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A Few of My Favorite Things

Life with a 2-year-old sure can change your morning routine. Just ask Richard Gere, who credits Homer, his son with longtime love Carey Lowell, for daily visits with Fraulein Maria and the Von Trapp family. “My son is totally obsessed with The Sound of Music,” says Gere, 52, currently starring in the erotic thriller Unfaithful. “We get up in the morning, and he says, ‘Daddy, I want to see Maria and the goats.’ Then we sit down and watch the whole movie. I know every lighting technique in that film. Every cut. Every scene. It’s a good movie, but enough already.”

Woman’s Work

In Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Ellen Burstyn portrays an eccentric southern matriarch whose tantrums rock her relationships with her daughter (Sandra Bullock) and husband (James Garner). The actress’s days as a working mother were far less dramatic. “I remember when I was married, I’d put in a 14-hour day filming and then come home and make dinner and do the shopping,” says the thrice-divorced Burstyn, 69, who won an Oscar in 1974 for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. “It never occurred to me to say to my husband, ‘I’m working. You do this.’ I felt my career was a luxury that came second. One day I saw myself in a blinding flash when I was ironing. Suddenly I pictured my husband in a meeting with a producer who interrupted him in mid-conversation to say, ‘That’s a well-ironed shirt. Who does your ironing?'”

Hippie Chic

Long before her debut album, Acoustic Soul, earned seven nominations at this year’s Grammy Awards, India.Arie realized she would need a job that jived with her funky, retro fashion sense. “I worked at Wendy’s for three weeks and I was like, ‘How could somebody put this outfit on and do the same thing every day?'” says Arie, 25. “That was really boring to me.” Later she took a job at a candy store, but she didn’t like that either. “People dropped candy on the floor or lied about eating it,” says Arie, who plans to release her second disc in September. “They acted like little kids. All day long I was the candy cop, telling people, ‘I saw that. Put that down!’ I hated that job. You just don’t know.”

His and Hirsute

Former All My Children heartthrob Mathew St. Patrick knows how to fake a passionate kiss with the daytime beauties, but he wasn’t prepared the first time he locked lips with his Six Feet Under love interest, costar Michael C. Hall. “If you are not used to kissing someone with hair on their lip, it does take some getting used to,” says St. Patrick, 34, who had no reservations about playing a gay man on the hit HBO series. “It’s exciting to portray a character who has a different perspective than I do. When people love each other, that’s what you see. The objective for me is to get people to look at us as a couple and say, ‘Wow.'” He may be doing too good a job. “People ask me for dating advice. I sat in the lobby of a hotel in New York with two women I didn’t know at 12:30 at night talking about their relationships. And then I had to remind them that I’m single,” says St. Patrick. “I’m probably not the best person in the world to ask.”

Behind the Scenes

Former model and MTV veejay Daisy Fuentes knows all the beauty tricks—she’s just not sure she wants to try them. “The weirdest one has got to be the hemorrhoid cream under the eyes to take away the puffiness,” says Fuentes, 35, who hosts the 51st annual Miss Universe pageant, airing May 29 on CBS. As for what the contestants should wear, well, Fuentes has a decidedly singular point of view. “If it were up to me, every one would wear a thong,” she says with a laugh. “What do you think we are looking for? Whether the swimsuit is cute? No way. We want to see if she has cellulite!”