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Looking Up

Cameron Diaz says that she needed to be a good sport about costarring with a formidable lineup of men, including Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, James Woods and Jamie Foxx, in the football flick Any Given Sunday. “The testosterone level was very high and very thick,” says Diaz, 27, who plays the team’s owner. “But I spent a lot of time in the skybox while the boys were down on the field playing their games.” Then again, one scene called for her to charge into a locker room full of naked men. “I didn’t have any problems with it,” Diaz says. “It was one of those scenes where you just go in there and do your job. My one rule was, ‘Keep your eyes up.’ And I did. Really.”

Just Deserts

Rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube says that it was fan demand that persuaded him to write, produce and star in Next Friday, a sequel to his 1995 hit urban comedy Friday. “I would go into Blockbuster,” says Cube, 30, “and they would give me their highest compliment, which is, ‘People steal the tape of Friday more than most movies;” After filming last fall’s gritty Gulf War drama Three Kings, Next Friday was a welcome turnaround for Cube. “It was real out in that desert,” says Cube. “We filmed in a place so dead that you didn’t see an ant or a fly. Before I got into the movie business, I always wondered why actors get paid so much money. Now I know why.”

Woody or Wouldn’t She?

Sharon Stone may be among Hollywood’s most glamorous actresses, but she says that she downplayed her then-model image to get her big break in Woody Allen’s 1980 film Stardust Memories. “Woody usually looks for weird, strange people,” says Stone, 41, who costars in the new drama Simpatico. “I put my hair in a ponytail and wore white tennis shoes, figuring maybe he’d like my WASPy, fresh look.” Now Stone will costar with Allen in his upcoming black comedy Picking Up the Pieces. But a few things have changed. “When I met Woody,” she says, “I had quite a crush on him, which of course he never noticed. But now I’m so completely enraptured with my husband [San Francisco Examiner’s Phil Bronstein], I don’t see him that way.”

Moon Shots

Having uncannily transformed himself into the late Andy Kaufman for the biopic Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey is still reeling from the experience. “I don’t know if I’ve shaken him, maybe I never will,” says Carrey, 38, who is up against Robert De Niro, Rupert Everett, Hugh Grant and Sean Penn for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes Jan. 23. “I didn’t really exist for three months. I went to bed as Andy. I would get up in the middle of the night, walk down the hall at my house turning off lights as Andy, completely gone in this thing. It was a bit like channeling.” Should Carrey go on to win an Oscar nomination, who might accept the award, Jim or Andy? “I wish he’d come up and grab it out of my hands,” says Carrey.

Father’s Time

Robert Carlyle may have played the latest Bond villain, Renard, in The World Is Not Enough, but the role has made him a big hero in his father’s eyes. “My dad [Joe] is delighted,” says Carlyle, 38. “He looks at my artsy movies like Trainspotting and The Full Monty and says, ‘Oh, those are rubbish.’ But Bond is right up his street. He has said, ‘Now, son, we have something to be really proud of at the local cinema.’ Carlyle currently costars with Emily Watson in Angela’s Ashes, the movie adaptation of Frank McCourt’s 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir. The Scottish actor beat out Pierce Brosnan for the role of McCourt’s alcoholic father. “Now,” says Carlyle, “I know why he got me in those tight choke holds as Bond.”