Though she'd prefer the privacy, Jennifer Aniston says her very public divorce from Brad Pitt was strangely cathartic. “There's a weird freedom—nothing's embarrassing [anymore],” says Aniston, 36, who stars in Rumor Has It... with Shirley MacLaine. “I said to Shirley, ‘I might as well pull my pants down at this point—they've seen everything else.’” Aniston, who's now with Vince Vaughn, also says her dating pool won't include older men: “When I was 21, I dated a man 18 years older. It was fun for a minute. Then it was like, ‘Can I get you some tea? Or a crutch?’”
EMILY'S ALTER EGO
Fans expectCSI: Miami's Emily Procter to enlighten them with her crime-solving savvy, but off-screen, she blinds them with science, Thomas Dolby-style. “I'm the lead singer of White Lightning, an'80s cover band,” says Procter, 37. “But it's only because it's my band, not because I'm any good. We tell the relationships of high school [classmates] through power ballads. Like ‘Lady’ by Styx, or anything by Journey.” Moonlighting has given her the chance to play a victim—of fashion, that is. “I wear shiny boots, plastic pants and tons of rouge,” says Procter. “My friend said, ‘I don't know if I should slap or hug you.’”
Heath Ledger and fiancée Michelle Williams are reveling in their new, more anonymous surroundings. “Moving to Brooklyn is the greatest decision I ever made,” says the Aussie, 26, who stars in Brokeback Mountain. “We really blend in there, and we're friends with all our neighbors. They come around with lasagnas and we go to community dinners. It's awesome.” Even more fabulous? Their 10-week-old daughter Matilda. “She's adorable,” he says. “She's a beautifully observant, wise little kid.” So will siblings be on the way? Says Ledger: “Six [kids] is close to the figure we're talking about.”
NAOMI'S BIG BREAK
“Every day there was a new pain or bump,” Naomi Watts, 37, says of the grueling action scenes in King Kong. “I fell down a hole backwards. It was a 6-foot drop, and I was in this ditch with my legs in the air. Everyone was looking down at me going, ‘Is she okay?’ I couldn't move and thought, ‘I'm paralyzed.’ But then I was thinking, ‘My underwear is on display.’ Once I thought that, I knew I must be okay.” By contrast, her shrieking scenes as Kong's distressed damsel were cake—she's even broken glass to prove it. “I was asked to scream on live TV, and they had a hot light on the window going through to me on the balcony,” says the Aussie actress. “I think my scream and the heat from the lamp created a weird vibration, and it literally cracked from the floor to the ceiling.” So is this her new party trick? Rues Watts: “I haven't been able to do it since.”
FREE ASSOCIATION with Wedding Crashers' BRADLEY COOPER
Crashers out on DVD: I had an affair with Vince [Vaughn]. And Owen [Wilson].
Nicole Richie and DJ AM split: I'm mortified.
Nick and Jessica split: No!!
Oprah and Dave reconcile: My prayers have been answered.
Best part of the holidays: Eating.
Worst part of the holidays: Eating.
Angelina gets Cambodian citizenship: Who's going to join me in nominating her into sainthood?
Diana Ross & Jon Voight: I'd buy that duet album.
Paris & Stavros: Is that a type of dish?
Working with Julia Roberts on Broadway: I think the kid's got a future.