Queen Latifah, currently appearing as the money-grubbing, cleavage-baring prison warden named Mama in the movie musical Chicago, probes the subtler side of the law in her new CBS mystery series Mali Anderson. "It's like Shaft meets Murder, She Wrote," says Latifah, 32, who begins shooting later this year. "Mali doesn't solve everything with a gun. She's more like a happening Nancy Drew: She solves it with her mind." Someday the rapper-actress hopes to be a real-life mama. "I'd make a great mother, and having a husband is not a requirement," says Latifah, who is single. "I've gotten a few proposals, but I've dodged that marriage bullet. Engagement rings are cool, but I can buy my own damn ring."
Although Sandra Bullock's costar in Two Weeks Notice is eligible bachelor Hugh Grant, the actress was eyeing another sexy single guy last fall: The Bachelor's Aaron Buerge. Bullock was so into the ABC reality show that a pal persuaded Buerge to call her. "I was like, 'Oh my God, it's the Bachelor! Did you go into the hot tub with every single girl?'" recalls Bullock, 38. "He was like, 'Well, there was nothing else to do—it was either the beach or the hot tub.'" Had she been the Bachelorette, Bullock says the only action would have taken place in the kitchen since she likes a man who can dish. "It would be about cooking for me: 'I told you I didn't like my eggs like that. See ya!'"
In preparing to play Chuck Barris, the Gong Show host who claimed to have also been a CIA assassin, for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Sam Rockwell dug up some intriguing details. "Chuck is very eccentric," says Rockwell, 34. "When we go out, he orders a ginger ale and a beer, but he only takes one sip of the beer, and he puts Sweet'n Low in his ginger ale." On the Confessions set in Montreal, Rockwell tried to keep the mood just as wacky. "We got into snowball fights," he says. "George Clooney [who directed the film] has a great arm. He was a baseball player, so he can really whack you with a snowball."
Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays a con man posing as a Pan Am pilot in Catch Me If You Can, once ran into some turbulence at an airport in Paris. "I was walking to my gate when suddenly I noticed a girl was attached to my leg," says DiCaprio, 28, who found himself in the clutches of a rabid teenage fan. "She dug her nails into my skin with this death grip. I said, 'Whatever illusions of grandeur you have about me, they're not true. I'll prove it by sitting here and talking to you. Just don't dig your nails into my leg.'" As for cons of his own, DiCaprio admits his thespian skills have come in handy at times: "I used what would later be my emotional range as an actor to fake the greatest illnesses or family tragedies to prevent me from exploring algebra."