July 12, 2004 12:00 PM

Crowd Control

While shooting An Unfinished Life with Jennifer Lopez in Ashcroft, British Columbia, Robert Redford got a close-up view of the madness that surrounds the singer-actress’s every move. “Jennifer is fun and talented, but I didn’t envy the weight around her—the entourage and all the trappings,” says Redford, 67, who plays Lopez’s father-in-law in the drama, due this winter. “There’s an insulation that occurs. That’s something she obviously needs, but I just felt, ‘Well, that must be difficult.’ To find Jennifer, you have to cut through it. Of course, you can do it while you’re working, because she can’t walk onto the set with all that.”

Dance Hall Daze

These days, Vince Vaughn isn’t much for the club scene. “Maybe I am too old to understand techno,” says Vaughn, 34, currently starring in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. “I went to a club with a friend of mine recently and I said, ‘I can’t take it. I have to get out of here.’ My friend said, ‘Let’s just listen to this one song.’ I said, ‘What song? There hasn’t been a break in any song since we got to the place.’ Then these girls came up and waved glow sticks in my face. They looked like air-traffic controllers. I just don’t get it.”

The Queen’s Jeans

Despite having lost about 35 lbs. and getting breast reduction surgery in 2003, Queen Latifah hasn’t had to buy a lot of new threads. “I always had stretchy clothes, and they’ve worked with me through several sizes,” says Latifah, 34. “I gained a few pounds over the last film I did [Beauty Shop, an ensemble comedy due this fall]. But the clothes are hanging in there. They went up a few pounds with me and now they’ll go back down a few pounds with me.” Adds the actress and hip-hop veteran: “I actually keep clothes just to know exactly where I am. I have a pair of Jordache jeans that, If they fit right, I am good. If they fit a little bit too tight, I need to get the cardio going a little bit more.”

Water Weight

“‘Don’t trip and embarrass Greece, your home country!’ was the biggest thought going through my mind,” says actress Nia Vardalos, 41, who recently carried the Olympic torch in Manhattan as part of its 27-country journey en route to Athens. “I’m a lame-o runner. I’m such a dork that two days earlier, I went outside in track pants and a shirt, bought the heaviest bottle of Poland Spring I could get, and practiced running 20 New York City blocks holding the water bottle up over my head. People were looking at me. I tried to act real casual, like, ‘What? I’m just holding it because I’m about to drink from it.’ But I looked like such a nerd.”

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