June 23, 2003 12:00 PM

The Hot Babe

Devon Aoki

•Shifting Gears: Model and restaurant heiress Devon Aoki, 20, vrooms onto the big screen as a street racer in the new action sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious.

•Slow Start: Not only did Aoki have to get up to speed on moviemaking, she didn’t even know how to drive. “I had professional stunt racers teaching me,” she says. “It was crazy.” Director John Singleton said her boundless energy pulled her through. “It’s like she’s always on a sugar high. She’s a spitfire.”

•International Team: The daughter of Rocky Aoki, 64, the Japanese founder of the Benihana steak house chain, and German-English jewelry designer Pam Price, 51 (they split in 1986), Aoki was discovered at a rock concert when she was 13 and was soon cruising down the runways of top designers, including Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld.

•Victory Lap: Currently single—she dated rocker Lenny Kravitz, 39, in 2000—Aoki travels everywhere with her two dogs, including a Schnauzer named after Benicio del Toro. “He looks just like him,” she says. Despite years in the limelight, Aoki, who was named a Lancôme cosmetics “face” in 2002, remains shocked by success. “You don’t expect to be doing this sort of thing.”

The Bad Guy

Cole Hauser

•Fresh-Scrubbed: After specializing in down-and-dirty turns as soldiers (Tears of the Sun) and heavies (Pitch Black), Cole Hauser, 28, shines up as 2 Fast 2 Furious‘s natty drug-dealing villain. “I got to actually wear a suit and be clean-shaven,” he marvels.

•Like Father: His mom, Cass Sperling, and veteran B-movie baddie Wings Hauser, both 55, divorced when Cole, who was born on a commune near Santa Barbara, was 2. Cole didn’t see his father again until he was 14. “When you grow up not having a dad, when you meet your dad, the most you can be is friends,” says Cole. “I think that’s where we are now.”

•Drum Major: You may remember Matthew McConaughey‘s 1999 arrest after raising a ruckus and playing bongos nude in his Austin house. Hauser was with McConaughey at the time, but he chooses not to elaborate on the incident: “I think what happened pretty much happened the way it was depicted in the papers.”

•Dropping Anchor: While his costars from 1992’s School Ties—Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck—rose to stardom, Hauser’s career fizzled in the mid-’90s. For a time, he lived on an old PT boat in a marina, eating “the poor actor’s diet: Mac and cheese and Oodles of Noodles. I would walk up to a public bathroom to shower and shave.”

•Ready for Fame: The single actor—who now owns a spacious 1920s house in the Hollywood Hills—got a major career boost in 2000 with Pitch Black and the critically acclaimed Tigerland. In the Mel Gibson-produced Paparazzi, which just finished shooting, Hauser will play a beleaguered movie star. Though, unlike some of his Hollywood peers, Hauser doesn’t believe that being a celebrity is all that bad. “Hopefully people won’t think, ‘Boo-hoo, it’s so rough to be a star,’ ” he says. “A lot of stars blow it out of proportion.”

You May Like