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Which stars have power in Hollywood? Find out

Nicole, Ashton, or the Olsen Twins? Find out which Hollywood creative types wield the most clout in Entertainment Weekly’s 2003 Power List 

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Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

Which stars have power in Hollywood? Find out

Eureka! This year, we bring an entirely new level of scientific accuracy to our 14th annual Power List. In fact, we’ve come up with a formula that says it all about who rules Hollywood: Power = Control + Bankability + Influence x Heat. (In our new physics, heat is the most unstable element of all — the quality that gets people talking about you.)

Lucky for you, there’s no need to consult some boring science journal to figure out who’s using this formula to dominate showbiz. We’ve got all the facts right here. Click through the following gallery where we present our selected favorites — including Nicole, Eminem, and Beyonce — from this year’s list of 101 most powerful people in showbiz.

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Ashton Kutcher
Image credit: Ashton Kutcher: Janet Gough/Celebrityphoto.com

Ashton Kutcher

It Boy

Ashton Kutcher made EW’s Power List

Age 25

Not since Jim Carrey has playing dumb paid off so powerfully: The star of ”That ’70s Show” (for which he’ll be paid $6 million-plus for two more seasons) is an investor in L.A.’s trendiest eatery (Dolce); Demi Moore’s enviable boy toy; and, as creator and host of MTV’s breakout hit ”Punk’d,” king of Hollywood’s Junior Glitterati. His big-screen credibility should get a boost from Cameron Crowe in next fall’s romantic comedy ”Elizabethtown.” Kutcher couldn’t save ”My Boss’s Daughter” — but then probably not even Carrey could have done that.

Dixie Chicks
Image credit: Dixie Chicks: James White/Corbis Outline

Dixie Chicks

Musician-Provocateurs

The Dixie Chicks made EW’s Power List

Ages 29?34

Talk about pluck. While some of their red-state fan base dispersed, the Chicks refused to disavow their antiwar, anti-Prez stance — becoming a cause célèbre among everyone from Springsteen to Michael Moore (rumored to be interested in a Chicks doc) to John McCain (who ripped their radio boycotters a new one in Senate hearings). ”Home” scanned 5.6 million; their tour grossed $61 mil (though most of it was collected pre-controversy). A November live CD/DVD will tell if they’ve attracted enough new admirers to replace the turncoats.

Image credit: Jon Stewart Illustration by Jack Unruh

Jon Stewart

Anchor, ”The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”

Jon Stewart made EW’s Power List

Age 40

Stewart’s called himself ”the fake Lou Grant of the fake news world.” Try this on for size, Jon: a real-world political-agenda setter and, along with Conan O’Brien, the future of late-night television. With a million people getting their nightly news fix from Comedy Central’s ironic-sardonic mock-Brokaw (and Emmy-winning) broadcasts, he’ll help shape the young-adult ethos in a key election year. Remember when we wondered how he’d ever fill Craig Kilborn’s shoes? Yeah, we don’t either.

Colin Farrell
Image credit: Colin Farrell: Frank Trapper/Corbis Sygma

Colin Farrell

Actor

Colin Farrell made EW’s Power List

Age 27

There are lots of roles out there for leading men under the age of 30. But you can count the number of studs who’ve been in three box office hits (”S.W.A.T.,” ”Daredevil,” ”The Recruit”) in one year on one finger. The point being that studios consider Mr. Farrell a rare commodity: a young actor with a high mainstream profile (although sometimes too high) and obvious screen charisma. That combination worked nicely for a certain Russell Crowe, and next year this Irishman may get his own ”Gladiator” with Oliver Stone’s ”Alexander.”

Beyonce Knowles
Image credit: Beyonce: Antoine Verglas/Corbis Outline

Beyonce

Singer-Actress

Beyonce made EW’s Power List

Age 22

We don?t think you’re ready for her?work ethic — as in cowriting and coproducing her music, taking on a film career, doing the promo grind as if world peace depended on it, and somehow finding time to be paparazzi’d in the tropics with rapper boyfriend Jay-Z. ”Crazy in Love” is the year’s most ubiquitous single, and ”The Fighting Temptations” opened with $12 million based almost solely on her second billing. Next year: Destiny’s Child returns. Survey the pop landscape; she’s the only young ‘un likely to still be a star two decades hence.

Image credit: Halle Berry Illustration by Jody Hewgill

Halle Berry

Actress-Producer

Halle Berry made EW’s Power List

Age 37

She’s the second Bond girl to win an Oscar, but she’s the first to land a 007 spin-off (the in-development ”Jinx”). In fact, Berry collects franchises the way other action stars collect Hummers. Along with ”Jinx” and the ”X-Men” series, she’ll add the much-anticipated ”Catwoman” to her résumé next year. She’s also found time for projects like this fall’s ghostly ”Gothika”; Chris Wedge’s ”Ice Age” follow-up, ”Robots”; an Oprah-approved ABC adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s ”Their Eyes Were Watching God”; and the heavy drama ”October Squall.” Apparently, the words ”sleep” and ”vacation” are not part of her vocabulary.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Image credit: Leonardo DiCaprio: Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto.com

Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio made EW’s Power List

Age 28

That Martin Scorsese and Baz Luhrmann could think of no other actor to play Howard Hughes (in ”The Aviator”) and Alexander the Great, respectively, says something about DiCaprio’s continuing allure for directors. As for moviegoers, ”Catch Me if You Can”’s $164 million box office probably had as much to do with Tom Hanks, but it’s hard to imagine ”Gangs of New York” grossing $78 million without him. It will be interesting to see which big D — DiCaprio or De Niro — gets props for their upcoming spy drama, ”The Good Shepherd.”

Queen Latifah
Image credit: Queen Latifah: Miranda Shen/Celebrityphoto.com

Queen Latifah

Actress-Singer-Producer

Queen Latifah made EW’s Power List

Age 33

Hip-hop’s answer to Mae West is a crossover bonanza: Her Oscar nom for ”Chicago” was followed by the who-knew? hit ”Bringing Down the House” ($133 million gross) — a doubleheader that grabbed Hollywood’s attention. On the docket are ”The Cookout” (with Eve), ”Taxi” (with Jimmy Fallon), ”Beauty Shop,” a ”Barbershop” spin-off built just for her, and ”Bad Girls” (with Jada Pinkett Smith). All that and time left over to rap — or rather, sing: She’s just signed up for a retro-jazz-R&B album (with Norah Jones’ producer, Arif Mardin), tour, and TV special.

Ice Cube
Image credit: Ice Cube: Jill Greenberg/Corbis Outline

Ice Cube

Actor-Writer-Producer

Ice Cube made EW’s Power List

Age 34

The rap pit bull who barked ”F— tha police” in 1989 is a Hollywood mogul in 2003. In 14 years, he’s starred in 20 movies, written six, produced nine, directed one, and sealed development deals at three studios. Last year, his Cube Vision company produced ”Barbershop,” a low-cost/high-yield hit that has spawned a sequel and a spin-off. And speaking of franchises, he’ll replace Vin Diesel in the ”XXX” sequel. The only area in which his power seems to be waning is music; side group Westside Connection’s album (Cube’s first in three years) comes out in December.

Johnny Depp
Image credit: Johnny Depp: Jerome De Perlinghi/Corbis Outline

Johnny Depp

Actor

Johnny Depp made EW’s Power List

Age 40

As ”Pirates of the Caribbean”’s tipsy Captain Jack, Depp proved he could cash in without selling out. Now, one $300 million box office pull later (his newfound clout even helped ”Once Upon a Time in Mexico” rake in $55 million), he’s contemplating a ”Pirates” sequel. Meanwhile, he’ll play the man behind Peter Pan in J.M. Barrie’s ”Neverland,” a stalked writer in ”Secret Window,” and — sweetest of all — possibly the lead in Tim Burton’s eagerly awaited ”Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” remake (a role he beat Jim Carrey to).

Image credit: The Olsen Twins Illustraion by Thomas Fuchs

The Olsen Twins

Actresses-Producers

The Olsen Twins made EW’s Power List

Ages 17

The video fashion makeup music toothpaste empire has earned them an estimated $150 million. Each. Through their company Dualstar the former ”Full House” babes are invading the entertainment industry one tiny piece at a time — a DVD here, a lip gloss there — becoming not just actresses but a global brand with nary an adult fan. That could change soon, thanks to what might be their first PG-13 movie, ”New York Minute” (2004), and increasing public sightings in skimpy clothes.

Jennifer Aniston
Image credit: Jennifer Aniston: Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto.com

Jennifer Aniston

Actress-Producer

Jennifer Aniston made EW’s Power List

Age 34

While ”Bruce Almighty” wasn’t her film, per se, pairing Jim Carrey with TV’s hottest actress certainly didn’t hurt the movie’s $242 million box office take. In addition to last year’s overdue Emmy, she’s now enjoying an $18 million payday on ”Friends”’ 10th and final season. Of her five castmates, Aniston (equally at home in mainstream and ”Good Girl”-style indie fare) has the brightest big-screen prospects — on camera and off: Her Plan B film shingle, with hubby Brad Pitt and Brad Grey, has around 17 projects in development.

Denzel Washington
Image credit: Denzel Washington: Andrea Renault/Globe Photos

Denzel Washington

Actor-Director-Producer

Denzel Washington made EW’s Power List

Age 48

His directorial debut didn’t take the world by storm (”Antwone Fisher” grossed about $20 million), but the Oscar-winning actor continues to flex muscle on the other side of the camera. Washington’s presence virtually locks in a strong opening weekend, which is why he pockets upwards of $20 million a picture and continues to attract classy filmmakers like Carl Franklin (”Out of Time”) or Jonathan Demme, who will direct Washington in the Frank Sinatra role for his remake of ”The Manchurian Candidate.”

Reese Witherspoon
Image credit: Reese Witherspoon: Andrew MacPherson/Corbis Outline

Reese Witherspoon

Actress-Producer

Reese Witherspoon made EW’s Power List

Age 27

There is only one reason ”Legally Blonde 2” grossed $90 million — and it wasn’t its sparkling Noël Coward-esque repartee. Witherspoon is a force of gravity for preteen girls; in fact, studios consistently point to her as one of two working actresses (Julia Roberts being the other) who can guarantee an audience. And she has wisely parlayed that power into a producing deal with Universal (to make ”Sports Widow” and ”White Out”) while maintaining her indie grit (with an upcoming role in the Mira Nair- directed ”Vanity Fair”).

Mel Gibson
Image credit: Mel Gibson: Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto.com

Mel Gibson

Actor-Writer-Director-Producer

Mel Gibson made EW’s Power List

Age 47

Nothing says power like self-financing a potentially offensive, stomach-churningly violent $25 million epic about the death of Jesus Christ in which most of the dialogue is spoken in ancient Aramaic. Of course, there’s no better way to lose said power, too. By this time next year, we’ll know which way ”The Passion of Christ” blows Gibson’s standing in Hollywood. Meanwhile, he’ll be trading his prayer shawl for a biker’s helmet; he’s just signed to play an ATF agent who infiltrates a motorcycle gang in Warner’s ”Under and Alone.”

Russell Crowe
Image credit: Russell Crowe: Gilbert Flores/Celebrityphoto.com

Russell Crowe

Actor

Russell Crowe made EW’s Power List

Age 39

Studios will greenlight the most improbable projects when his name is attached. Like that unlikely drama about a mad mathematician (worldwide gross: $312 million). Or, opening in November, a big-budget epic about an overweight, violin-playing, 19th-century captain of a British navy frigate: ”Master and Commander,” a possible franchise that floated around studios for 11 years before Crowe signed on. He even persuaded Universal to bankroll Ron Howard’s ”Cinderella Man,” in which he’ll play — get this — a boxer. Imagine Crowe actually hitting someone. Absurd.

Julia Roberts
Image credit: Julia Roberts: Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Julia Roberts

Actress-Producer

Julia Roberts made EW’s Power List

Age 35

So what if she took a year off to kick back with her new hubby? Or that her cameo in pal George Clooney’s directorial debut, ”Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” wasn’t a star turn (or even likable — especially on the heels of her cold-as-ice role in ”Ocean’s Eleven”)? Or that her next date with the box office, Mike Newell’s ensemble film ”Mona Lisa Smile,” may not be a mainstream slam dunk? Or that her recent switch from ICM to CAA might signal a realization that her choices of late haven’t been top-notch? So what? She’s still Julia Roberts, the very definition of staying power.

Nicole Kidman
Image credit: Nicole Kidman: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com

Nicole Kidman

Actress-producer

Nicole Kidman made EW’s Power List

age 36

The most powerful actress in Hollywood isn’t feeling so powerful at the moment. Driving through Connecticut on an Indian-summer afternoon, Nicole Kidman is instead feeling under the weather. Her most powerful move of the day? ”I got up,” she says, laughing. Her least? ”I cried.” No big deal; nothing that needs elaboration. ”Just personal stuff.”

Fair enough. It’s the professional stuff we want to discuss, anyway. And as far as that goes, it doesn’t get any better. Carried by a succession of acclaimed star turns — ”Moulin Rouge,” ”The Others,” and ”The Hours,” for which she won a Best Actress Oscar — Kidman now finds herself at the top of the actress heap, and without once resorting to a cutesy romantic comedy to make you really, really like her. Her name on a marquee is a veritable promise of award-worthy work. More interesting, perhaps, her power has come despite the fact that she’s not a box office superstar. Her biggest recent hit, 2001’s ”The Others” — with only her celebrity to speak of — grossed a profitable but unspectacular $97 million.

Studio execs will tell you that Kidman — gifted with a range of Streepian proportions (devastatingly beautiful courtesan one year; devastatingly depressed Virginia Woolf the next) — now tops their list of preferred leading ladies. That achievement is all the more striking when you consider that the route she has taken is notably different from those traveled by her peers. True, the former Mrs. Tom Cruise has played the fame game as well as anyone, walking miles of red carpet in designer duds. But since her revelatory performance in 1995’s ”To Die For,” she has mostly stuck to similar, smaller, auteur-driven films. Professionally, she’s more Depp than J. Lo.

Mix in her eminently marketable celebrity, and what you get is the new criterion for the Hollywood package: the glamour-girl artist, sexy and respected. ”Her involvement gives a project instant credibility,” says Harvey Weinstein, cochairman of Miramax, which will release Kidman’s next two films (”The Human Stain” and ”Cold Mountain,” both of which have award watchers placing bets again). ”As with any great talent, she attracts other talent; most actors and directors want to work with her because they know she’ll help them raise their own game.”

Kidman has had her pick of big-payday studio tentpoles since winning her Oscar, like ”Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (which would have had her playing assassin with Brad Pitt) and ”Catwoman” (which would have had her cracking bad guys with a whip). It says a great deal about her clout that when she declined both, fellow Oscar winners Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry — no power slouches themselves — gladly picked up her leftovers.

Then again, her plate is pretty full for the next two years: She will topline six films, all of which can be called ”eagerly anticipated,” and most of which were set up before March’s Oscar. In ’04, there’s ”Dogville,” her controversial collaboration with Lars von Trier (”Dancer in the Dark”); ”Birth,” a supernatural mystery from ”Sexy Beast”’s director; and ”The Stepford Wives,” a broadly comic remake of the 1975 cult classic. On the side, she produced Jane Campion?s erotic thriller ”In the Cut” (starring Meg Ryan).

Kidman could only be hotter if she assayed — and succeeded at — one of those cutesy rom coms. Fortunately for her competition, Kidman has no plans to stretch in that direction. ”The films I enjoy making are not necessarily what you would deem ‘mainstream,”’ says Kidman. She took ”Wives,” for example, because of producer Scott Rudin (”The Hours”), and because, after a series of draining dramas, she wanted to lighten up. ”I needed to be irreverent,” says Kidman, ”to breathe in a different way.”

She’ll get serious again after wrapping ”Wives.” Kidman just inked her biggest payday ($15 million) to star in Sydney Pollack’s political thriller ”The Interpreter.” In true Streep tradition, she’ll speak Russian and learn the cello for the role. Kidman says she doesn’t buy into all this power talk. Power, in her mind, is a term reserved for those in control of Hollywood’s greenlight switches. The clout she seeks is the kind any actor craves: the opportunity to work and the freedom to say no without repercussions. ”It’s all about ‘Is this artistically worthy?”’ says Kidman. ”Otherwise, I’d prefer being with my family.”

Image credit: Eminem Illustration by Hanoch Piven

Eminem

Rapper-actor

Eminem made EW’s Power List

Age 31

Taking a break in his own recording arc, Em found a perfect way to follow last year’s ”8 Mile”/”The Eminem Show” triathlon: acting as official presenter (and part-time producer) for this year’s biggest cash cow, the 6-million-selling 50 Cent. Though handlers insist there’s no calculation in him, he’s proven shrewd at making himself just cozy enough for the Hollywood establishment, then doing a nasty rap on the 50 Cent record to assure kids he’s still the same hateful G. Want to talk smart? He won an Oscar but skipped the telecast, forever proving his street-worthiness.

Tom Cruise
Image credit: Tom Cruise: Sam Jones/Corbis Outline

Tom Cruise

Actor-Producer

Tom Cruise made EW’s Power List

Age 41

When Cruise scribbles in his day planner, Hollywood shudders. A change in his schedule has ripple effects throughout the industry: When he opted to make Michael Mann’s ”Collateral” before ”M:I-3,” multiple studios were reconsidering plans for summer ’04. Although December’s ”The Last Samurai” couldn’t scare off a certain ”King” with a ring, that hasn’t stopped Warner Bros. from banking on it (Cruise is also, taking a pay cut to help finance its $100 million budget). He’s causing ripples off screen, too: Producing credits include the next Cameron Crowe film and the thriller ”Suspect Zero.”

Image credit: Jerry Bruckheimer Illustration by C.F. Payne

Jerry Bruckheimer

Producer

Jerry Bruckheimer made EW’s Power List

Age 58

In the halls of Hollywood power, the buzz is the same: Jerry Bruckheimer has been supersized. Already an Überproducer among Überproducers, Bruckheimer has solidified and clarified his singular stature with a blockbuster-packed year — in film, ”Pirates of the Caribbean” (the year’s biggest live-action hit) and ”Bad Boys II”; in TV, ”CSI” (the nation’s most-watched show) and sophomore hits ”CSI: Miami” and ”Without a Trace.” The man is no longer just a canny packager of talent and content with a fat back-end. Bruckheimer has become a brand. Like a Spielberg or a Hanks, his name drives box office (studios conspicuously emphasize ”from producer Jerry Bruckheimer” in ads because research shows it can help broaden a movie’s appeal) and ratings (witness the sterling premiere of CBS’ star-free ”Cold Case”). The Bruckheimer blend of hip, quick, slick, and even smart made ”Pirates” the summer’s most surprising (and fun) franchise launch. And this fall, he’s the hottest thing on TV. By February, Bruckheimer could have as many as six series on the air. His critic-proof formula does suffer from indulgences that only power can permit: ”Bad Boys II” could have been 20 minutes shorter — and better for it. But we quibble. Bruckheimer is now boldly extending his brand: Next, he wants to add a PI drama with Jimmy Smits — and a sitcom. His ’04 holiday season opus: Disney’s ”King Arthur.” Hubris? Perhaps. But if successful?well, our No. 2 — Steven Spielberg — may want to get used to being where he is.