Picks and Pans Review: Sound Off

updated 12/01/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/01/2003 01:00AM

>William H. Macy He's not usually cast in steamy sex scenes, but 2002 Emmy winner William H. Macy, 53, a dad of two with actress wife Felicity Huffman, hits the sheets as a lovable Las Vegas loser in The Cooler, out Nov. 26.

ON BEING NAKED ONSCREEN: "Well, being north of 50,1 was loath to subject America to that. But I've been buck-naked onstage many times. Why didn't they ask me when I was 25? I tried to squeeze six months of exercise into six days and tore my shoulder."

ON PREPARING FOR LOVE SCENES WITH COSTER BELLO: "We just screwed up our courage. Maria made it easy—she and a friend of mine named Jim Beam. I took a couple of pulls early in the morning."

ON HIS WIFE'S VIEW OF HIS SEXY SHOTS: "She said she loved them. When I watch her doing these kinds of scenes, I just close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears."

ON TEASING COSTAR ALEC BALDWIN: "Alec's a rootin', tootin' movie star. When he walks on the set, he takes up a lot of air. I love to get into his face about politics. I'd say something like, 'Don't you just love nuclear power?' And we're off to the races?

ON GAMBLING: "For a guy who has done Seabiscuit and The Cooler, you'd think I know something about it. I'm a; dreadful card player. I get fleeced every time."

ON HIS FUNNY FACE: "I look suspiciously like Howdy Doody. It's an unusual look to be a successful actor."

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