March 26, 2001 12:00 PM

Number One with a Bullet

Thanks to The Sopranos, now in its third season, James Gandolfini was a made man in Hollywood even before he teamed up with Julia Roberts in The Mexican. What has been unsettling is the “bada-bing” effect he has had on his series’ female fans. “That sex-symbol thing is so freaky to me,” says Gandolfini, 39. “I’m the guy on TV in that lovely terry cloth robe with his big gut hanging out. I mean, come on. It’s weird.” The female fawning, adds Gandolfini, doesn’t faze Marcy, his wife of two years. “It’s Tony they want,” he says. “Once they talk to me, James, for five minutes, they realize that I’m not Tony and just walk away.” His image could change, however. Plans call for him to play a good guy in Catch Me if You Can, a crime drama with Leonardo DiCaprio. “A little less raping and pillaging,” says Gandolfini, who would play an FBI agent, “will be good for me.”

Elf Awareness

His evil Agent Smith checked out at the end of The Matrix, but that won’t stop Hugo Weaving from reappearing in the film’s two sequels, which are now shooting back-to-back. So far, Weaving, 40, has emerged unscathed from the stunt work, unlike his initial go-round. “Last time I had a couple of cracked ribs and an operation on my leg,” he says. “I was on crutches for six weeks. But I’m ready for more.” Before revisiting The Matrix, Weaving squeezed in the independent comedy Russian Doll, opening April 13, as well as the highly anticipated upcoming Lord of the Rings trilogy. “I only do trilogies now. Otherwise you don’t get the little dolls,” says Weaving, who plays Elrond, Lord of the Elves, in the Rings films. “I got to wear pointy ears, which was a lot of fun. I think I’ll request them for all my projects from now on.”

Candid Camera

The success of last year’s smash “Thong Song” gave Sisqó the opportunity to suit up for his first film role, a small part in Get Over It, the new comedy with Kirsten Dunst. “Colin Hanks and Ben Foster were a big help,” he says of the film’s costars. “On the first day I said, ‘Hey, you guys, I’m new to this. If you see me sucking, man, please pull me aside,’ ” says Sisqó, 25. “They were taken aback because normally actors never come right out and ask their peers to be totally candid.” But is he prepared to take a few hits from movie critics? “I’m not concerned, mainly because my acting was all right,” says the singer. “And you can’t dwell on that stuff. I realized that [last month] when I lost the Grammy.”

The Whine List

“You get tired of putting all your energy into a one-dimensional character,” says Sally Field, who is coping with life in showbiz as a 54-year-old actress. While she still manages to find parts, such as Heather Graham’s zany mom in the comedy Say It Isn’t So, opening March 23, Field knows that many of her peers aren’t so lucky. “You start by raising your fist and railing against it,” says the former Norma Rae. “But all you get is a sore arm and people looking at you like you’re a big whiner. So you move on.” Yet growing old in Hollywood isn’t all bad: “I don’t read scripts where it calls for me to be spunky. I hate that spunky thing.”

Clothing Optional

The Talented Mr. Ripley’s Jude Law knows that it’s not his Tony and Oscar nominations that made him famous, “Face it, I didn’t become a star until I took my clothes off for Ripley,” says the British actor, 28, who also shed his togs professionally for the 1995 Broadway play Indiscretions (but keeps buttoned up for his latest film, the World War II drama Enemy at the Gates). “I didn’t have any trepidation about it. Frankly, being naked in plays is far more horrifying because those theaters are always so chilly.”

You May Like