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Englishman Gary Oldman—despite the fact that he was once married to actresses Uma Thurman and Lesley Manville and is now living with Isabella Rossellini—doesn’t regard himself as much of a sex symbol. “I think if you say that, people will choke on their drinks,” he says. In The Scarlet Letter he plays the passionate, guilt-ridden Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale. “I’ve got long hair and a beard,” he laughs. “Look at me. Look at this weak chin!” Besides, Oldman, 37, says he never sees his name in any “sexiest movie star” polls. “Flip through most magazines,” he says, “and [if] it’s the Sexiest Person on the Planet, it’s Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves. I’m on the other list with Ken Branagh. We’re ‘Those English Actors.’ ”


Cynthia Stevenson, who plays Hope, the sweet, naive TV producer on NBC’s hit sitcom Hope & Gloria, was in her glory as a jealous sister in director Jodie Foster’s forthcoming family comedy Home for the Holidays. “It was really gratifying to play someone who is very dark, very bitter,” says Stevenson, 33. “She’s the kind of person who silently blames the world for the fact that things didn’t work out the way she wanted.” Her character mostly blames her siblings, played by Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr., in a top-flight cast that Stevenson found a tad intimidating at first. “Oh, please, I didn’t take a full breath for the first two days of rehearsal.” But, she adds, “I’ve kept in touch with Jodie, who wants to get the whole cast together for a little Thanksgiving dinner and show us the movie.”


Bay watch’s David Hasselhoff hopes to trade his TV career for films. Someday. “I need to do it right, or I’ll be running down a beach in slow motion 20 years from now,” says Hasselhoff, 43. His new spin-off series Baywatch Nights beefs up his lifeguard into a part-time private eye, but Hasselhoff admits he can’t top—or stop—the popularity of Baywatch, now in its sixth season. “Seven years is a good number,” says Hasselhoff, already looking ahead to 1997. “Every time I say that, I get a substantial raise.” It would be hard, he admits, to leave a series that gave him international fame. “My face opens the door practically anywhere—I get the best table in the restaurant,” he says. Is there a downside? Yes, says Hasselhoff. “Then everybody watches you eat.”


Playing the feminist art historian in The Heidi Chronicles, a TV movie based on Wendy Wasserstein’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play airing this month on TNT, had an added bonus for Jamie Lee Curtis. After her daughter Annie, 9, saw the movie, says Curtis, “she picked up a book on Mary Cassatt and asked me if I knew that Cassatt was the only American woman asked to join the group of Impressionists. That she picked up that information, well, it’s wonderful.” Annie also helped Mom pick the subject of her new children’s book Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born. “The story is told from an adopted child’s point of view,” says Curtis, 36, who adopted Annie in 1986 with her husband, actor-director Christopher Guest. “When you have an adopted child, the circumstances of the birth are usually discussed behind closed doors. It needs to be told and celebrated.”