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Technical Difficulties

Margot Kidder beat out Stockard Channing to play Lois Lane in Superman: The Movie—the new DVD and video release of the 1978 film includes both actresses’ screen tests for the part (as well as those of Anne Archer and Lesley Ann Warren). But now Kidder admits that Channing is the one with the plum role. “I want Stockard’s job,” says Kidder, 52. “She’s working on my favorite show [The West Wing] with my favorite President.” Kidder, who appeared earlier this month on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, hasn’t had a chance to view the Superman footage yet, as she’s still trying to figure out how to operate her DVD player. “The man who fixes my computers came over to the sight of me trying to squish the whole DVD box into the little slot, going, ‘It doesn’t fit!’ ” she says. “He said, ‘Margy, no, there’s a disc inside!’ I thought it was like an eight-track.”

Floor Show

“It’s an embarrassment of riches,” says Nathan Lane of the pandemonium created by his hit Broadway show The Producers. However, with the musical sold out well into the fall, the best shot at seeing Lane anytime soon will be on May 26, when Showtime premieres an adaptation of his 1993 Broadway performance in Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor. “I was thrilled to be able to go back to a character I was so fond of and thought could be explored more fully,” says Lane, 45, adding that he and Matthew Broderick may one day get a similar opportunity if The Producers, which is based on the 1968 Zero Mostel-Gene Wilder comedy, is remade into a movie. “They’re already talking about it,” says Lane. “I think it will be great, but I’m sure when the time comes they’ll go to Jack Nicholson and Ben Stiller!”

We Will Mock You

Heath Ledger’s pals have been burning up the phone lines teasing him about “He Will Rock You,” the ubiquitous tag line to his jousting film A Knight’s Tale. “I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve got on my answering machine from my friends asking me whether or not I’m going to rock ’em,” says Ledger, 22, who tells them, “Aw, leave me alone, it wasn’t my choice!” The Aussie actor was also in a playful mood when it came to analyzing his part in the recent Down Under invasion of Hollywood. “We are actually replicas. They breed us in Australia,” he says jokingly of peers like Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. “There are factories for actors [there], and we are preprogrammed.”

Making a Killing

“He doesn’t come to the set much, so you know when David [E.] Kelley’s calling you, it can’t be good news,” says The Practice’s Jason Kravits of how the ABC drama’s creator informed him that his character, Assistant District Attorney Richard Bay, would be shockingly gunned down on the drama’s May 6 episode. The news “was disappointing at first,” admits Kravits, 34, who just became a series regular this season. On the day of his final scene, he recalls, “there was a part of me that was thinking about driving down to San Diego and saying, ‘Forget it, you guys. You’re not killing me!’ But the more I thought about it, the more I thought about what was right about it. I had a two-episode arc that turned into a two-year run. David knows how to send people off. Some actors just fade away, and some go off with a bang. I’m glad I was in the latter group.”