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It List: TV

From Tammy Lyn Michaels to Tamara Mello, new names in TV

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The Girls of Popular: It Student Bodies
No disrespect to The WB’s model-perfect Popular stars Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope, but everyone knows outsiders, PETA freaks, homecoming-queen wannabes, and bitches always get the best lines.

Leslie Grossman
AGE 28
WHY HER? She out-belles Delta Burke (who plays her mama) in the Southern-fried treachery department as the scheming debutante-from-hell Mary Cherry.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION ”I have a friend who went to an all-girl school in Dallas who told me these stories about these crazy, rich Dallas girls. There’s definitely an homage to her in my character.”
MOST CREATIVE THING SHE’S EVER DONE ”Avoiding embarrassment at my bat mitzvah — I had to dance to ”Celebration” with my mother in a circle of people.”
INFLUENTIAL MOVIESSixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club — they meant so much to me and my peers.”
KNEW SHE’D MADE IT WHEN ”Have I made it yet? The most I get is once every three weeks a 12-year-old girl will kind of give me a double take. No one speaks to me.”
WHO’S IT? Susan Lucci. ”It’s all about endurance, baby!”
NEXT More Popular.

Tamara Mello
AGE 23
WHY HER? Mello’s winsome, baby-voiced exterior belies animal-rights activist Lily’s nerves of puppy-powered steel.
WORK RITUAL ”Yoga and meditation, some breathing. It really helps and allows you to be in a place that’s centered.”
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION ”My dog, Ashby — he’s a Pomeranian. He’s got these really human expressions that I’ve actually used. He’s the best acting coach ever.”
WHOSE CAREER SHE’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE ”I admire people like Lili Taylor — actors who have so much integrity, choose roles so meaningfully, and consistently work.”
JEANS OR KHAKIS? ”Jeans. I have so many Earl jeans — they’re great because they fit women really well, and I’m so small.”
IF SHE WEREN’T ACTING, SHE’D… ”Be an anthropologist.”
BEST SET SOUVENIR ”A makeup artist on the show gave me this really amazing hand-painted Russian doll that was made from an old spool.”
WHO’S IT? Audrey Hepburn.
NEXT ”I don’t want to do the next teen comedy, because that’s what I do all year. I’m just going to travel.”

Tammy Lynn Michaels
AGE 22
WHY HER? As the animal-print-wearing, insult-spewing Uberbitch Nicole, Michaels injects unexpected vulnerability into a role that could easily have gone to Tiffani-Amber Thiessenville.
WORK RITUAL ”I watch old Northern Exposures from 5 to 6 a.m. It’s not violent. It kind of eases you into society.”
MOST CREATIVE THING SHE’S EVER DONE ”I turned this ice-cream bucket into a school project on ‘What Is God?’ It was about spirituality — not about a man whose son looks like Brad Pitt.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT ”My baby-sitter Evelyn. She potty trained me, taught me please and thank you, how not to bite.”
WHO’S IT? Rosemary Clooney. ”I’m all about the [”Coronet”] paper-towel lady.”
NEXT ”Acting-wise, I’m chilling out. I’m buying a lot of hats. I’d rather not do anything than a piece of s—.”

Sara Rue
AGE 22
WHY HER? Her confident, unskinny (read: normal-size) Carmen Ferrara is a refreshing highlight in a show filled with whippet-thin high school neurotics.
WORK RITUAL ”I take a second to just check in with myself. Sometimes it means just being quiet, and sometimes it means letting out a primal scream.”
WORST CAREER MOMENT ”I’m working on Pearl Harbor and we’re doing these big explosion scenes and I got stuck to somebody’s fake bone — the bone just came off and stuck to my pant leg.”
DREAM PROJECT ”I’d love to have dinner with Bob Dylan.”
JEANS OR KHAKIS? ”Jeans. Because my ass would never be caught dead in khakis.”
BEST SET SOUVENIR ”I keep strange things — I have one fake nail from a Lili Taylor movie I did, some fake eyelashes from another movie. And I stole a friendship bracelet from the set of A Map of the World.”
NEXT Pearl Harbor and the indie Gypsy 83. ”I play this girl obsessed with Stevie Nicks.”

It Gum Cracker: Marla Sokoloff
AGE 19
WHY HER? Because it takes sass to steal scenes from the partners on The Practice.
WORK RITUAL ”If I’m doing a big emotional scene, then I’ll usually put on [music] that’s sad and close to me, like Sarah McLachlan. If it’s typical crazy Lucy, [it’s] more vibrant and vivacious, like No Doubt or Hole.”
KNEW SHE’D MADE IT WHEN At the Golden Globes, Angelina Jolie told her and cast mate Kelli Williams that she likes The Practice. ”Kelli and I were like,’Wow, she watches our show!”’
NEXT Starring opposite Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott in the big-budget teen comedy Dude, Where’s My Car?, which began shooting this month.

It Heavenly Body: Jessica Alba
AGE 19 WHY HER? Even though her splashiest gig to date was opposite Flipper in a mid-’90s TV remake, James Cameron fished her out for the lead in his new Fox drama series, Dark Angel.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Fraggle Rock. ”They always ended with some kind of lesson. And the Fraggles are just totally cute.”
IF SHE WEREN’T ACTING, SHE’D…”Be homeless.”
WHO’S NOT IT? Pokéemon. ”C’mon, people!”
COSTAR WHO TAUGHT HER THE MOST Drew Barrymore on Never Been Kissed. ”She makes everyone on set feel like family.”
ON BEING AN INTERNET PINUP ”I’m obviously just the fantasy for these people. If they met me, they’d be like, ‘Who cares?”’
BEST WRAP PRESENT Motorcycle-riding lessons, from the producers of Idle Hands.
NEXT After studying martial arts for Angel, Alba will play a lead role in Sleeping Dictionary, about English colonialists in the South Pacific.

It Hubba-Hubba Doc: Goran Visnjic
AGE 27
WHY HIM? The native Croatian caught our attention in 1997’s Welcome to Sarajevo. But we really sat up and took notice when he replaced George Clooney last year as County General’s board-certified hunk on NBC’s ER.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION ”I call them vents — unusual or crazy things to keep myself in good spirits. One year it was horseback riding, one year it was off-road motorcycles. Now I bought a trumpet.”
MOST CREATIVE THING HE’S EVER DONEHamlet in Croatia” — a role he’ll reprise (for the seventh time) later this summer at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
IF HE WEREN’T ACTING HE’D… ”Probably be a sailor. But I hope I will not need to think about it in my life.”
INFLUENTIAL MOVIE ”When I was a kid, The Three Musketeers. In the last couple of years, Braveheart. [It] makes me proud to be an actor. I think that’s one of the best films I’ve seen.”
NEXT The indie drama The Deep End, which is currently shooting in Lake Tahoe.

It ”Queer” Cheerer: Russell T. Davies
AGE 37
WHY HIM? A vet of traditional British TV dramas, his explicit 1999 Channel 4 miniseries Queer as Folk (and its 2000 sequel), which includes a twentysomething gay lothario’s affair with a 15-year-old, became the must-have bootleg tape in Hollywood and beyond. Showtime is producing a 22-episode U.S. version.
WORK RITUAL Picks a CD and repeats it all day at speaker-buckling decibels.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Peanuts. ”Everyone thinks it’s sweet and ‘Happiness is a warm puppy’ and all that bollocks, and it’s actually a dark piece of work. So much unrequited love, and no one’s happy.”
NEXT Scripting two more minis for British TV: The Second Coming, about Jesus’ arrival in Manchester; and Bob and Rose, a gay/straight love story.

It Cancer Man: Tom Green
AGE 28
WHY HIM? Sure, he’s humped a dead moose and taped himself puking after a rum-fueled bender. But look beyond the shockingly obvious: The certifiable host of MTV’s The Tom Green Show is maturing into a latter-day Andy Kaufman (the difference: America embraces Green), keeping us guessing and laughing at every turn. He hit No. 1 on TRL with ”The Bum Bum Song (Lonely Swedish)”; he pulled off a hilarious acting coup in Road Trip (and dunked a squirming mouse into his mouth for good measure). To top it off, he transformed an almost unspeakable tragedy (having a cancerous testicle removed) into a searingly honest, convention-be-damned hour of TV.
WORK RITUAL ”I like restaurants, delis, pastrami sandwiches. I’ll sit around and just sort of jam ideas. I like being in a public place because there’s stuff to look at that you can draw upon. I can’t really write as well in an office or at home.”
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Whaddaya know — he likes road trips! ”There’s constant inspiration, constant things passing you by on the side of the road. That’s why roadkill has come into play quite a bit over the years.”
WHO’D PLAY HIM IN THE BIOPIC ”I would have said Jim Varney, but he died.”
INFLUENTIAL TV SHOWLetterman. I was 14 years old, watching this, going, ‘Oh, my God, I’m sitting here in school being told I have to study and get educated so I can go get a job, and then here’s this guy running around with a video camera and chucking watermelons off a building.’ It was so appealing as a career choice.”
NEXT Directing, producing, and starring in Freddy Got Fingered, which he also cowrote.

It Middle Child: Linwood Boomer
AGE 43
WHY HIM? The creator and exec producer of Fox’s dysfunctional-family comedy Malcolm in the Middle helped resurrect the sitcom.
WORK RITUAL Gallons of coffee.
MOST CREATIVE THING HE’S EVER DONE ”I convinced Fox TV entertainment chairman Sandy Grushow not to move Malcolm from its Sunday 8:30 p.m. time slot.”
WORST CAREER MOMENT ”Right after [his short-lived] Townies was canceled” by ABC.
KNEW HE’D MADE IT WHEN ”The first overnight ratings for Malcolm came in.”
WHO’S IT? James L. Brooks.
NEXT Season 2 of Malcolm.
FUN FACT He played Adam Kendall on Little House on the Prarie, 1978-81

It Phraseologist: Charles Stone III
AGE 34
WHY HIM? The director’s ubiquitous ”Whassuuupp” TV spots for Budweiser set tongues a-wagging in admiration — and imitation.
WORK RITUAL Riding the subway. ”I’m most creative when I’m not trying to be.”
IF HE WEREN’T DIRECTING, HE’D… ”Be a drummer,” which he’s done since age 8.
INFLUENTIAL MOVIESStar Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were visually profound for me. [”They”] intensified my love and need to create moving imagery.”
NEXT A coming-of-age drama set in ’80s Harlem starts shooting in August; developing a Fox TV series.

The It Spot It Book: Corelli’s Mandolin
Hugh Grant was seen reading it at the end of Notting Hill. Now the 1995 Louis de Bernieres star-crossed romance tale is being made into a luscious, Greek-isle-set movie starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz and directed by Shakespeare in Love‘s John Madden. And none other than Madonna has mentioned that it’s her favorite novel. What’s the draw? ”It’s a transcendent tale of love and war,” says Katy Barrett, vice president of publicity at Vintage Books. ”And a fabulous read.”

It City Dwellers: Sarah Jessica Parker and Darren Star
AGES 35, 38
WHY THEM? For hilariously reducing life to its two most meaningful components: sex and the city.
WORK HABITS Parker: ”I’m totally superstitious. I always have to have a certain ring with me, and my character’s ‘Carrie’ nameplate necklace, even when I’m not wearing it on the show.”
WORST CAREER MOMENT Star, Sex‘s creator and exec producer: ”Getting the overnight rating numbers on Central Park West.” Parker: ”I’d be foolish to think that making the film Striking Distance was a highlight.”
KNEW THEY’D MADE IT WHEN Star: ”I sold my first screenplay, Doing Time on Planet Earth, at age 24.”
MOTTO Parker: ”I keep the word grace programmed into my cell phone display. It reminds me to be good to people.”
RETRO INDULGENCE Parker: ”Yodels. They’re the king of the trash foods.”
WHO’D PLAY THEM IN THE BIOPIC Star: ”Who’d I like to see? Tom Cruise. Who’d do it? Ben Stiller.” Parker: ”Julie Christie.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT Parker: ”My friends. I’ve had the same ones for, like, 150,000 years.”
WEIRDEST THING ABOUT PRODUCING A SHOW ABOUT SEX Star: ”I constantly have to remind myself that people don’t talk about sex in the real world as much as we do working on the show.”
WHO’S IT? Parker: ”Julianne Moore, New York Times op-ed queen Maureen Dowd, and D’Angelo.”
WHO’S NOT IT? Parker: ”John Rocker, George W. Bush.”
NEXT Star created and exec-produced the twentysomething comedy Grosse Pointe for The WB, and he cocreated and exec-produced the Fox fall drama series The Street. For Parker, David Mamet’s State and Main.

It Creek Girl: Michelle Williams
AGE 19
WHY HER? This Dawson’s Creek siren may have written her ticket out of the teen backwater by doing the unexpected: She spent last summer vacation working (sometimes in the buff) on an Off Broadway play, Killer Joe, followed that up with an image-busting turn as a lesbian in HBO’s If These Walls Could Talk 2, then topped it off with a role opposite cred queen Christina Ricci in the edge-fest Prozac Nation (out next year). She also just sold her first script, Don’t Blink, about three friends in a brothel, to Good Machine.
WORK RITUAL ”When we were writing,” she says of her work with cowriters Amy Danles and Megahn Perry, ”coffee and cigarettes pretty much sustained us. We all congregated at night and sat around an old computer and spewed.”
IF SHE WEREN’T ACTING, SHE’D… ”Be a truck driver. I’ve driven cross-country a couple of times and it’s heaven.”
DREAM COLLABORATOR Cult auteur Mark Borchardt (American Movie). ”He’s at the forefront of filmmaking today.”
BEST SET SOUVENIR ”I’m a total kleptomaniac. My favorite thing I took is my character’s wedding band from Killer Joe. It’s this cheap turn-your-finger-green ring. And I love it.”
NEXT Season 4 of Dawson’s Creek.

It Lenser: Mark ”Ninja” Lynch
AGE 40
WHY HIM? Faced down deadly sea snakes, rats, and monitor lizards to nab killer visuals for CBS’ Survivor. No sweat for Lynch, who’s scaled mountains to shoot Discovery Channel Eco-Challenge and braved Mouseketeers — filming the likes of Britney Spears for The Mickey Mouse Club.
MOST CREATIVE THING HE’S EVER DONE Lighting Survivor‘s Tribal Council. ”You’re in the jungle. You can’t order more equipment. We had to start using tree branches.”
WORST CAREER MOMENT ”Having a wave break over me and my $80,000 Steadicam while filming a music video for The Mickey Mouse Club. There were 30 people on the beach and nobody yelled, ‘Wave!”’
NEXT Back to Borneo for another Eco-Challenge.

It Promo Artist: Michael Ouweleen
AGE 33
WHY HIM? His hilarious animated Cartoon Network ads spoof recent phenomena like Survivor, The Blair Witch Project (The Scooby Project), and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Mojo Millionaire).
WORK RITUAL ”A team of burly masseuses. No, I’m freakishly minimal. I clean my desk and make a big-ass pot of green tea.”
FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTER ”Bugs Bunny has the best deadpan comic timing.”
KNEW HE’D MADE IT WHEN NASA named four rocks on Mars at his suggestion. ”They named two Yogi and Scooby, so I went in and made a Space Ghost spot where he’s complaining there’s no Space Ghost rock, and the next day NASA saw the spot and named one Space Ghost, one Moltar, one Zorak, and one Brak.”
IF HE WEREN’T DOING PARODIES, HE’D… ”Teach either high school or college English. How boring is that? I just dropped off the list, didn’t I?”
NEXT Working with J.J. Sedelmaier (SNL‘s ”The Ambiguously Gay Duo”) on the Cartoon Network pilot Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.

Crafting It: How’d They Do That?: The Parking Lot Spot
How did Fred Flintstone, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Chicken end up cruising for parking? It was a case of… Cartoon Network stars imitating Cartoon Network staff. ”Three guys were coming back from lunch,” says Ouweleen. ”And it was hot. They were pissed” because they couldn’t find parking. ”So we wrote that as a spot, and put those characters in the car. Fred is a crank, and we love superheroes because they’re always too broad, and Chicken is a crank, too. It just fit the mood.”

It Dark Star: Eliza Dushku
AGE 19
WHY HER? Made things even darker at Sunnydale by playing Buffy’s double-crossing slayer, Faith. And with the comedy Bring It On and the thriller Soul Survivors, she’s on her way to slaying Hollywood.
WORK RITUAL ”Before a scene, I must smoke a cigarette.”
MOST CREATIVE THING SHE’S EVER DONE ”You’ve gotta see my house. I decorated it myself when I was only 17.”
BEST SET SOUVENIR ”I love taking the backs of all my directors’ chairs.”
WHO’S IT? ”Russell Crowe, dude! He’s definitely IT.”
NEXT Bring It On, due Aug. 18; Survivors in 2001.

It Muckrakers: The Daily Show Correspondents
AGES Vance DeGeneres, 45; Mo Rocca, 31; Steve Carell, 37; Stephen Colbert, 36
WHY THEM? Whether it’s asking George W. Bush supporters if their candidate is a ”master debater,” testing John McCain’s Bjork knowledge, or challenging the ”fastest cow in America” to a race, this crack crew of reporters is applying their ironic sensibility to both politics and America at large.
WORK RITUAL Colbert: ”I have to take my soul off and put it on a wire hanger before I get on the road to interview these people.”
KNEW THEY’D MADE IT WHEN DeGeneres: ”I did an interview and [I wasn’t asked] what it’s like to be Ellen DeGeneres’ brother.” Rocca: ”When I got thrown out of Andrew Johnson’s national historic site by a park ranger for asking probing questions about his impeachment saga.”
FAVORITE INTERVIEW Carell: John McCain. ”He was potentially the most powerful man in the world, and here I was acting like an idiot with him.”
NEXT Gavel-to-gavel coverage of the summer conventions. Rocca: ”Look for Keyes to go all the way on the 45th ballot.” DeGeneres: ”Honestly, I just hope to come back alive.”

The It Spot It Fashion Label: Paul Frank Industries
Monkeys, giraffes, elephants, oh, my. Frank’s animal-motif T-shirts, bags, and PJ’s look like they were inspired by a third-grade art class — and hipster Hollywood digs it. ”People like them because it brings them back to their childhoods,” says president-cofounder Ryan Heuser. ”You just look at one of the pieces and you get all warm and smiley.”

It Powerhouse: Andre Braugher
AGE 38
WHY HIM? The Emmy-winning star of NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street returns to TV as an unorthodox doc in ABC’s Gideon’s Crossing. But don’t expect another Frank Pembleton: ”He was an egotistical, manipulative bastard, and this guy’s not,” explains Braugher.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Writer Charles Bukowski. ”He just had such a no-nonsense way of looking at life.”
MOST CREATIVE THING HE’S EVER DONE ”Marrying Ami Brabson [his Homicide wife] and having two sons [Michael, 8, and Isaiah, 3].”
WORST CAREER MOMENT Watching the audience walk out while doing a four-hour play in New York City. ”We started with 102 people and ended with 16.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, fellow vets of his first film, 1989’s Glory. ”I didn’t know how to act in front of a camera, and I would’ve fallen on my face without them telling me how.”
IF HE WEREN’T ACTING, HE’D… Be designing bionic limbs.
WHO’S IT? Frequency costar Jim Caviezel. ”I would want my son to grow up to be a man like Jim.”
NEXT Gideon premieres in October; appears in the upcoming Duets (with Gwyneth Paltrow).

It Viewer: Lisa Ling
AGE 26
WHY HER? Ling, a former reporter for the classroom news program Channel One News, brings a Gen-X perspective to ABC’s The View, and gets Barbara Walters and Co. to explore such envelope-pushing topics as homosexuality. ”I would like to broaden people’s horizons,” she says.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Bacon. ”It’s essential right after jogging to negate the process.”
WORST CAREER MOMENT Working for Scratch, a syndicated teen show. ”I had to slide down a waterslide in a bikini and my top nearly flew off.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT The incessant — often racist — teasing she endured while growing up in the largely white community of Carmichael, Calif. ”It boiled inside me, which really made me want to prove that I could succeed.”
NEXT Continuing her pet project, ”Ling’s Money Thing,” a recurring View segment to teach women ”to become more savvy about money. You don’t see a lot of financial segments in daytime TV.”

It Chameleon: Khandi Alexander
AGE 42
WHY HER? She defines range. A TV vet — she was exacting anchorwoman Catherine Duke on NewsRadio and Dr. Benton’s responsible sib Jackie on ER — Alexander hooked viewers this season playing a heroin-snorting Baltimore mother in the HBO miniseries The Corner.
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Fran Drescher. ”She’s from Queens, I’m from Queens. Also, I read her book, Enter Whining. The last chapter talks about when she sold her TV show, and it really inspired me.”
DREAM COLLABORATORS Morgan Freeman and Sean Penn. ”They’re craftsmen, and at the same time, they’re stars.”
INFLUENTIAL MOVIE Never on Sunday. ”All I wanted to do was be a Greek prostitute after that.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT ”First, my faith in my higher power. Second, my acting coach, Arthur Mendoza.”
FAVE QUOTE ”If everybody likes you, you’re not interesting,” from Bette Davis.
BEST SET SOUVENIR A flannel shirt given to her by NewsRadio costar Phil Hartman. ”I sleep in it.”
WHO’S IT? ”Tom Cruise is it, honey. He’s just got one of those faces you want to sit on.”
NEXT She’ll soon start shooting her own as-yet-untitled HBO dramedy, playing the mayor of Washington, D.C.

The It Spot It Location: The Pacific Rim
Even if you didn’t like M:I-2, those aerial shots of Sydney were worth the price of admission. And audiences might have deserted The Beach if not for the gorgeous Thai backdrops. Now Australia doubles as turn-of-the-century France in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, is also the backdrop for Aaliyah’s Queen of the Damned, and New Zealand is home to the 14-month Lord of the Rings shoot. And coming up next year on the small screen: CBS’ Survivor II: The Australian Outback. Toss another rat on the barbie.

James Franco: It Freak
AGE 22
WHY HIM? Sparkled on the NBC dramedy Freaks and Geeks as Daniel, a disengaged high school hoodlum saddled with soulful vulnerability.
WORK RITUAL Listens to classical legends like Bela Bartok and Samuel Barber: ”I’m working on some intense roles, and I need to maintain this level of pain and depression throughout.”
INFLUENTIAL MOVIEBullitt. The strength and confidence Steve McQueen possessed in that film inspired me to be an actor and also maintain a certain amount of self-composure.”
NEXT He’ll step into the ultimate tortured-tough-guy role, starring as James Dean in a TNT biopic, also Deuces Wild with Matt Dillon and Stephen Dorff, and VH1’s At Any Cost.

It Siren: Sela Ward
AGE 43
WHY HER? Her character on ABC’s Once and Again has women everywhere wondering whether the secret to looking gorgeous is being a fortysomething soon-to-be-divorced mother of two. Her seductive Sprint commercials have breathless guys everywhere dialing 911.
WORST CAREER MOMENT ”Putting a tiny piece of onion under my fingernail and holding it to my eye to help me cry during an audition. But it stung so badly I couldn’t open my eyes during the audition. Needless to say, I didn’t get that part.”
KNEW SHE’D MADE IT WHEN ”My name appeared as an answer in the New York Times crossword puzzle.”
UNLIKELY SOURCE OF INSPIRATION Tom Hanks. ”On Nothing in Common, which was my first big movie role, Tom taught me everything about comedic timing. It’s been helpful to me to this day.”
INFLUENTIAL CHARACTER Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel in The Avengers. ”She was smart, sexy, and had great style.”
SECRET TO MAKING PHONE SERVICE SEXY ”Hip writing and great music.”
IF SHE WEREN’T ACTING, SHE’D… ”Run a Fortune 500 company.”
WHO’S IT? ”My husband [Howard Sherman] is IT! My ex-boyfriends are not!”
NEXT ”Spending some much-needed time with my kids.”

The It Spot It Designer Makeover: Hermes
The Parisian design house is shedding its fuddy-duddy image and going mainstream (as mainstream as you can go when your inventory includes $40,000 diamond-trimmed handbags). Kate Moss, Princess Caroline, and Tina Turner are devotees. Think they’ll have to wait in line with the rest of us once the new Manhattan boutique opens this summer?

It Office Mates: Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney
AGES 40, 28
WHY THEM? As The West Wing‘s deputy chief of staff, Josh Lyman, and his assistant, Donna Moss, they’re the Bartlet administration’s Tracy and Hepburn — too busy debating the issues to realize they should be having their own state of the union. ”They’re completely in love,” says Whitford. ”What’s great is Aaron [Sorkin] never wrote it as a romantic thing. It just sort of came out. We have so many scenes together… it comes across. Actually, when I find out she’s going out on a date, it drives me batty. I’m happily married [to Malcolm in the Middle‘s Jane Kaczmarek], but I have to ask, ‘What Hollywood loser has taken her out and got her liquored up?”’ So, will sparks fly anytime soon? Says Moloney: ”I don’t think anything’s inevitable with Aaron Sorkin except good writing.”
WOULDN’T BE HERE WITHOUT Whitford: ”Minoxidil.”
WHO’S GOT IT? Moloney says it’s her sisters, Carey and Meegan, while Whitford favors C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb.
WHO’S NOT IT? Whitford: ”George W. Bush. He’s emphatically, completely not IT. He’s ITless.”
NEXT Term 2 of West Wing.