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updated 01/30/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

JOSH LUCAS: WORKING FOR SCALE

How did Josh Lucas pack on 43 lbs. to play Texas Western coach Don Haskins in Glory Road? “Beer, tequila and New Orleans food,” says the actor, 34. When Lucas met Haskins, who led the first all-black starting lineup to an NCAA basketball championship 40 years ago, he said, “If you're going to play me, you'd better start drinking beer.” But Lucas may have been overzealous. “I was 213 lbs. when we finished— and the camera adds 10,” he says. “Haskins said he was only 207 lbs. He was angry, because I was going to make him look fat.” When Lucas told the coach that he was, well, fat, Haskins retorted, “Not this fat.”

BRODY: LOVE MONKEY

It's been nearly three years since Adrien Brody, 32, lip-locked a stunned Halle Berry when picking up his Best Actor Oscar. But still, says Brody, “Everybody wants me to dip them.” The King Kong star says he was recently asked, “Did you kiss the monkey like you kissed Halle?” Yeah, he jokes, “That's in the sequel.”

LEONI: NO LADY IN WAITING

Los Angeles restaurants are well-staffed by aspiring actors, but Téa Leoni, 39, was never among them. Before making it in Hollywood, she ruled out waitressing. “I think people are animals when they eat,” says the Fun with Dick and Jane star. Instead, “I became a chrome-plater at a factory in Compton.” So how did her coworkers in that rather unglam stretch of L.A. react to having a would-be star in their ranks? Says Leoni: “Well, the boss was sort of taken with the idea that I would run away for an audition, come back, slip on my jumpsuit and drop off a couple of bumpers.”

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