Chuck Arnold
March 13, 2000 12:00 PM

A hem? Ahem

“It’s more cleavage than God ever thought to give me,” says Julia Roberts of her push-up, suck-it-all-in wardrobe for Erin Brockovich, a fact-based drama due March 17. “I’d come into rehearsal in my T-shirt, sweatpants and flip-flops. And then when would come on the set to shoot, everybody was like, ‘What happened to you?’ ” In fact, Roberts, 32, came up with new fashion terminology befitting her scantily clad character. “I have something in my closet that I call a dress,” she says. “And then she has something in her closet that I call a ‘dre.’ You know, the whole part that covers your [posterior] is not there.”

Paging Mrs. Browne

Anjelica Huston says directing herself in the drama Agnes Browne was a last resort. Originally, Rosie O’Donnell was to play the lead. “Then she adopted another baby, and I guess her workload was a bit too much,” says Huston, 48. “So I had to act in the movie in order to save it.” The role, as a mother of seven in 1967 Ireland, is a marked departure for her. “If I hadn’t been directing, it would have been unlikely that I would be offered this role,” says Huston, who won an Oscar for playing a conniving Mafia princess in Prizzi’s Honor. “It’s not very often I’m offered benign parts where I play ordinary people with real smiles.”

Single-Minded

Angelina Jolie, who has won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance as Winona Ryder’s sociopathic pal in Girl, Interrupted, admits her social skills could use a little work. “I can scare people off easily,” says Jolie, 24, perhaps explaining why she is currently single. “I’m very happy to be on my own, I’m not present enough for a relationship. But I really like men. I have a lot of great guy friends.” Jolie even remains good buds with her ex-husband, actor Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers). “I’m still very close to Jonny,” she says. “We are still committed to each other,” In fact, she adds cryptically, “we can always get remarried someday.”

My Left Feet

NYPD Blue’s Dennis Franz jumps to the other side of the law as the title character of the Dixie Chicks’ new video “Goodbye Earl.” “He is a wife-beater,” says Franz, 55, whose spouse is played by Ally McBeal’s Jane Krakowski. “And the cop that comes to investigate is Michael DeLuise, who played my son [until three seasons ago] on NYPD Blue. So it was a nice and happy family.” But do not expect to see Franz gettin’ jiggy wit it. ‘There is a number at the end where we’re all dancing around,” he says. “At first they tried to choreograph something. They talked about doing some moves from [Michael Jackson’s] Thriller.’ But ‘Thriller’ and me don’t go together.”

Making the Rent

Although they have gone on to find fame and fortune as actors, producers and directors, Danny DeVito and Michael Douglas, former roommates, have not forgotten their early days. “I remember our apartment in New York City was $150 a month,” says DeVito, 55, who costars in the new comedy Drowning Mona. “I think I was struggling more than he was. But he did the laundry. He fluffed and folded really well.” DeVito recalls that Douglas was the first to get a big break. “He left me when he went to do The Streets of San Francisco,” he says, referring to the 70s TV series. “But he still paid half the rent when he was away. Now we often talk about how stupid we were to let this low-rent apartment go.”

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