December 29, 2003 12:00 PM

The Simple Life

Although she portrays a brilliant biologist from the future in Paycheck, Uma Thurman’s no whiz when it comes to modern technology. “For me, a lot of it is really above my head. My washing machine overwhelms me with its options and sophistication,” says Thurman, 33, who costars with Ben Affleck in the sci-fi thriller. “I’m kind of a borderline Luddite. I can manage a cell phone and e-mail, but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. Palm Pilots? Don’t ask me. I don’t even like to use the Cuisinart. I like to hand chop my vegetables. There’s a lot of room to improve.”

Bottom’s Up!

When Mandy Moore insisted on a body double for a quick backside nude scene in her new comedy Chasing Liberty, due Jan. 9, she got to pick her, uh, sit-in. “[The producers] actually gave me a little manila envelope full of photos of girls in bikinis facing the wall in high heels,” says the singer-actress, 19. “You just saw their backsides. It was like flipping through this lineup of butts. I thought, ‘I’m going to pick the best butt that I can.’ I have hips and stuff, so I wanted it to look like me, but you have to upgrade and get the better model butt.”

Rat Race

Cher, who starred in three of her own TV shows in the ’70s, misses the medium, but the infestation of reality shows makes the diva feel behind the times. “People eat live rats now. That’s what people think TV is, sticking your hands in a bunch of worms and cockroaches,” says Cher, 57, who costars with Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear in Stuck on You, a comedy about conjoined twins. “I had been in Europe, and when I came back, I heard about this woman who was eating rats on an island. I start to tell my sister, ‘Oh my God, there was a shipwreck, I guess, and people were on this island and they were living on rats.’ My sister said, ‘No, it’s a TV show.’ I was totally shocked.”

Tolkien Sentiments

Ever since he first saddled up to play the dashing warrior Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen has become the object of some female fans’ obsessions. “Some women have claimed that they had borne my children, and I’d never met them before. That was pretty scary,” says Mortensen, 45, who’s been single since splitting from artist Lola Schnabel earlier this year. Then there’s that other group of admirers who are just as obsessed with Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. “I’ve met a couple of Frodos and one Gimli, and other individuals whose parents were big Tolkien fans,” says the actor. “So their actual birth certificates say Aragorn or Eowyn.”

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