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Proof of Employment

Six years after he ditched NYPD Blue for a movie career that never panned out, David Caruso hopes to rebound with his juicy role in Proof of Life. “There are not a lot of big directors willing to put David Caruso in a movie. I’m grateful,” says Caruso of Proof director Taylor Hackford, adding sarcastically, “He didn’t have to cast me, with the hundreds of big movies being offered to me.” Caruso, 44, last saw those offers before leaving Blue in 1994, a decision he regrets. “I was the first guy through the mill,” he says. “People move effortlessly now between the big and small screen, and it’s not necessarily complicated anymore. The good news for me is that I’m getting a few chances to come back.”

Curious About George

Count Saturday Night Live’s Will Ferrell among the winners of Election 2000: He’ll ride on the presidential coattails of Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey and Darrell Hammond (who plays Bill Clinton as well as Al Gore) as the sketch comedy’s spoofer-in-chief. “Darrell’s this master technician and has almost this scientific approach to the way he breaks down impersonating someone. I’m not an impressionist. I try to get more of an overall feel for what they do,” says Ferrell, 33, who struck gold with his squinty-eyed, scatterbrained take on George W. Bush. “I just mucked my way through it, and it fit George W., so it worked out. And since Al Gore is very precise, Darrell’s approach fit him the best.” He is also looking forward to reteaming with Hammond. “Darrell’s got his Dick Cheney ready to go,” says Ferrell. “This roller coaster ride is going to continue.”

Why, I’ve got half a mind…

“I think everyone has that fantasy—to be able to enter into the gray matter of every other individual,” says Mel Gibson, 44, who can read the female mind in his new comedy What Women Want. “It would save a lot of detective work.” But the actor doesn’t think knowing what women want would be such a great gift. “It would be something of a Faustian bargain,” he says. “You’d have to pay the piper at some point.” For instance, Gibson would no longer be able to use the “Hey, I’m not a mind reader!” excuse with his wife, Robyn. Worse, he says: “I got an article out of the newspaper that says men only listen with half their brains. I stuck it on the refrigerator as my defense and said, I can’t help it.’ ”

Baby Boom

“I remember worrying about the silliest things, like if the lamb dinner was getting cold,” says Catherine Zeta-Jones of her wedding to Michael Douglas on Nov. 18. As she starts married life with Douglas (the couple also star in the drug drama Traffic, though they have no scenes together), Zeta-Jones, 31, is looking forward to giving their 4-month-old son Dylan a sibling. Or eight. “I want him to have a brother. Michael says nine,” she says. “I was born to breed. I just pop those babies out.”

Miss Leading Man

Sandra Bullock wasn’t very congenial to Benjamin Bratt on the set of their comedy Miss Congeniality. “I did everything possible to mess with Ben during his close-ups, to make him laugh,” she says. “But he’s solid, he’s a rock.” At least until Bullock injured Bratt’s neck and back during a wrestling scene between the FBI agents that left him in serious need of a masseuse. “He’s such a baby, such a drama queen,” jokes Bullock, 36. “You try your best not to injure your partner. I, however, had a delicate partner, a delicate little flower, I’m very athletic, but girls don’t think they’re gonna hurt guys. Guys are always aware of hurting girls. So he was very careful with me. I just went for broke.”