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TV stars put in overtime making summer movies

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It’s tough being a TV star: Those relaxing four-month summer vacations can really get you down. As Just Shoot Me‘s David Spade says, ”I can only shop at the Gap for so many days in a row before it loses its luster.” Which is why your average small-screen actor tries to spend the hiatus shooting big-screen projects. EW presents its annual look at actors’ summer vocations.

When Fox Stars Go Bad
Topher Grace, the wholesome hippie dude on That ’70s Show, says he’ll use his downtime to become ”a hardcore weekend drug abuser.” He means, of course, in Traffic, a drug-war drama starring fiances Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. ”I’m scared because there’s a scene where I’m pretty flippant to Michael Douglas. That guy could beat me with his Oscar.” Meanwhile, Malcolm in the Middle‘s Frankie Muniz appears in Deuces Wild, a violent gangland saga set in ’50s-era Brooklyn and exec-produced by Martin Scorsese. And there’s more! Time of Your Life star Jennifer Love Hewitt partners with Sigourney Weaver in Breakers, a con-artist comedy (think a mom-and-daughter Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). ”She’s funny and sexy,” says producer John Davis, before clarifying: ”Not cute sexy, she’s sexy sexy.”

Those Naughty David E. Kelley Girls
Calista Flockhart, the sex-obsessed Ally McBeal herself, will star in New York’s stage production of The Vagina Monologues, the paean to women’s private parts. Also joining the revolving cast (each does a two-week stint) are The Practice vets Lisa Gay Hamilton and Holland Taylor. One Monologues producer swears the overabundance of Kelley stars is a coincidence. Speaking of sex, The Practice‘s Lara Flynn Boyle plays a manipulative marriage therapist in the dark comic film Speaking of Sex.

The WB’s Crimson Tide
Two of the netlet’s stars are heading to Harvard — at least on screen. Dawson’s Creek‘s Michelle Williams appears in Prozac Nation—based on the 1994 memoir by sad sack Harvard grad Elizabeth Wurtzel — as the best friend to star Christina Ricci. ”The movie takes place in ’85, so I was 5,” says Williams, whose only memories of the era are ”big scrunchies and neon.” Meanwhile, Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Sarah Michelle Gellar shoots Harvard Man, directed by James Toback (Black and White). ”Her boyfriend is the point guard on the Harvard basketball team,” says Toback. ”She’s mischievous and criminally inclined. It’ll be interesting to see how [Gellar’s] devoted fans follow her out to something new.”

Friends in High Places
Some of the newly filthy rich Friends are getting movie paychecks as well. Jennifer Aniston joins a long-maned Mark Wahlberg in Metal God, a tale of the headbanger music scene. Aniston reportedly kisses a woman in the film (no comment from her publicist). Courteney Cox Arquette and husband David are wrapping 3000 Miles to Graceland, a comedy about a Vegas casino heist amid an Elvis convention. Meanwhile, Matt LeBlanc will spend part of his hiatus doing reshoots for a small part in the oft-rewritten Charlie’s Angels (details are as top secret as Charlie’s identity). Says his publicist: ”Drew [Barrymore] is a friend and she asked him to do this.”

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