Music stars are coming to a theater near you

Hollywood’s latest recipe for success? Add a dash of pop star. LL Cool J just scared up a memorable role in Halloween: H20. Next year, Sean ”Puffy” Combs reportedly may grace the screen in Oliver Stone’s The League. Among others going from concert stage to screen:

SCREEN DEBUT He’s a high school footballer in Robert Rodriguez’s sci-fi thriller The Faculty (Dec. 25). HOW HE GOT THE PART ”He had that balance of being really handsome and, at the same time, very athletic,” says Cary Granat, president of Dimension Films, which will produce. WHY ACTING? Hey, he does everything his way.

SCREEN DEBUT She’ll play a girl who captures the hearts of two men in Universal’s Civil War drama Ride With the Devil (due in April). HOW SHE GOT THE PART She was pitched by her CAA agent. ”I read cold, and it went terribly,” she says of her audition. Director Ang Lee hired her anyway. WHY ACTING? Maybe she was meant for this, too.

SCREEN DEBUT Crow portrays a heroin addict in The Minus Man (due next year). HOW SHE GOT THE PART Costar Dwight Yoakam suggested her, and she won over director Hampton Fancher. ”All of a sudden I realized that on a physical level she could inhabit this character,” he says. WHY ACTING? A change would do her good.

Tricia Laine, with additional reporting by Rob Brunner and Jessica Shaw