Sandra: Real-Life Miss Congeniality
Now that Sandra Bullock is done with her real estate ordeal (she was awarded $7 million last month after a dispute with a contractor over her Austin house), she can get back to the business of being a star and collecting accolades. Her most recent: the University of Virginia's Virginia Film Award, for her contributions to film and to the state. The Miss Congeniality star was modest in her acceptance. "I'm trying to add up what it was," Bullock said of her contributions at the ceremony in Charlottesville, Va. "If there was something that I did, it makes me really happy and really proud. I know it makes my family really happy and proud. My sister went to UVA. That was the exciting part. I got to come back to the place that I'd go visit her at – where the smart one in the family went to school." As for whether she's a real southerner, Bullock said: "I don't know what I am, to be honest. I was born in D.C., and raised between Arlington, Va., and Germany. My mother (opera singer Helga Bullock) was German. So if the opera seasons were in Vienna or wherever in Germany, that's where I was. Then back to Virginia. I'm like the rest of America, you know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that."
London's Date with Destiny
When Destiny's Child visited London's Virgin Megastore this week, they were greeted by throngs of fans who had lined up (or "queued up," as they say across the Pond) for hours to catch a glimpse of the bootylicious troika. "They got here and it was complete chaos. The crowds were so bad outside that the car couldn't even get right up to the door for them to get out!" says a spy. Beyonce, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, who signed copies of their single "Lose My Breath," were in high spirits as they sang along to the song, on constant replay in the store, and sipped bottles of water with the labels removed (as per their Pepsi contract). Their CD, Destiny Fulfilled, hits stores Nov. 15.
Life vs. Art
Life is definitely not imitating art for Edie Falco. The Sopranos star is in previews on Broadway for a revival of the play 'night, Mother, opening Nov. 14, in which she portrays a middle-aged woman who confesses to her elderly mother (British actress Brenda Blethyn) that she plans to commit suicide. But for the actress, who completed treatment for breast cancer earlier this year, life is sweet. "You know, you go through periods where everything is just great," Falco tells us. "I'm thrilled with the stuff I get to do in my career. I have the most wonderful people in my life. My friends bring me joy constantly. My family is spectacular and supportive and talented. It's just one thing on top of another on top of another, which has created this absolutely stunning life that I'm living."
Lost & Found
It's all life-and-death drama on the hit ABC show Lost, but offscreen, the cast is more about fun, costar Maggie Grace told us at a recent charity event hosted by Frederick's of Hollywood. "We're starting to get recognized a lot more," says Grace, who plays the self-centered Shannon. "Some of the members of the cast already were, so it's funny to see people constantly coming up to them. But now it's definitely everybody and it's sort of an overnight phenomenon. It's fun. We all hang out together so much that it's an inside joke to us." But for Grace herself, "I'm a little nervous because Shannon's not the most sweet and likeable person at first on the show. So I'm nervous that people will think that's how I am."
By SUSAN MANDEL, MONIQUE JESSEN, ANNE MARIE CRUZ and DANA MELTZER