June 01, 1998 12:00 PM

Having costarred with Tom Cruise in The Firm and Kevin Costner in Water-world, Jeanne Tripplehorn has worked with some of Hollywood’s hottest leading men. But when I talked with her at the Cannes Film Festival, she couldn’t say enough about teaming up with droll Englishman Hugh Grant in Mickey Blue Eyes, their upcoming romantic comedy. “He’s dreamlike to work with,” says Tripplehorn. “He’s naturally funny and witty, and when you mix that with smart, you have an incredible combination. But he also has an edge—it’s a sweet and sour kind of thing.” Despite the chemistry, though, the Juilliard-trained actress says starring in a comedy isn’t always a lot of laughs. “Comedies are never fun,” says Tripplehorn. “It’s like a ballet: It looks much easier than it is.”

Bruce Willis flew solo to Cannes, where he promoted Armageddon, his action flick opening July 1, but he didn’t lack for female companionship. The Playboy-esque Hawaiian Tropic girls (tight shirts, short skirts—you know the drill), who are here to promote the product and themselves, partied with Willis and other power guests in the VIP lounge of Buena Vista’s Armageddon party at Cannes’ Palm Beach Casino, where they were guests of the movie’s director, Michael Bay.

Muscle-bound action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme has been out and about with actress and fitness guru Suzan Hughes, the ex-wife of Herbalife chief Mark Hughes. Mark, meanwhile; is dating Darcy LaPier, who is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings with—guess who?—Jean-Claude. Suzan, who insists that neither friendship started during their respective marriages, says she met Jean-Claude last September. As for when her ex hooked up with LaPier, she says, “I just know it wasn’t before I filed for divorce.”

While preparing for her role as a religious cult member in Jane Campion’s next film, Holy Smoke, Kate Winslet journeyed to Rishikesh, near the Ganges River in India, and I’m told she rated the experience “thoroughly unpleasant [and] smothering.” A couple of days spent wading into waters that swirl with human ashes and chatting with New Agers was enough for the 22-year-old English actress. Eager to escape a small town, she hired a car and traveled 10 hours in 100-degree heat to check into a swank hotel in Jaipur, two days earlier than planned.

If you’ve been wondering what the price of being a princess is nowadays—and jeez, who hasn’t?—brace yourself. For the upcoming movie Ever After, a remake of the Cinderella story with Drew Barrymore, craftsmen at the elite Italian shoemaker Ferragamo cobbled up a modern version of the glass slipper: a beaded mule with a clear Plexiglas heel, valued at $5,500 a pair. Artisans produced four pairs, one of which will tour with the movie, due Aug. 7.

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