November 22, 2004 12:00 PM
  • Nicole Finds Serenity
  • Nicole Kidman, 37, keeps a unique schedule to balance stardom and motherhood. “You work hard for three months, then you don’t do anything,” says Kidman, who shares custody of Isabella, 11, and Connor, 9, with her ex Tom Cruise. “I have a cottage outside Sydney where I go hide. I walk on the beach with my kids, go to the local fish store, then come home and cook. I do yoga on the veranda with my daughter. I leave a message on my cell phone saying, 1 am absolutely un-contactable. Don’t even try.'”

Edie’s Backstage Secret

For The Sopranos’ Edie Falco, now starring in the Broadway revival of ‘night, Mother, matinees can be tough. “You get elderly people, so you hear buzzing hearing aids and people saying, ‘What was that?'” says Falco, 41. “You’re trying to pretend you didn’t hear someone saying, I can’t hear her!’ But you do try to talk louder.” Her biggest fan, her German shepherd-yellow Lab mix, Marley, is always backstage. “She’s been at every play I’ve done, hanging out in the dressing room,” says Falco. “Once in a while, she barks while I’m onstage. But there are cues in ‘night, Mother where the neighbor’s dogs bark, so it’s fine.”

All-Purpose Awards

Ricky Gervais, the co-creator and star of the BBC series The Office, has one complaint about the Golden Globes that the mockumentary-style show won this year. “They’re by far the two most impressive things I’ve won. But one’s crooked,” says Gervais, 43, whose The Office Special DVD is due Nov. 16. “The globe is supposed to face a certain way, and it’s off-center. Bad workmanship.” Still, his trophies could come in handy. “I’m waiting for a burglar to break in, so I can hit him with one. The headline would be ‘Gervais Bashes Man with [Trophy] for Best Comedy Performance.'”

Wine Wimp

Though he plays a wine lover in the comedy Sideways, Paul Giamatti doesn’t know the first thing about vino. “The hardest thing was swirling it in the glass,” says Giamatti, 37. “It slops all over the place. I did it by twirling it on the table. That’s thoroughly amateur. [My friends] know better than to ask me to pick the wine. I don’t know anything about it. I’ll bring the boxed [kind].”

Why Linney Wasn’t Skinny

To play the wife of famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in the biopic Kinsey, Laura Linney plumped up the old-school way. “They wanted a noncontemporary body, so I gained 22 lbs. I walked away from Pilates and ate lots of doughnuts,” says Linney, 40. “You turn into a college student and eat whatever the hell you want all the time. You feel sick—and it’s fantastic.”

Smelly Survivors

There’s a reason there aren’t more romances between the contestants on Survivor, As host Jeff Probst delicately puts it, “They stink like stank!” Adds Probst, 43: “Around day 14 they go, ‘We’re surprised we don’t smell worse,’ because they all smell the same. The nasty part is when they want to hug you or shake your hand. When a guy sticks his hand out, you think, ‘I know everything that you’ve been doing with that hand. I have to remember to wash before I eat.'”