updated 08/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 08/02/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Growing up watching Eartha Kitt vamp it up as Catwoman on Batman helped Halle Berry hone her attitude as the caped crusader's feline foe in Catwoman. "I couldn't resist mimicking her. I wanted Catwoman to be fierce and more urban," says Berry, 37. "I'm hoping audiences will think she's sexy, but also be scared to death of her." One aspect of the role did give Berry pause. "The first day I saw the costume, I said, 'You don't expect me to wear this, do you?' " she says. "It's basically slashed-up leather pants and a very bare top. But we explain the look by saying that she made this outfit at home in one of her rages."
A Perspiring Story
Even though director Peter Jackson didn't require Jack Black to slim down for his role as a documentary filmmaker in the remake of King Kong, the actor wanted to get pumped up anyway. "I don't think Peter would ever ask someone to lose weight. It was just something I planned to do," says Black, 35, who costars in the flick, which begins shooting in September, with Naomi Watts. Apparently he had a lot to learn about working out. "I finally started to use [my elliptical machine], and I've had it for two years. [One day] I got on it naked and worked out really hard. That wasn't good. There were literally puddles of sweat in the foot holes. It was completely disgusting. Maybe I shouldn't have told you that."
Rev and Relaxation
Actress Bridget Moynahan didn't mind doing some of her own motorcycle stunts in the sci-fi thriller I, Robot. In fact, Moynahan, a self-described tomboy, was so blasé about the experience she actually snoozed through one hair-raising scene. "I wasn't afraid. I had only two or three hours of sleep [the night before], because I had a houseguest who snored," says Moynahan, 33, who rode a Ducati. "By the time I got to rehearsal, I was so tired that I just hopped on the back [of the bike], put my arms around this expert and just napped. I wasn't nervous, because I figured they had to hire somebody really good."
Guin and Bare It
Even though Keira Knightley plays the butt-kicking warrior queen Guinevere in the period drama King Arthur, the British actress chose modesty over cinematic authenticity. "The Celts would've been fighting naked and painted blue, but there was no way I was going to do that," says Knightley, 19. "Having a bare midriff and running around killing people was fun. But you don't want to see boobs bumping up and down on a battlefield. It would be distracting. So I thought a little coverage would be helpful."