updated 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST
Iowa native Ashton Kutcher fully admits he was naive about showbiz when he first headed to Hollywood in 1998. "When I started That '70s Show, I didn't know what a pilot was," says Kutcher, 25, currently costarring in the thriller The Butterfly Effect "I didn't even know that shows got canceled. All the shows that I watched—The Cosby Show, Roseanne and Diffrent Strokes—were on for years." Still, sitcoms helped shape his destiny: "As a kid I wanted to be Kirk Cameron as Mike Seaver [on Growing Pains]. That was the pinnacle of an acting career as far as I was concerned."
Setting the Story Straight
Sticks and stones may break his bones, but words will never hurt Elijah Wood, who is amused by rumors about him. "I love the one where I'm gay," says the 23-year-old The Lord of the Rings star. "The craziest story I ever heard was that my lover, Dominic Monaghan [who plays the trilogy's hobbit Merry], was dating my sister to cover up the fact that we were a gay couple. And we signed contracts not to reveal anything until the movies were finished. Isn't that great? It was completely made up, but it's hilarious."
Hugh Grant and Colin Firth got to repeat their knock-down drag-out fight in the upcoming Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason—but this time, the brawl made a bigger splash. "We ended up in freezing water [in a fountain] in London's Kensington Gardens. I think it was 3°," says Firth, 43, adding that the film crew found a way to keep the costars from catching pneumonia. "They built a hot tub for us under a tent. There are pictures of Hugh and me sipping cups of tea, fully dressed in suits with oxfords on our feet, immersed in water." So, what's it like hot-tubbing with Grant? Says Firth: "I'm just grateful he was dressed."
Stiff Upper Lip
Although she wed British actor Paul Bettany last year, don't expect New York actress Jennifer Connelly to begin affecting an English accent like a certain Material Mom. "Sometimes I do it, and please forgive me, it's not intentional. I'm trying not to go that route," says the 33-year-old star of House of Sand and Fog, even though her two sons—Kai, 6, and Stellan, 6 months—may already be headed that way, "Kai will say, 'I'm going to have a kip now [translation: I'm taking a nap].' Or he'll say, 'Mummy, let's change the baby's nappy.' That makes me crack up. It's cute on him; on me it would sound obnoxious."