Child
"Oh, to have something in common with your 16-year-old that's not about being her mother," says Susan Sarandon, 55, referring to her daughter Eva Amurri (with Italian film director Franco Amurri), who costars with Mom in the comedy The Banger Sisters, due Sept. 20. But during filming, the Oscar winner had a harder time connecting with her own character, a former '60s free spirit. "I got married young [to actor Chris Sarandon] and that knocked me out [of the dating scene] for at least seven years," says the actress. "By today's standards I was serially monogamous. I tended to stay in relationships. But do I think sex, drugs and rock and roll played a significant, positive and important part in my life? Yes." When asked to elaborate, Sarandon would only add, "I have not been to Betty Ford. But I dated David Bowie."

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