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The It List - The New Rat Packs

Seth Green, Ryan Phillippe, Giovanni Ribisi, and more find safety in numbers

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First, there was the Rat Pack. Then, the Brat Pack. Last year, Leo DiCaprio took carousing up a notch with his club-crawling ”P—y Posse.” Now even Adam Sandler won’t make a move without his crew of NYU alums. Clearly, in the wild-animal kingdom that is Hollywood, it’s safer to travel in a pack. Here, star posses to watch:

New Kids
Seth Green (Austin Powers), Ryan Phillipe (Cruel Intentions), and Breckin Meyer (Go)
ORIGINS: Green and Meyer first met in the early ’90s at an audition for a Meredith Baxter-Birney TV movie. Later, says Green, ”Breckin brought Ryan to my house and asked if we could keep him. We then took bets on how long it would [be] until he was a movie star.”
ON SCREEN: Green and Meyer appeared in Can’t Hardly Wait; Phillippe and Meyer were both in 54.
HANGOUT: Their West Hollywood office, until a teen mag published the address. ”We’d like to go to the Discovery Zone,” says Green, ”but it’s getting harder to convince them we’re under 12.”
HONORARY MEMBER: Phillippe’s pregnant wife and Intentions costar, Reese Witherspoon, whom he first met while trying to score free drinks at her 21st birthday party.
FUTURE PLANS: ”We want to work together as producers and, of course, as actors,” says Green. ”We have stuff in development — but it’s too soon to say anything definite.”

Soldiers of Fortune
Giovanni Ribisi and Adam Goldberg with Nicky Katt
ORIGINS: Indie guru Richard Linklater cast Goldberg, Katt, and Giovanni’s twin sister, Marissa, in Dazed and Confused. She introduced them to her brother.
ON SCREEN: Goldberg and Ribisi were in Saving Private Ryan; Ribisi and Katt appeared in Goldberg’s directing debut, Scotch and Milk.
HANGOUT: ”We’re never in the same place at the same time, which I guess is good because it means we’re working,” Goldberg says. ”But when we’re in town we just go to each other’s houses.”
HONORARY MEMBER: Goldberg’s girlfriend, Julie Delpy, another Linklater protegee (Before Sunrise).
FUTURE PLANS: A production company because ”we have an unbelievable artistic bond,” says Goldberg. Meanwhile, Goldberg is in talks to direct Neorealism, an indie starring his pals; his and Delpy’s sitcom, True Love, is a possible mid-season replacement on ABC.

New York Literati
Rick Moody, Maggie Estep, and Editor-Writer Ken Foster
ORIGINS: At KGB, a bar in Manhattan’s East Village, where these writers flock to hear others read.
IN PRINT: Powerful prose by Moody, Estep, and Foster appears in The KGB Bar Reader (Quill/William Morrow), a short-story collection.
HONORARY MEMBER: Brooklynite actor Steve Buscemi — they know him from the bar — who also has writing chops (Trees Lounge).
HANGOUT: Depending on the weather: It’s either roller-coastering at Coney Island or horseback riding in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. There’s also the Internet. ”There’s a lot of e-mail,” says Estep, which Moody keeps ”excessively editing. Typical writer.”
FUTURE PLANS: None. “We’d like to collaborate,” says Estep, “but we’re writers. We don’t know how to play with other children.”

Pointe men
John Cusack, Jeremy Piven, D.V. Devincentis, and Steve Pink
ORIGINS: Cusack studied acting at the Piven Theatre Workshop, owned by Piven’s parents; he went to Illinois’ Evanston Township High School with DeVincentis and Pink.
ON SCREEN: The $28-million-grossing Grosse Pointe Blank was penned by DeVincentis, Pink, and Cusack. Piven’s been in a stable of Cusack films, including Say Anything, The Grifters, and Grosse Pointe.
HANGOUT: The offices of the writers’ New Crime Productions, which has an indoor basketball court and a jukebox.
HONORARY MEMBER: Neve Campbell, reportedly Cusack’s squeeze.
FUTURE PLANS: Cusack will star in High Fidelity, which he adapted with DeVincentis and Pink; a Grosse Pointe sequel.