By EW Staff
February 14, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Nothing like a flame-haired Nicole Kidman (#690, Jan. 10) to take the chill off, heating up readers still aglow from our recent cover of Hours costar Julianne Moore. ”Nicole and Julianne deserve all the accolades they are receiving,” cheers Stacy Arnovici of Aptos, Calif., ”for continually providing us with rich, complex characters.” Not everyone felt so warmly about Jim Mullen, who joked that the West Virginia Powerball winner planned ”to put new cinder blocks under every car in the state.” ”We might be poor when it comes to glamour and money,” attests R. Arnett from Mount Clare, W. Va., ”but we are very rich in morals and have beautiful land and homes to back that up.” Roy Stone of Morgantown, W. Va., goes one further: ”Cinder blocks are not used to support cars. They are too fragile. All West Virginians know that you have to use concrete blocks.” Thankfully no one mentioned anything about cement shoes.

Redheaded Ranger

Who’s afraid of NICOLE KIDMAN? Every other actress vying for an Oscar and having to compete with her high-caliber performances. JOHN PEREZ Simi Valley, Calif.

I had to do a double take at your cover. For a moment I thought it was Elizabeth Montgomery, only to find out it was Nicole Kidman. The studio making the Bewitched movie would be crazy not to get her. Isn’t it great to see she can make it without…what’s his name? G. DONALD AESCHBACH Tampa

What’s truly bizarre is that Nicole Kidman, with her sly gaze, looks more like the real Virginia Woolf in your cover photo than she does in The Hours, with that ridiculous beak. MARK MONROY Fair Oaks, Calif.

‘Surreal’ Deal

My face literally (literally!) hurts from smiling for the entire duration of the article about The Surreal Life (”Lifestyles of the Kitsch and Semi-Famous”). Thanks! BRIAN W. GOTTLOCK New York City

John Artist

Thanks for the article on John Cusack and his canon (”Being John Cusack”). He seems a rare breed of actor/movie star: decent, smart, cool, funny, affable, vulnerable yet fiercely independent, a gentlemanly, all-around regular guy (the type guys want to hang with and girls want to be with), and above all, a true class act. GEORGE SCHMIDT Fairview, N.J.

What an exciting issue! Nicole Kidman and John Cusack are two of the best actors of their generation. John Cusack is not only a treat to men, who feel he understands them, but a blessing to those of us who are married to those same men and finally get what makes them tick. DAWN THILMANY Fort Collins, Colo.

Be Nice Nice

What nerve Owen Gleiberman has, calling the voice of Roberto Benigni (Movies) — a man who has brought Italian cinema back to America, following in the footsteps of Fellini and Antonioni — an ”instrument of annoyance”! With Pinocchio, Benigni has created a film of fantasy (which answers your comment about the fake sets) for Italy’s children, who grow up with the wooden puppet as part of their culture. A.J. ALLEGRA Rolling Meadows, Ill.