December 02, 2002 12:00 PM

Director Kevin Smith knows how to treat his stars. To celebrate the wrap of his romantic comedy Jersey Girl on Nov. 9, Smith gave Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck a full-size video arcade machine, which plays a custom-designed video game called “Jen Saves Ben.” Smith commissioned Powerhouse Animation Studios of Austin, Texas, to create the simulation, which begins with animated figures of Lopez and Affleck out on a date. Suddenly, ninjas kidnap Affleck and the Lopez character kicks into high gear, displaying serious martial arts moves. As she sets out to rescue Affleck, Lopez fights a bionic Matt Damon and a ray gun-wielding Smith. The game’s soundtrack even features some of J.Lo’s music. All in all, it’s not your everyday Play-Station 2 title.

Don’t mess with Messing. That’s the lesson that Harry Connick Jr. learned when he tried to pull a fast one on Will & Grace‘s Debra Messing. When Con-nick, who’s been guest starring on the show as Grace’s new boyfriend, learned that Messing had to give away five dozen roses that she had received for her birthday because of allergies, he saw a, shall we say, budding opportunity. Later that day Messing opened her dressing-room door to find a forest of flowers accompanied by a card that read, “Dear Debra, Hope you enjoy them. Love, Harry.” Messing, who pondered faking a severe allergic reaction, instead dug up an old photo of Connick all duded up in a fur coat and cowboy hat and had the image enlarged and framed. She then had the picture placed in his dressing room along with a banner that read, “You’re too gay to be on this show.”

Tennis pros and Hollywood celebs have combined for some memorable love matches: John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal, Pete Sampras and Bridgette Wilson. Now you can add American ace Andy Roddick and pop singer-actress Mandy Moore to the list. The new couple met last July in Toronto, where Moore was shooting How to Deal and Roddick was playing in an ATP event. The matchmaker? Moore’s mom, Stacy, a tennis fan who invited Roddick to the movie’s set. I’m told Mandy and Andy hit it off right away and started dating in August, when Moore came to New York City to see Roddick play in the U.S. Open.

Fans of The WB’s Angel may be wondering why actress Charisma Carpenter has been getting so many closeups lately, not to mention wearing a lot of overcoats. The answer: She’s six months pregnant! The actress tells me she’s expecting a boy on March 17. The father is Damian Hardy, a psychology major at Santa Monica College. Hardy and Carpenter were quietly married on Oct. 5 in a small Las Vegas ceremony attended by just their families. They plan on having a larger, more formal wedding ceremony in L.A. after the baby is born.

Ah, the life of a teenage movie star. One minute you’re rubbing elbows with glamorous celebrities at the premiere of your new film, the next you’re collecting rubbish. Such was the case for young English actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. On Nov. 4, the day after attending the London premiere of Chamber—where Grint met up with stars such as Joseph Fiennes, Glenn Close and Eric Idle—the 13-year-old lad arrived at his London school without his gym equipment (or, as they say in England, his “games kit”). As punishment, Grint had to spend a couple of hours cleaning up garbage on the school grounds. Bet that wouldn’t have happened at Hogwarts.

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