Life imitates art house for Greta Scacchi, who stars in Country Life, a new film based loosely on Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. “I live a country life,” says Scacchi, 35, who was born in Milan, educated in England and Australia and finally bought a cottage in Sussex, England, to grow some roots. “It’s only in the last two years that I’ve been settled in one place. I’ve always lived a nomadic existence. My father was in Italy, my mother was in England, and I moved to Australia. Then I complicated it by spending enough time in Los Angeles to find myself a boyfriend.” Scacchi has since split from actor Vincent D’Onofrio, the father of their 3-year-old daughter, Leila, and is enjoying the simple pleasures of home. “I always envied adults who can go back to their parents’ house. They still have cardboard boxes and dollies in A Greta the attic. I’d love that for my daughter. I’ll keep our little country house forever just so she has a place.”


Moviedom’s flamboyant evildoer Dennis Hopper emerges from Waterworld, his latest adventure, as Deacon, the monstrous leader of a marauding gang who will stop at nothing to find dry land. But playing the heavy on the Pacific set wasn’t all smooth sailing. “My biggest problem,” says Hopper, 59, “is that once I put my eye patch on, I had no depth perception. Getting on and off those moving boats was the most dangerous part of my day. I wore a metal costume that weighed 70 pounds. I had this big lead belt, a metal codpiece and this huge iron hook. I thought, ‘If I ever fall off this boat, goodbye, world.’ ” Reassurance from the film’s safety experts that they would rescue him “before I ever could touch bottom” failed to satisfy the actor, who asked, “And where is the bottom, man?”


Broadway’s Grease! has become the coolest show in town since pop star Jon Secada donned the leather jacket of gang leader Danny Zuko, a role he’ll play through December. To prep for his July 27 debut, Secada joined the musical’s touring company. “I had quite an opening night in Grand Rapids,” he says. “I accidentally locked myself in the dressing room’s bathroom. I was in there for 20 minutes before they finally called a locksmith. Thank God I’m not claustrophobic.” He made the curtain but nearly lost his ducktail. “I’m standing backstage and this huge backdrop fell right on my head,” says Secada. “It whacked my wig, so I had to go onstage with my hair half on, half off. I fixed my rig as I was doing my thing. You’ve got to stay in charac-and do the best you can, but all this happened in one single bloody night.”


In addition to playing feisty photographer Jo Reynolds on Fox-TV’s prime-time soap Melrose Place, Daphne Zuniga has an NBC mini-series, Degree of Guilt, airing this fall and a steady beau, Billy Marti. “He’s an actor and a chef,” says Zuniga, 33. “He’s a wonderful cook, a giving man, and he makes me laugh. I don’t know why I took so long to find him.” Given her Melrose character’s tragically single status, how did Zuniga find her true love? “I met this cute guy and I insulted him for a week straight until he asked me out. Cut to six months later, and I’m wearing his underwear.”

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