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Eva Mendes Takes Manhattan

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All work and no play? Not for Eva Mendes, who tells us she’s having a blast filming Last First Kiss with Will Smith in New York. “This is my favorite city in the world, so I’m pretty much in heaven. I’m having a great time,” the actress tells Daily Insider. “And Will is the greatest guy – he’s pretty amazing. He breaks out in rap (on the set) and he dances. Needless to say, he entertains us very well. He’s a lot of fun. He likes to karaoke. He likes to take the ’80s mike and karaoke, and pass the mike around to everybody. We sang ‘Feelings.’ Don’t ask – it just happened.”

Have Faith
Just because Faith Hill is a seasoned performer doesn’t mean she never gets the jitters. When the singer was shooting The Stepford Wives – her first film – she admitted to costar Lisa Masters that she had butterflies in her stomach. “She said, ‘I’ve never done a film. It’s my first one. I’m nervous,’ ” Masters tells us. “And I looked at her and said, ‘But you’ve been performing all your life. You’ve done music videos.’ She said, ‘But in those I’m singing, which feels very different from acting.’ She was exposing herself in a different way.” She needn’t have worried so much, says Masters: “She’s just a natural at this. It’s her first acting experience. She was extremely nervous, but it was just unbelievable how professional she was. I would have thought she’d been doing movies for a long time.”

Fast Takes
Lady Luck: Less Than Perfect star Sara Rue won a diamond ring spinning the “Wheel of Fortune” at a recent fund-raiser for the Westside Family Health Center in Santa Monica. The evening, hosted by Jon Cryer, raised more than $150,000.

Gone Hollywood: Looks like Average Joe’s Melana Scantlin has found herself a new gig. The reality star is covering Hollywood in a segment called “The Screening Room” for a FOX affiliate in Kansas City. We spotted her with For Love or Money’s Erin Brodie at a recent screening of Mean Girls.

No, Not That Jennifer: Cris Judd appears to have a new love interest. We spied Jennifer Lopez’s ex cuddling and kissing Welcome to Collinwood star Jennifer Esposito at the L.A. premiere of his new play, Tease.

Fan File: Elizabeth Berkley nearly missed the 6:30 p.m. call time for her Broadway show, Sly Fox, to meet Mikhail Baryshnikov at his new photography exhibit in SoHo. The former Saved by the Bell star hoofed it from her Manhattan apartment to the Movado Boutique for the photo show, then caught a subway to the Ethel Barrymore Theater.

Caught in the Act
Recently Spotted:
Mischa Barton (sporting jet black hair) and boyfriend Brandon Davis, dining at L.A.’s Cafe Stella.
Angela Bassett, in a black leather cap and leggings, browsing at optician Morgenthal Fredrics’s SoHo store, trying on the “Mars” and “Zenith” frames (rimless round sunglasses and cats’ eyes, respectively).
• Actor Michael Rappaport, arguing with his girlfriend on their way out of Fred Segal in L.A.
Jessica Simpson, wearing goggles to protect her newly Lasik-ed eyes, watching little sister Ashlee perform at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory.