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Heatherweight Bout

In her first catfight since leaving Melrose Place, Spin City’s Heather Locklear will go toenail to toenail with Beth Littleford of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on the Nov. 30 episode of the ABC sitcom. To prepare for the showdown, Littleford rehearsed a few combinations Locklear made famous. “There are a lot of divas out there, but she’s the one to emulate,” says Littleford, 31, who plays Deirdre, a recurring character on Spin City. “So I practiced the hair-shake-head-toss. I did get to work a few of those Melrose Place moves.” Offscreen, Locklear was a pussycat. “Every time she grabbed my shirt, after we got backstage she apologized and smoothed out my shirt,” Littleford says. “I’m like, It’s not even my shirt, it’s the show’s shirt!’ ”

Am I Blue?

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’s modeling experience may have helped her land the role of the blue-skinned villainess Mystique in X-Men, the movie version of the Marvel comic book now filming. “It took about 14 hours to do the body painting for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED,” says Romijn-Stamos, 27, referring to this year’s swimsuit issue. “Something tells me they were like, ‘She’s got the patience, she can do it!’ ” But her Mystique costume remains a mystery. “[Director] Bryan Singer is so secretive. He doesn’t want anybody to know about my costume,” says Romijn-Stamos. “I will say that it’s a combination of prosthetics, makeup and dye; it takes 10 hours to apply it, 2 hours to take it off, and when I’m done I can’t get all the blue off my fingers and toes.”

Hug the Actress

“I only want to play women I would invite to lunch,” says Angelina Jolie, 24, who portrays a cop tracking a serial killer with her quadriplegic partner (Denzel Washington) in The Bone Collector. Next she and Winona Ryder costar as mental-institution patients in the drama Girl, Interrupted, due Dec. 21. “I don’t do therapy—my choice of characters is my therapy,” says Jolie, who gained some insight into her own psyche from the role. “I’m one of those people who needs to learn to let somebody hug me. I need to learn how to need other people because I put up walls.” At least, she adds with a laugh, “they’re not padded ones.”

As the Crowe Feeds

Russell Crowe, who blows the whistle on the tobacco industry in The Insider, says the film’s antismoking theme didn’t persuade him to kick the habit. “After this movie I know the exact chemical compounds in a commercial cigarette,” says Crowe, 35, “but I’ve been smoking since I was 10. And I’ve never accused myself of being smart.” Crowe gained 50 lbs., then thinned and grayed his hair to play a character 17 years older than he is. “It’s funny, because during filming I met Sylvester Stallone,” he says. “He was enthusiastic about meeting me because he enjoyed LA Confidential. But when he shook my hand, you could see it in his face: ‘Who the hell is this guy? I want to meet Russell Crowe.’ ”

Flowers, No Candy

He may play the title character in The Bachelor, the remake of 1925’s silent classic Seven Chances, but don’t compare Chris O’Donnell with the star of the original, Buster Keaton. “I’m not a comedian; I don’t claim to be a comedian,” says O’Donnell, 29, who proposes marriage to Renée Zellweger. “This is a romantic comedy.” And he has definitely got that first part down. “Of course I got on my knee when I proposed,” says O’Donnell, who married teacher Caroline Fentress in 1997. “And I’m a big flower guy.” But he does have his limits: “The only time I give chocolates is when I get a freebie from an airplane.”