December 02, 2002 12:00 PM

Curly-coiffed Nicole Kidman hit her stride in New York City, where she was promoting her drama The Hours. “A lot of who I am now is about instinct,” said the actress of her choice to play novelist Virginia Woolf in the film, due Dec. 27. “I’m just going with the flow.”

Bond ambition: In London, Madonna paid a curtsy call to Queen Elizabeth at the premiere of the 007 flick Die Another Day. “Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous,” said the Material Mum, who performs the film’s theme song and has a cameo as a fencing instructor.

Julia Roberts and Danny Moder made a pet stop in Manhattan while strolling with their black Lab Louie. The newlyweds are in town filming Mona Lisa Smile; Moder is a cameraman on the drama, which stars Roberts.

The Good Girl’s Jake Gyllenhaal found himself in good hands as he squired his new sweetie, Spider-Man‘s Kirsten Dunst, around Manhattan. A few days later the couple, who met through Jake’s big sis Maggie, shared a smooch (inset) outside a SoHo eatery in the Big Apple.

A studly, stubbly Brad Pitt escorted the missus, Jennifer Aniston, to an L.A. store to check out a line of furniture designed by Sami Hayek (Salma’s little brother). Pitt next plays a game show contestant in George Clooney‘s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, due Dec. 27.

Waste not, want not: While helping his mom, costume designer Patricia Bond, clean out her house in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, Keanu Reeves took a load of garbage out to a nearby Dumpster (left). Then the conservation-minded actor—who was paid $30 million for next year’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, sequels to his 1999 blockbuster—decided to salvage a box from the same bin (center and right). Call it refuse he could not refuse.

Always on the cutting edge, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs ripped into his 33rd-birthday cake at a New York City bash attended by 800 of his closest friends, including Russell Simmons, Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige, who sang “Happy Birthday.”

Stroller derby: Anne Heche (left) and hubby Coley Laffoon took 8-month-old son Homer on a shopping spree in Manhattan, where Heche is performing in Broadway’s Proof. Meanwhile, newborn James Wilkie Broderick (above) was asleep on the wheel, chauffeured around town by his cap-tivated parents, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.

He got game: In L.A., Jack Nicholson scored points with son Raymond, 10 (mom is Jack’s ex, Rebecca Broussard), by taking him to see the Lakers host the Houston Rockets.

Golden opportunity: In L.A., Andy Garcia lent a hand to daughter Dominik, 19, as she was named Miss Golden Globe. The aspiring actress will escort winners off the stage during the Jan. 19 awards telecast.

Embraceable Hugh: Sandra Bullock came through in the clutch as she and costar Hugh Grant shot a scene in Manhattan for Two Weeks Notice, a romantic comedy due Dec. 20.

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