Chatter

updated 03/22/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/22/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Saving Miss Scarlett?
Long before she won leading roles in films like Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring, Scarlett Johansson endured her share of kooky casting agents. "I remember a weird audition when I was 10. I gave this great reading, but the woman stopped me and said, 'Scarlett, do you accept Jesus as your savior?' " says Johansson, 19. "I was like, 'I don't know. My parents are atheists.' She said, 'Oh, really? So what does that make you?' and I said, 'Um, a 10-year-old?' "

Presidential Race Relations
Ice Cube has weighty matters on his mind. "I haven't been happy with any President domestically, because the inner cities keep getting worse," says Cube, 34, who's training for the action flick XXX: State of the Union, which begins filming this summer. "When Reaganomics came in, everything left. Everything that kept us halfway decent and off the streets was gone. The parks started getting taken over by gangs. There was no more Pop Warner football, no more baseball. Since then, nothing has ever been put back. No one helps the inner city. All the Presidents fail when it comes to that."

License to Kill?
Now that The O.C.'s Mischa Barton is getting her driver's license, the rest of us may want to stay off the road. "I've proven to not be really good at driving," says the 18-year-old actress. "I think it is because of the way I've learned—it's always been on film sets, and so you're taught by stuntmen. They're always like, 'Step on the gas and swerve!' Of course, I'm knocking over like five cones. Everybody is petrified I am going to crash a car. I'm kind of concerned about my own life."

Heir Style
One thing Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette's first child won't need? Toys. "I have plenty of my own stockpiled," says Arquette, 32. "I've been waiting to have a kid just to have an excuse to play with them all." Designing the baby's room is another matter. "Courteney's the resident decorator," he says. The Friends star, who's due in July, is still in the planning stage. "We haven't started on the nursery yet, but H.R. Pufnstuf [the trippy '70s kids show about a cowboy-boot-wearing dragon] will definitely be one of the first additions," says Cox, 39. And the gifts have started trickling in. "We got some burping cloths and a few fun stuffed things," she says. "We still have a ways to go—even though I [already] look fat."

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