After a string of action flicks—Charlie's Angels, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and now Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill—Lucy Liu would like to show off her acting (not karate) chops. But the Chinese-American actress says her ethnicity limits her options. "They want me to be Bruce Lee because I can do the action well," says Liu, 34, who knows karate, Thai boxing and knife and stick fighting. "There are so many barriers still to break down. I'll think, 'I can play So-and-so's daughter, even though she's supposed to be Caucasian.' But ultimately, people in the [heartland] are going to watch it and think, 'That doesn't make a damn bit of sense.' "
The artist formerly known as Marky Mark is now a proud papa. Of course Mark Wahlberg has long since outgrown his bad-boy days, which is evident given the way he gushes over 1-month-old daughter Ella Rae. "Everything about it is exciting. Just being able to pick her up and hold her is overwhelming," says Wahlberg, 32. The actor is also happy to help his girlfriend and Ella's mom, model Rhea Durham, care for their newborn. "I'm not on full-time diaper duty, but I'm involved. Ella's not sleeping through the night yet, but she's getting more sleep than me. My advice for any new dads is to be strong and hang in there. It's a roller coaster. I'm still figuring it out myself."
Back in the late 1950s, when Dustin Hoffman and his Runaway Jury costar Gene Hackman were just a couple of struggling actors, the pals worried about moving up...literally. "Gene moved furniture as his backup job. He made good money, more than a waiter would make," says Hoffman, 66. "He worked in tenements with no elevators. I saw Gene strap a refrigerator on his back and carry it up six flights. One day I said, 'Gene, I'm strong—I could do that.' So he brings me [on a job], gives me a box of books and says, 'There.' After six flights of stairs I said,' See you later.' "
Janeane Garofalo, 39, who plays a drug-addicted murder victim in Wonderland, a biopic about adult-film star John Holmes, admits that she is something of a XXX fan. "I'd never watched porn until I was on the road doing stand-up," she says. "I watched a lot in. hotels and I am fascinated by it. I want to make it clear: It's not that it turns me on. The acting is amusing. My favorites are the ones that try to have a plot. They look like an episode of Miami Vice."
For a scene in the comedy Duplex, Drew Barrymore had to lose her lunch all over costar Ben Stiller. "I earned a good thing about throwing up on film through this experience," says Barrymore, 28. "We used cream of mushroom soup. I put it so far in the back of my throat that I would let it gag me. The projectile cough made it look so much more real. I thought that I really might vomit, but I told myself, 'If I do, great—it'll make it even better.' "