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Rob Thomas: Rock Star on a Budget

Even though his first solo album, Something to Be, debuted at No. 1 on the charts, Rob Thomas and his wife, Marisol, haven’t forgotten their leaner years. “We’ve not had money for so much longer than we’ve had money, it’s hard to get rid of that sensibility,” says the 33-year-old matchbox twenty frontman, whose performance of his single “Lonely No More” can be seen at as part of AOL’s Music Sessions. “You can tell that neither of us come from money because even now we’re like, ‘Should we throw away that Ziploc bag? It’s not really dirty, we used it on all dry stuff, we could use it again.’ ” Thomas says there’s a method to his miserliness. “We come from a generation that has Behind the Music, so we’ve seen it go down. Things can get really skinny after the fat years.”

Chalke Makes Bucks at Starbucks

Turns out the cast and crew of Scrubs are constantly holding their own version of another NBC show: Fear Factor. “We always have bets to eat horrendous amounts of weird things—and the price goes up the less likely you are to do it,” says Sarah Chalke, 28, who costars with Zach Braff on the just-released first-season DVD. “One assistant director ate four cups of mayonnaise. Another ate six pickled pigs’ hooves from a disgusting prop jar for $100 a hoof.” Chalke pocketed $500 after one dare. “After shooting a burlesque dancing fantasy sequence, I had to walk to Starbucks in fishnets, heels and feather fans. Then I had to wait in line for 20 minutes to get my soy decaf!”

Farmer Vartan

Michael Vartan may costar with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law, but the Alias star’s plans were originally more down-to-earth. “I grew up on a small farm in Normandy with my dad. I was very happy laying down irrigation pipes in the turnip fields,” says Vartan, 36. “But, then I realized, you can’t live on turnips. My mom lived in L.A., so I thought, ‘Palm trees sound great!’ ” So did the free ride. “I had no idea what I was going to do. Then my mom’s friend said, Tour kid has an interesting look,’ and asked if I wanted to take acting classes. I said, ‘Absolutely not.’ She said, ‘You’ll meet pretty girls.’ I said, ‘No.’ Then she said, ‘I’ll pay for it.’ That was the clincher.”