February 24, 2003 12:00 PM

Training Days

Talk about a tough day at the office. Just one month after her daughter Willow, now 2, was born, Jada Pinkett Smith began a punishing workout regimen to prepare for her role as Niobe, a hovercraft pilot, in the upcoming Matrix sequels. “I put on 15 lbs. of muscle,” says Pinkett Smith, 31, whose rigorous kickboxing and stunt-training sessions lasted 18 months. “I breast-fed Willow through training, through filming, through everything. We did okay.” Husband Will Smith, who endured his own brutal workout schedule while preparing for Ali, advised the actress, “If you’re gonna do it, do it right and work hard.”

The Pajama Game

Erstwhile fashion plate Sharon Stone is no longer so fussy about her red-carpet look. “I really don’t think about it much anymore,” says Stone, 44, who next appears in Cold Creek Manor, a thriller with Dennis Quaid due this fall. “I wing it. I see something I like at the last minute, grab it and go. Sometimes I’ll even cut my own hair.” Wags might say that explains her punk-rock getup at this year’s Golden Globes, but no critic holds as much sway with Stone as her 2-year-old son Roan. “The other day my son said, ‘Wake up, Mommy, get dressed,’ ” she says. “I said, ‘I can’t wear my pajamas?’ And he said, ‘No jammies. Real clothes.’ Wearing jammies to the supermarket is where he really draws the line.”

Capitol Thrill

“It’s a benevolent madhouse,” says Joshua Malina of the cast of The West Wing, which he joined this season. “As soon as the director yells ‘Cut,’ Martin Sheen and John Spencer are trading old New York theater war stories, Allison Janney is pretending to talk to someone on a prop phone, Dulé Hill is tap-dancing with jaw-dropping skill, Richard Schiff is tossing Hershey’s Kisses into a coffee mug from across the room, Bradley Whitford, that avid yoga show-off, has his foot atop a bookcase, and I’m usually pressuring people to play poker with me.” As speechwriter Will Bailey, Malina, 37, may fit in with his costars, but filling the wingtips of a certain fan favorite won’t be easy. “Someone on the Internet referred to me as ‘that horrible little man who’s replacing Rob Lowe,’ ” he says, “which is hurtful, because I think of myself as a delightful little man.”

Bedside Manners

For Scott Foley, being married to Alias’s sexy superspy Jennifer Garner has one drawback: sitting through his wife’s onscreen trysts. “It’s a strange business. It’s not normal to watch your spouse make out with other people,” says Foley, 30, who stars in NBC’s new courtroom sitcom A.U.S.A. “I was definitely aware that she was kissing Leonardo DiCaprio [in Catch Me If You Can.] Foley has learned to deal with his insecurities by keeping them at a distance—literally. “The other night Jennifer shot a love scene for Alias with Michael Vartan,” Foley says. “When she came home, she was cold and wanted to snuggle. I was like, ‘Get away from me! You were making out all day with someone else. Get over on your side of the bed!’ ”