Antonio Banderas talks about his new movie, 'Assassins', Julia Roberts talks about why she likes being barefoot, and more

By EW Staff
Updated September 15, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

TOUGH TURF: For Desperado‘s Antonio Banderas, Hollywood is the land of hard knocks — mostly to the face. Playing a hired killer in October’s Assassins, starring Sylvester Stallone, the Spanish hunk did many of his own stunts. ”I got hit a lot,” says Banderas, who adds that one scene even resulted in a serious shiner. ”The stunt guy was supposed to fall on a bed [that] I was hiding under. All of a sudden, he hits the bed, it breaks, and my gun hits me in the eye.” Stallone confirms that Banderas was the patsy, joking, ”He has taken a beating, and, frankly, I enjoyed watching it every day.” In the end, says Banderas, it was worth the pounding. ”I think Sly was proud of me.” — Cindy Pearlman

SEX IN VENICE: Now that My So-Called Life has hit the skids, producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick are trading that awkward age for the age of reawakening. The duo is working on a big-screen version of The Honest Courtesan, Margaret Rosenthal’s 1992 biography of Veronica Franco, a 16th-century Venetian prostitute and poet. Herskovitz, who will direct, says his historical urge has long been building: ”The reason I got into this business was to make medieval epics,” he says. ”This is the 1500s, so I’m almost there.” But doesn’t that ”virtuous hooker” plot sound rather modern? ”Yeah, the joke around the office is that it’s A Pretty Noble Woman. But it’s really a serious exploration of a woman whose life wasn’t governed by shame.” Translation: The star will strip for action. Of the 125 actresses Herskovitz says he considered (including Winona Ryder and Uma Thurman), many weren’t up for the doffing. The damsel who was (after coaxing): Braveheart‘s Catherine McCormack. — Erica K. Cardozo

SOLE SEARCHING: No description of Julia Roberts is complete without the word barefoot. Not only does Something to Talk About‘s star frequently appear shoeless in movies and in magazines, she even got married in bare feet not so long ago. ”I suppose it’s a carryover from my youth,” Roberts reasons. ”I was barefoot a lot as a kid.” But could there be more? Could the actress be harboring an active aversion to footwear? Possibly. ”A lot of my girlfriends are shoe-obsessed, which is an aspect of being a girl that I really fail at,” she offers. ”So they’ve been really encouraging me to buy more shoes — which I’ve been doing. The only problem is that I buy them and then I don’t wear them. I have a closet full of shoes. They’re never goin’ on my feet.” — Jeff Gordinier

ETC.: In the upcoming remake starring Eddie Murphy, look for original Nutty Professor Jerry Lewis in a cameo. ”We don’t know in what capacity yet, but Jerry is excited about the possibilities,” says the film’s producer, Brian Grazer … Having worked with Robert Redford (Quiz Show) and Spike Lee (Clockers), John Turturro explains the difference between the two directors: ”Spike is shorter, darker, weighs less, and doesn’t fly-fish much.”