People Staff
September 08, 2004 06:00 AM

Say what you want about Tom Cruise – the guy certainly isn’t aloof. At the recent London premiere of his hit movie Collateral, Cruise, 42, shattered his U.K. fan-greeting record, chatting up his adoring public for more than two-and-a-half hours. (For January’s The Last Samurai premiere, he spent two hours; for 2002’s Minority Report, 90 minutes; and for 2001’s Vanilla Sky, one hour. But who’s counting?) After arriving at about 6 p.m., Cruise painstakingly greeted every fan he could reach, even doing his famous bit of using their mobile phones to call their parents or loved ones who couldn’t be at the premiere. So why does he do it? “I love people, I love talking to people, I love meeting people,” Cruise tells us. “They’re coming out here to say hello. It’s not like this every day of my life!” As for what the fans say to him, “I’ve had a few marriage proposals, some congratulations and spoken to people from different parts of the country,” he says. “Some of them know friends of mine. It’s been really fun.” So how will he top this record next time? “I think probably we’ll start before dawn and then we’ll work all the way through,” says Cruise. “We’ll have a marathon.”

Dressing Madonna for her famously theatrical concerts is no small feat – but Stella McCartney proved to be up to the task recently, designing the menswear-style pinstriped pants and vest Madge wore on her most recent tour. Madonna, 46, even visited the designer’s store the week before her recent outdoor show in Ireland to get a jacket to go with the outfit. “We already have her measurements, so it was just a matter of doing it,” says a tailor in McCartney’s bespoke shop. “We had all the measurements from Stella’s wedding, (in) which Madonna was a bridesmaid.”

Crushed on the Set
Ever have one of those goofy moments where you freeze when faced with someone you like? Well, The O.C.’s Samaire Armstrong, who is moonlighting on the hit HBO series Entourage, certainly has. One in particular involved the hit HBO show’s executive producer, Mark Wahlberg. “The first time I met him, I was in a hallway by myself, and he came up from behind and said, ‘Hey!’ I turned around – and quickly whirled back around because I have a crush on him,” says Armstrong, 23. “Then he says, ‘Hey, Samaire, you’re doing a really great job.’ I was so shocked that I just turned around and walked away. I couldn’t just hang. He’s really sweet, and all I wanted to do was talk to him. But it was one of those moments.”

‘Courting’ Kirsten
In the upcoming romantic comedy Wimbledon (opening Sept. 17), Paul Bettany stars as a pro tennis player on his way down in the ranks who romances the sport’s rising bad girl, played by Kirsten Dunst. We wanted to know: How was it working with the 22-year-old Spider-Man 2 star? “She’s clearly been doing this since she was a fetus, I think,” says Bettany, 33. “She’s therefore very relaxed in front of the camera. She’s very sort of free, and that is all I ask for in any partner that I’m working with. What you hope for is that you feel relaxed with them and that they feel relaxed with you and hopefully you can make some happy mistakes.” As for the setting itself, stepping out at center court at Wimbledon was “as close to how I imagine being a rock star feels like,” he adds.


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