Insider

updated 09/01/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/01/2003 01:00AM

THE LONG GOODBYE
The end of Friends is near. Yes, the moment fans (and NBC execs) have been dreading is approaching. Last week the show's six stars—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox Arquette, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc—began shooting their final season. "It's not weepy yet," Schwimmer told us at the opening of designer James Perse's new store in L.A. "But I guarantee you it will be soon. Jen is usually the first, but I think this time we will all be weepy right along with her." Schwimmer came to the event hand in hand with his girlfriend of one year, Playboy model Carla Alapont, shooting down recent reports that they had broken up. In fact, the snuggling pair looked downright blissful. Said Schwimmer: "Everything is good."

RUMER HAS IT
On Aug. 16, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore hosted a 15th-birthday party for their oldest daughter, Rumer, at Lucky Strike, the hip bowling alley in Hollywood. The crowd of 75, including Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Sandra Bullock, took over a private area and feasted on hot dogs, buffalo wings and a giant pink-and-white birthday cake.

FIRST MATES
The Bachelor's Andrew Firestone and his fiancée, Jennifer Schefft, just left for their first extended vacation together—a 10-day trip through the British Virgin Islands aboard a 54-ft. sailboat. But they're not alone. His brother and sister and their spouses (and their kids) are also onboard. This isn't a luxury cruise though: Without a captain or crew, all 12 on board will be expected to handle some of the sailing duties. The boat also has no phones or TV, so Andrew and Jen are looking forward to spending their time snorkeling and diving. Says Firestone: "It'll be a fun family adventure."

DOUBLE DUTY
Will Smith, who's executive producing the upcoming UPN family sitcom All of Us with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, takes his behind-the-scenes role very seriously. Currently in Vancouver shooting the sci-fi thriller I, Robot, Smith has arranged for a live feed of rehearsals to be sent over the Internet so he can watch the action on a computer. Smith then phones Jada or one of the other producers with his input. Says a source on All of Us, which stars Duane Martin and Elise Neal: "It's like having Will on the set."

FAST TAKES

Kevin Costner and his fiancée, Christine Baumgartner, who got engaged in June, have set a time and place for their wedding: The couple will get hitched next summer at the actor's 165-acre Aspen ranch. Costner says they've already been "working real hard getting the land ready anticipating the wedding."...

B.D. Wong and his partner, Richie Jackson, have split and are sharing custody of their child, Jackson Foo Wong, 3, who was the subject of B.D.'s book, Following Foo, which chronicled Jackson's struggle for life after he was born 11 weeks premature....

Melissa Joan Hart's now a redhead: Her husband of five weeks, rocker Mark Wilkerson, agreed to shave his head (something she likes) if she would dye her hair red (something he likes).

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