Daily Insider

04/15/2004 at 01:41 PM EDT

April 15, 2004
THEY GROW 'EM PRETTY THERE ...
Is there something in the water in Missouri, or what? It seems Average Joe's Melana Scantlin and Larissa Meek of Average Joe 2 were not only beauty queens – they both won crowns in the Show Me state. Larissa was Miss Missouri USA 2001, and Melana was Miss Missouri USA 2002. And the new Miss USA, Shandi Finnessey, is also from – you guessed it – Missouri (this is not to be confused with Miss America, which is a different pageant system altogether. Don't ask.) So, will Shandi take her shot on reality TV? "Definitely not on Average Joe," Finnessey tells us, "because if anything, I want Hunks R Us!" Producers, take note.

FAB FAN
Julianne Moore went from guest of honor to rabid fan when the cast from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy showed up at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Media Awards at New York's Marriott Marquis this week. "Oh my God, the Queer Eye guys are here!" said the actress, who was honored at the event. Moore was ushered into the VIP cocktail room, where she hugged the Fab Five. "Oh, I love that show," she told us. "They always try to find the best in everybody and they enhance it, which I think is a wonderful thing."

FAST TAKES
Charlize Theron and beau Stuart Townsend just returned from a trip to Europe, where they stopped by the MusÉe d'Orsay and the Picasso Museum in Paris. "She had, like, a split second off," says Townsend. ... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are studying sign language with a private coach for their thriller Mr. and Mrs. Smith. ... Paris Hilton is recording her first single, due in July. Its title? "Screwed." ... Barry Manilow, David Cassidy and Jennifer Love Hewitt were among the 120 guests at Elizabeth Taylor's Beverly Hills home Easter Sunday. ... Demi Moore threw an egg hunt for daughter Tallulah, 10, and her pals at their Idaho home on Easter weekend. ... Gloria Estefan will appear as a celebrity judge on an upcoming American Idol with contestants backed up by her band Miami Sound Machine.

Actor Cary Elwes, who plays Hugh Dancy's evil uncle in Ella Enchanted, says the fairy tale is the third film he's been in that involves medieval knights and armor – but he doesn't mind playing dress-up. "My mother helped develop wonderful imaginations for me and my brothers growing up," he told us recently. "She read to us a lot and we got heavily into movies as kids, too, so we had quite active imaginations." Elwes is currently filming Edison, Justin Timberlake's feature film debut.

Reported by: CYNTHIA WANG, MOLLY LOPEZ and ZORIANNA KIT

NEXT: Avril's All Grown Up>

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