BIRDS OF A FEATHER
With lines like “Bite me, doughboy” and garish layers of makeup, scene-stealer Kathy Kinney pulls no punches verbally or fashion-wise as Mimi, the unabashed coworker from hell in ABC’s hit comedy The Drew Carey Show. “She’s a woman of color,” says Kinney, 43, whose TV alter ego wears more bright-blue eye shadow than, say, Tammy Faye (Bakker) Messner, who played Mimi’s mother in one episode this season. “I really liked Tammy Faye a lot,” says Kinney. “She’s exactly who she is. We had such a good time that we even went to Georgette Klinger in Beverly Hills together for a makeover Of course, I got the makeover. Tammy Faye just had her nails done.”
THAT THING YOU DO
Sandra Bullock needed a break. Tired of doing her spunky Sandra Bullock thing in such hits as Speed and While You Were Sleeping, she eagerly signed on for her first period role, as a World War I nurse who falls in love with young Ernest Hemingway (Chris O’Donnell) in In Love and War, directed by Sir Richard Attenborough. “Sir Richard promised that ‘Sandra Bullock‘ would not be in the movie, and that’s what I wanted,” says Bullock, 32. “My performance is based on listening, rather than constantly running off at the mouth.” Attenborough helped her to slow down. “Whenever I let some of that contemporary woman show, he’d stand by the camera and trace a big B [for Bullock] in the air. I would know that ‘she’ was in the building and needed to be kicked out.” But B fans shouldn’t fret: She’ll be back in Speed II, with Jason, in july.
Meryl Streep insists that in rural Connecticut, where she has lived for 16 years with her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, and their kids, she’s just another soccer mom. “I have four children [ages 5 to 17] and a life that pulls me toward the mundane very easily,” says Streep, 47, who currently plays a frazzled mother in the drama Marvin’s Room. Is she really a soccer mom? “I am, but I don’t understand it,” she says of her kids’ games. “They all run up, they all run down. I don’t know who is playing what. And what is offsides?” Streep draws the line at attending PTA meetings, however, but not because she’s an indifferent parent. Far from it. “I hate the PTA,” she says. “I tend to get too emotional. I’m a wild card, and my friends go, ‘Shhh, shhh.’ ”
THAI-ING THE KNOT
In the thriller Turbulence, Ray Liotta plays a prisoner who breaks loose while being transported aboard a 747. “I hate flying,” says Liotta, 42. “I’m not good with turbulence and the lack of control. My palms sweat on takeoff and landing.” His fear, though, won’t keep him from taking the 19-hour flight next month to Thailand, where he will wed his live-in girlfriend, actress Michelle Grace. “We spent a lot of time there when I filmed Operation Dumbo Drop, and it’s just beautiful,” says Liotta. “And we wanted to do something different.” As for why he’s getting married now, he says simply, “It’s time. All my friends are married, and they swear by it and by having kids too.” Does the onetime Field of Dreams actor, who met his fiancée at a baseball game (she’s the ex-wife of Chicago Cub Mark Grace), expect to produce a roster of future major leaguers? “I don’t know about a whole team,” he says, “but at least a bat boy or girl.”