October 24, 2005 12:00 PM


Having split from Ethan Hawke in 2003, Uma Thurman didn’t have to dig too deep to play a newly divorced producer in Prime. “I know what it’s like to wake up a decade later and be single again—alone, thinking you had a plan and it gets derailed,” says the actress, 35. “I don’t know if you ever get [over it]. I’m not expecting to feel like I used to.” Though she’s been with hotelier André Balazs for nearly two years, she sympathizes with those braving the ‘dating scene. “I don’t know how anybody does it today,” she says. “It seems harder for people to make contact. It’s difficult—especially for grown-ups who care about their relationships, people who aren’t just partying for spring break.”


“I worked at a restaurant, and the woman who hired me was really rude. She snapped [her fingers] at me instead of saying my name. That drove me crazy. And I had secretly practiced cool ways to take off an apron in case I had to quit. I did the one-tug release—I yanked it, twirled my wrist to make it into a ball, and then flicked the rolled apron in her direction while shouting, ‘I quit, sucka!’ I was very glad I’d practiced. You gotta be prepared to quit.”


Rob Morrow has a standout résumé—including starring in CBS’s crime drama Numb3rs—but some of his earlier work isn’t as well-known. “I did every job in my struggling days,” says Morrow, 43, who currently stars in the drama Going Shopping. “One was delivering balloons. That was a nightmare. You’d go through revolving doors and they’d pop.” Another job prepared Morrow for his acting career: “I was a bartender but didn’t know how to bartend. People would ask for a grasshopper, and I’d just give them something [else],” admits the actor. “If you put enough alcohol in, nobody cares.”


Jennifer Aniston thwarted Justin Long’s efforts to play her gay assistant in The Break Up. “She has the greatest arms. I had to rub them and say, ‘It’ll be okay, honey,’ ” says Long, 27. “It was hard to maintain gay-ness while caressing her—I’m not that good an actor.” Aniston’s poise also impressed him. “You figure with what’s going on in her life she’d retreat to her trailer,” he says. “But she hung out. She’d tease people and had good comebacks. She holds her own with Vince [Vaughn], and he’s one of the funniest dudes I know.” And those Vince-and-Jen rumors? Jokes Long: “They were a ruse. Really, she and I fell in love. I made her say, ‘Brad who?’ ”

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