Daily Insider for April 5, 2004

04/02/2004 AT 03:29 PM EST

April 5, 2004
THE BEAUTY OF SUCCESS?
Stardom hasn't changed Amanda Peet – "except that I sometimes get a really peaceful feeling that I'm not working at (New York eatery) City Crab anymore," she offers with a laugh. Peet, 32, who reprises the role of Jill St. Claire in The Whole Ten Yards (opening April 9), tells Daily Insider, "There isn't anything wrong with doing a Tampax commercial, but there's a period in most actors' lives where you think, It could just be like this for a long time or forever or who knows? There was a time in New York where I'd do four auditions a day, going back and forth on the subway for Clairol hair and a small role in an indie movie I'd audition for. Sometimes when I go back I have, like, a wave of relief, and other times I'm like, Why aren't I Gwyneth?"

A GOOD HOBBIT
Sean Astin may be a huge star thanks to his role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he'll always be "my little boy" to mom Patty Duke. Just like any proud mom, Oscar winner Duke loves to share anecdotes about her baby – so she did just that while presenting him with the Creative Coalition's 2004 Capitol Hill Spotlight Award in Washington recently. "At Sean's eighth grade graduation there was an awards ceremony," recalled Duke. "Sister Stella Marie called out the names of those with academic honors. No Sean. Then came the science medals, no Sean. There were the athletic awards and music awards, and no Sean. And when it seemed that all the presentations had been made, Sister Stella Marie said, 'We had to invent an award for this next person. We've never given one before, and so the first St. Paul the Apostle Humanitarian award goes to Sean Astin. Spend a few minutes with him and you'll know why.' " Astin later told PEOPLE that he likely got his activist leanings from his mom. "She's always been active," said Astin, 33. "I remember she got death threats when we were little because she agreed to be the grand marshal at a gay rights parade. She was so brave and didn't want to let other people who were being mean stop her from doing what she believed in. So that had to go into the fabric of my consciousness."

ROYAL TREATMENT
Actress Parminder Nagra (Bend It Like Beckham) says that living in a castle while filming the upcoming fairy tale Ella Enchanted took some adjustment. "I had so much fun being there," Nagra, 28, told us at a party at Dylan's Candy Bar following the movie's New York premiere. "You would go downstairs for pre-dinner drinks. It was all done very formally. At first I found it a bit odd, but I thought, Okay, we're doing everything proper here. So we had our pre-dinner drink, and then we had the bell for dinner and then we went and had dinner on these big long tables. The novelty of it for the first couple of days was fine, but then I was saying, 'I just want soup in my room!' "

CAUGHT IN THE ACT
Recently spotted:
Colin Farrell, arriving at L.A.'s famed Chateau Marmont hotel with 19-year-old Scarlett Johansson. Both actors, who lit up in spite of California's no smoking law, paused to greet Nicky Hilton, who was dining with friends, before joining Oliver Stone at his table.

Justin Timberlake, treating three friends to dinner at his Sunset Strip hotspot Chi.

Heather Graham – looking au naturel with curly hair and no makeup – arriving at an L.A. party for two Sony execs with boyfriend Chris Weitz.

Tobey Maguire, hosting opening-night festivities at hotspot Prey (formerly The Gate) in West Hollywood. The Spider-Man star brought along a few of his famous friends: Leonardo DiCaprio, Dennis Rodman and Val Kilmer. Also at Tre: 17-year-old O.C. star Mischa Barton, holding hands with new beau Brandon Davis, while his ex-flame Nicky Hilton partied across the room.

Christy Turlington, at Manhattan nightclub Spirit, hosting a party for Mahanuala, her new line of yoga-inspired clothing. Husband Ed Burns didn't attend the event (perhaps he was home with baby Grace?), where guests were treated to Shiatsu massages and reflexology as well as Pilates and tai chi demonstrations by models sporting clothes from Turlington's line.

Reported by: SEAN DALY, MAKEBA SCOTT HUNTER, MOLLY LOPEZ and ASHLEY WILLIAMS

NEXT: Rosario Dawson on Colin Farrell>

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