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.

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