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Ethan Hawke's Secret Weapon

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Mark VonHolden/DMI

Ethan Hawke certainly has proved his versatility, going from playing the terrorized partner of Denzel Washington’s rogue cop in 2001’s Training Day to revisiting the sensitive, earnest young man he played in 1995’s Before Sunrise in last year’s Before Sunset. So, what’s his secret? Life experience. “Well, if you’re in the arts, as corny as it sounds, your life is the stuff from which you work with,” said Hawke, who is back in a police uniform for his new movie, Assault on Precinct 13. “That’s why it’s important to read a lot. I mean, it’s important to learn a lot. It’s important to live a lot. My children affect me. Friends of mine say that, like, after Training Day, there was some kind of change in my work, and I chalk a lot of that up to simply development. It was my daughter and turning 30. All of these things affect you.”

Nip and Tuck? No Thanks
No matter what her peers are having done, don’t look for Susan Sarandon in a plastic surgeon’s office anytime soon. “I’m afraid of plastic surgery. I just can’t quite go there,” the actress, who start next in Court TV’s movie version of the off-Broadway play The Exonerated, tells Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show, airing today. “It’s somewhere between a burn victim and a female impersonator look, when you’re finished, a lot of times. It scares me, that look ? I’m not saying I’ll never do anything, because I never say never to anything, who knows – but right now I’m just a little frightened of it.”

Caught in the Act
Spotted Recently:
Kirsten Dunst, dining with another woman at L.A. cafe Joan’s on Third.

Wilmer Valderrama, at a VIP table at L.A. hotspot Avalon. Also in the club the same night: a mellow Jack Osbourne.

Eva Longoria, at the Golden Globes Golden Glam suite, enjoying a bit of pampering and a bowl of chili from famed L.A. eatery Chasen’s.

James Woods, dining with two female companions at L.A. eatery Ago. Also at the restaurant the same night: Law & Order: SVU star Richard Belzer and character actor Harry Dean Stanton, dining with a small group.

Giovanni Ribisi, at a Starbucks in L.A.’s Silverlake neighborhood.

• Actor Ethan Embry (Sweet Home Alabama), chatting with a friend in a booth at L.A. restaurant Barney’s Beanery.