Joshing Around

Posted November 1, 1999

James Van Der Beek, the Dawson of Dawson’s Creek, isn’t the only guy on that hit show that teens (and twentysomethings) are obsessed with. As the series starts its third season, 21-year-old Joshua Jackson, is probably bringing in as many fans with his slow-burn charm as Van Der Beek has with his chiseled looks. Unlike the rest of the Dawson’s Creek cast Jackson has been hesitant to take on major screen roles. Instead, he’s taken smaller parts, playing one of the many students in Scream 2, a former friend of Brad Renfro in Apt Pupil, the class cut-up in Urban […]

Buffy’s Boo! Crew

Posted October 1, 1999

The Writers EW: Do you identify with specific characters?WHEDON: I identify with Giles a great deal. Because dealing with this world and these actors, every now and then I feel terribly British — slightly appalled by everything I see. I can’t believe I’ve been put in charge of these people, none of whom pay any attention to me. Do you think of Buffy as a feminist role model?Absolutely. The idea was, let’s have a feminist role model for kids. What’s interesting is you end up subverting that. If she’s just an ironclad hero — ”I am woman, hear me constantly […]

The Unbearable Bradness Of Being

Posted October 1, 1999

Brad Pitt swishes down the Lisbon streets, one more American on vacation. In his hand he carries a camera, which he shoots from waist height. “I learned a few tricks from the papara*holes,” he announces. “They all look alike to me – horns and a pointed tail and a big Cyclops eye.” He snaps a ragged, down-and-out Portuguese man on a bench and pushes through a flock of pigeons, a little disappointed that the birds, with their seen-it-all urban ways, are too underwhelmed to scatter in front of the lens. Instead they nonchalantly hop out of his path, and he […]

The muscle behind “Fight Club”

Posted August 1, 1999

“It’s a metaphor,” says Norton, who plays the film’s nameless narrator. “It’s off the charts. It’s not a photograph; it’s lurid and crazy. For me it’s always about, ‘Have I seen this before?’ And I’d definitely never seen this before. Nobody’s ever seen this before.” The first rule of Fight Club is, you don’t talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is, you don’t talk about Fight Club. The problem is, Pitt and Norton wanted to apply those rules to this interview. It’s 10 p.m on a Sunday in April. I’m in Pitt’s impeccably vacuumed trailer, parked […]

Star Wars Samurai (Liam Neeson)

Posted May 1, 1999

Liam Neeson became famous as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List. He’s about to become a megastar as Jedi knight Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Coming from a Catholic minority in Protestant Ballymena in Northern Ireland, Liam Neeson never dreamed of becoming an actor. As a teenager he was interested in boxing, and won his weight class for three years running until he got punched silly in a fight when he was 15. School was always a serious matter for him, but after spending one year at a university and two at a teacher’s college, he […]

The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats

Posted January 1, 1999

I had the honor of meeting and getting to know Allen Ginsberg for a short time. The initial meeting was at a soundstage in New York City, where we were both doing a bit in the film The United States of Poetry. I was reading a piece from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, the “211th Chorus,” and as I was rehearsing it for camera, I could see a familiar face out of the corner of my eye: “F** me,” I thought, “that’s Ginsberg!” We were introduced, and he then immediately launched into a blistering rendition of said chorus, so as to […]

Death Becomes Her

Posted November 1, 1998

Meet Claire Forlani, a thoroughly enchanting young actress who, in a career-making role, shows Death — Brad Pitt, that is — what life is all about. While Claire Forlani and Brad Pitt were looping Meet Joe Black, tagged as perhaps the most expensive (at a reported $90 million) Hollywood romance ever made, “she was obsessing about something,” director Martin Brest says. “I was teasing her about it, and I said, ‘C’mon, Claire, don’t turn into Frances Farmer on me!’” Surprisingly, Brest’s euphemism for nutcase did not go whizzing past the young actress’s radar. Quite the opposite: Forlani let everyone know […]

A Commanding Lead

Posted November 1, 1998

Between this month’s Meet Joe Black and the upcoming Fight Club, Brad Pitt covers both poles of his career, swinging from romance to visceral drama. At the 34-year-old actor’s Los Angeles home, Pitt firmly charts his own course, combining the courtly derring-do required of a $17 million sex symbol with the tasteful domesticity necessary to design an engagement ring or plan a Monet garden. So what is he like? Surprisingly, irresistibly… true – a man whose openess and unspoiled sense of decency are precisely the reasons why he is able to come across to millions of moviegoers as “the real […]

Walking The Walk

Posted November 1, 1998

All of this hot California day, I have been on the phone with Brad Pitt’s publicists, trying to determine when and where my meeting with their client will take place. First, it was going to be a four o’clock, in a coffee shop. Then 4:30 at a restaurant. Then we rescheduled for five o’clock, at his place. Then word came that Brad wanted me to swear not to write about how he lived or what his house looked like. In fact, could I not tell anyone I had been to his house at all? At this, I balked.  And so […]

Winona Ryder

Posted December 1, 1997

The most respected young actress in Hollywood is also the most unpredictable. Witness her turns as a monster masher onscreen in Alien Resurrection and as a prancing spice girl in real life. In the past year, Winona Ryder has given two eulogies. “I’ve dealt with loss for the first time,” she says, “and it’s so… strange.” One morning, sitting over breakfast in her San Francisco house, Ryder mentions the first. It was for Timothy Leary.  Three months after I was born, my dad, who was Tim’s archivist, went to see him in Switzerland, where Tim was living in exile after […]