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By Jeanne Wolf | January 1, 2010 | People
FROM LEFT: Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep
Alec Baldwin has had on-screen romances and sizzling sex with an enviable list of some of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies, from Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore to his ex, Kim Basinger. But he admitted he was stressing out about sharing a little love with Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated. He’s a guy remarried to a younger woman after a divorce and—whoops!—he finds himself falling in love all over again with his former wife, played by Streep.
“I worship Meryl,” Baldwin confessed to me. “She was the reason I did the movie. But you’re always terrified when you get romantic, because no matter who the actress is, you never know.” So how far does he go with La Streep in the comedy? Well, there is that scene where Baldwin is lying naked on a bed waiting for Streep to join him. (Psst: He insists it was a body double.)
Baldwin thinks Streep is perfect as a sexy divorcée, even though he knows it’s a stretch for her. “She has been married to the same guy all these years and has this fabulous family—four kids,” he says. “She’s just an amazing woman and also a terrific mom.”
And talk about an ironic twist: Competing with Baldwin for the affection of Streep’s character in It’s Complicated is Steve Martin, who’ll be joining him to cohost the upcoming Academy Awards. “He’s not only an actor, but he’s also an amazingly inventive comedian,” Alec enthuses. “Steve could come up with, like, 20 different ways to do a scene. It was kind of exciting to watch, because he was always very funny.” Funny is what we can expect when the two team up on Oscar night. Baldwin deadpans, “I don’t play the banjo like he does, but I’m thrilled to be joining Steve. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Michael Cera’s Revolt: He was a prime-time nerd in the cult-hit television series Arrested Development. Since then, Michael Cera has built his career on roles as socially challenged teenagers, from Superbad to Juno. So is this typecasting? He cheerfully admits, “I can be a little geeky myself, but hopefully less inept than some of the kids I’ve played. I will say that if you compare me to all my ex-girlfriends as to who’s more attractive, it’s always them.”
Now Cera is taking on the role of another high-school misfit, Nick Twisp, in Youth in Revolt, based on the perennially popular novel by C.D. Payne. But you’ll see a new side of him as he also plays Twisp’s imaginary alter ego, Francois, a devilish Frenchman sporting a pencil-thin moustache with a cigarette always perched on his lip.
“I had a blast playing Francois,” he reveals. “I got to smoke and say shocking things that I would never think of in real life. The only thing I resisted was a French accent. People just wouldn’t accept me trying to sound like Jean-Paul Belmondo, on whom the character is based. I would have been booed off the screen.
“I was around the age of Nick Twisp when I read Youth in Revolt,” he continues, “and I completely related to it. Anyone who was ever a teenager has to feel the same way, especially if you had a romantic interest who somehow drove you crazy.” In the movie, Nick will do anything to get the attention of his dream girl, Sheeni.
So did playing a guy who’s desperate to get the girl give Cera a feeling of déjà vu? He replies with a smile, “Who doesn’t remember what it’s like to be in love for the first time, and all of the crazy things you want to do when you get that feeling? Haven’t we all met someone who blows our mind? I just could really relate to that torment.”
Cera also feels a little of that same emotion about becoming a celebrity. “I don’t spend time thinking about my image,” he says, “although some other people do. I’ve been acting since I was nine. It still feels the same. The difference is, when you’re out in public, people feel like they know you. Everything else is the same—same friends, same family, same clothes, same house, same car. People can read stuff about me and know what I do for a living, but they don’t know the real me.”
Kristen Bell Finds Romance in Rome: Kristen Bell isn’t complaining about being on location: After filming Couples Retreat in exotically beautiful Bora Bora, she headed to Italy for When in Rome, costarring Josh Duhamel. Kristen is just kidding about her hunky leading man when she says, “Oh, man, is Josh ugly.” She quickly adds, “He’s actually very funny as well as good-looking.” Bell is pursued by not only Josh, but also a few other guys who drop coins in the famous Trevi Fountain. She says, “I love being the object of affection, but I’ve been acting a lot lately with basically men, so my next film, You Again, was a nice change of pace. The cast is mostly women, and it ranges from Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis to Betty White.”
PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.COM (BALDWIN); JIM SPELLMAN/WIREIMAGE.COM (STREEP); ERIC CHARBONNEAU/WIREIMAGE.COM (CERA); JESSE GRANT/WIREIMAGE.COM (BELL)