Who’s That Girl?
Although she has costarred this year in the sci-fi flick Mission to Mars and, currently, the Roman epic Gladiator, Danish-born actress Connie Nielsen, 35, has yet to experience fame in America. “So far, nothing,” says Nielsen. “No one is recognizing me.” Recently, she adds, “the producers of Gladiator just walked by me. I was like, ‘Hi, guys They went blank, trying to place me. I said, ‘It’s Connie.’ They were like, ‘Oh, my God!’ So there goes the recognition factor.”
Former Brady Buncher Barry Williams, who played oldest son Greg on the 1969-74 hit, relived his sitcom past as coexecutive producer of the NBC movie Growing Up Brady, airing May 21. The project, based on Williams’s 1992 book, reunited him with his TV brother Michael Lookinland (Bobby), who portrays a cameraman. The cast also includes Lookinland’s real-life son Scott, 9, who plays his father as a child in his first acting job. “The concept was raised and I loved it,” says Williams, 45, who also appears as himself. “I called Michael because I wasn’t sure that he would want his kid to be in front of the camera. He said, ‘You know, he was just asking me when he was going to get his own TV series.’ ”
In the drama Up at the Villa, Kristin Scott Thomas plays a penniless widow in prewar Italy who is torn between the security of wedding a rich but stodgy older man (James Fox) and her love for a married American (Sean Penn). The British actress says the decision would be a no-brainer for her. “I can’t even imagine women having to marry to survive,” says Scott Thomas, 39. “But I have to admit, I’d probably go for the safe guy.” Luckily, in real life, Scott Thomas had no such problems settling on her husband of 12 years, French physician Francois Olivennes. “Marrying him wasn’t a choice,” she says. “It just seemed completely natural. So it was obvious.”
Sleeping with the Fishes
While filming the submarine flick U-571 on location in Rome, Jon Bon Jovi’s biggest mission was to seize tapes of HBO’s hit series The Sopranos. “They sent me the episodes as soon as they aired,” says Bon Jovi, 38. “Soon the entire cast was watching them on the sub. But for me it was deeper. The guys on the show could have been relatives of mine.” The rocker turned actor, who, like the Sopranos, hails from New Jersey, hopes to further his ties to the Mob drama. “I called David Chase, who created The Sopranos, and I pitched him the idea of me appearing as me,” he says, “but he said, ‘Bon Jovi is too big to be friends with Tony Soprano’s crew.’ But I’m not giving up. There’s always next season.”
Duking It Out
Tom Wopat slips back into his tight blue jeans as Luke Duke in the CBS movie The Dukes of Hazzard—Hazzard in Hollywood, airing May 19. This marks the second TV flick based on the 1979-85 series, following 1997’s The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! But the actor thinks this may be the last we see of them Duke boys. “Every one gets a little harder to conceive,” says Wopat, 48. “You’re asking people to suspend belief a little bit. What are these guys still doing running around in their 40s and 50s? They got no jobs, they’re still wearing the same clothes. What’s up with that?”