Marlee Matlin, 26, who plays a deaf assistant district attorney on NBC’s Reasonable Doubts, says that although a sign-language consultant taught costar Mark Harmon the basics of signing, she tutored him in the saltier stuff herself. “I taught him how to swear,” says Matlin, through an interpreter. (Matlin lost her own hearing, after an illness, when she was 18 months old.) “He seems to enjoy it, and he’s not the only one. I guess the entire cast and crew is probably guilty of the same thing. When I first met everybody, I taught them the dirty signs. It’s a way to break the ice.” Quietly.
CUTTING’EM DOWN TO SIZE
Christina Ricci, who plays spooky little Wednesday in the new Addams Family movie, is unimpressed by adults. “Adults are just large kids,” says Ricci, 11. “They fight over the same things we kids fight over, except they’re more extreme. We fight about who stole my quarter, they fight about who stole my wallet. We fight about who gets what toys, they fight about who gets what child in a divorce. We fight about who’s better, they fight about who’s better for President. It’s the same thing.” So, Christina, you precocious child, are you looking forward to adulthood? “I am looking forward to it,” she says, “because now I know I could be comfortable being a kid when I grow up—everybody else is.”
WHOSE LIFE IS IT, ANYWAY?
It’s a wonderful—and private—life, says Hollywood icon Jimmy Stewart about his 83 years. Stewart, who is among the stars featured in a new book, MGM: When the Lion Roars, and who supplies one of the cartoon voices in An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, says he doesn’t want anyone putting his own story on the screen. “I would just do everything I could Id talk them out of making a movie of my life,” says Stewart. “I’ve had an interesting life, but things like my time in the war [he was a bomber pilot in World War II], I wouldn’t want to talk about. I’ve sort of kept this to myself and…I don’t know. I don’t really have an infallible reason, but I would just rather it wouldn’t happen.”
GOTTA HYPE IT
When Chris Elliott was a writer and performer on Late Night with David Letterman, he used to make a big stink about guests who appeared on the show just to plug their projects. “But there I was, coming on with a clip of my own show and plugging it shamelessly,” says Elliott, 31, about his recent appearance on Late Night to promote Get a Life!, his sitcom on Fox. “Now I have become what I made fun of on the show. If I was still around on the show, I’d be making fun of myself.” At least Letter-man had saved Elliott’s desk for him, just as he promised when Elliott departed. “It’s still there,” says Elliott, “but now it’s covered with a lot of stuff they’ve put away for the winter: the lawn mower, the hose, Dave’s inflatable pool.”