People Staff
November 22, 2004 06:00 AM

Jessica Biel has come a long way, baby, from her days as a preacher’s kid on Seventh Heaven. Now that she’s fighting vampires in the upcoming Blade: Trinity, Biel is letting her inner tough-girl out to play. “It was so much fun. I loved it,” says the actress of the action in the movie, which also stars Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds. “What a dream to be able to kick boys’ butts all day long. Girl power!” Girl power, indeed: To get ready for her butt-kicking role as a “Nightstalker,” Biel says she “trained about six days a week in the gym. There was weightlifting and then I had about an hour of fight training a day and an hour of archery. So it was intense, and it was for the whole shoot.” All that training has certainly boosted her confidence, too: When we asked who would win in a fight between her character and that other vampire slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy, Biel says: “She’s got stakes, but I could get her from a hundred yards away.” Blade: Trinity opens Dec. 8.

Sacrifices for the Craft
We don’t want to give away too much of the plot of Christmas with the Kranks (opening Nov. 24), but here’s a little sneak preview: There is a scene in which the two stars, Tim Allen and Jamie Leigh Curtis, cavort about in swimsuits. “The worst part of that is just standing around grips and union guys because eventually you’re just standing there with an inappropriate-sized bathing suit on around other men,” Allen says of filming that scene. “It was like, ‘Hey, guys. How about those Raiders, huh?’ You don’t want that. You’ll get one or two guys going, ‘You have a pretty good physique.’ That’s not what I want either.” As to whether he likes watching himself on the big screen, Allen says, “Yeah, that’s the sick thing. It’s getting less as I get older, now (that) I’m the dad instead of the action hero.”

Cause Celeb
It’s all about the kids for Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron, who more recently has starred in the movie adaptations of the wildly popular Left Behind book series. When we saw him in Chicago recently for a three-day Childrens’ Dystonia Symposium, he proudly whipped out photos of his own children, in part to explain why his charity work is so important. “I have six kids, and when you have kids, you don’t even want to think about something like that happening to them,” he said of the debilitating neurological disease. “I can certainly relate to it, but I can’t imagine how difficult it must be. At symposiums and other events I can communicate that to people so they’ll get on board and help support the research.” Cameron begins work on the third Left Behind movie in the next few months.

Caught in the Act
Spotted Recently:
Luke Wilson, enjoying beer and sushi rolls at New York eatery Sushi Samba.

• New York restaurant Tao is still a hotspot, even after four years. Recent guests have included Tom Cruise, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Salma Hayek.

Michael Jordan, at New York’s Pink Elephant club with Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and football player Dan Marino, celebrating Formula One racecar driver Eddie Irvine’s birthday.

Robin Williams, at tony New York restaurant Daniel, chatting with chef-owner Daniel Boulud.


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