Q&A: Ray Romano

After nine years, "everybody Loves Raymond" is going off the air. The final episode will show on May 16. Ray took time to speak to NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.

Have you filmed the last episode?
Yeah, over two months ago.

So now what do you do all day?
I drive around on a moped and I yell, "Remember me?" No, there's a lot of things to do, still a lot of residual "Raymond" stuff, and I'm reading scripts, doing stand-up.

Aren't you a big golfer?
Yeah, I'm playing golf a little bit more. My wife doesn't know; she thinks I'm going into the office.

Is it weird that you have enough money now to buy your own country?
Yeah, it's weird that I have anything. It's all fake Monopoly money. I don't really deal with it--my wife deals with it. Every morning I get clean clothes and an apple and I'm happy.

How much are Raymond's parents based on your own?
The father is very close to my father. He has a very dry sense of humor. It doesn't bother me, but it drives my wife crazy.

We had it on the show where he worked out how to listen to our answering-machine messages, so he would listen to them and then call up and tell us, "Hey Raymond, your doctor called." I would laugh it off but my wife would have a fit.

I'm on your wife's side.
Yeah, it was annoying.

Are you going to become a movie star now?
I want to be a movie star, a singer and a professional golfer.

Hey, you were in that movie with Gene Hackman, "Welcome to Mooseport."
Yeah, did anybody see it? That movie was on a plane and two people walked out. There's your rimshot.

The New Bennifer: Call Them Gaffleck Ben Affleck is engaged for the second time to a woman named Jennifer. Friends say Garner accepted his 4.5-carat diamond ring last week, and the couple is ready to get hitched. For now, Affleck and his new bride-to-be are keeping their lips sealed about wedding plans. (His publicist tells NEWSWEEK he "never ever" comments on the actor's personal life.) Judging from all the "Bennifer" hoopla in round one, can you blame them? So maybe this time he'll actually make it down the aisle. At least the current Jen and Ben have crossed paths a few more times than JB1 had when they became an item-- they only met on the set of "Gigli." 2001: the couple both appear in "Pearl Harbor"--although he's the lead and she's just a nurse. (Wonder if he took any sick days.) 2002: Ben is named People magazine's sexiest man alive. But Garner had beaten him to the punch, as Maxim's sexiest woman of the year before. 2003: more screen time together, in "Daredevil." She compares him to Superman. 2004: they start dating. 2005: how weird is this? Jen's ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan is fictively engaged to Ben's ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez in the upcoming movie "Monster-in-Law."

Wes's Many Messes

Could the life of a superhero get any messier? To start with, "Blade" star Wesley Snipes is suing New Line Cinema and the writer-director and executive producer of his last movie, "Blade: Trinity," claiming that he's owed $3.6 million. What's more, he says the defendants intentionally hired an all- white cast and crew to keep him isolated. New Line declined to comment. Regardless, the money from that lawsuit would help Snipes with other problems. He's in danger of losing his Orlando, Fla., house because he reportedly owes more than $20,000 in back taxes. (A few years ago he lost a $1.7 million Florida mansion because he failed to pay $640,793 in house payments.) And finally, there's a warrant for his arrest in New York because he refused to take a DNA test in a longstanding paternity suit. (A former prostitute says he's the father of her son. Snipes has said he never met the woman.) Yeesh. Looks like Snipes needs a new alter ego. And maybe a new accountant.

Tracking America's Top Drawer Celebs

Ashton Kutcher agreed to model underwear again if his movie topped the charts. As of Saturday, it hadn't, so he may not do his brief appearance. But we still have:


Hops from "Kangaroo Jack" into a pair of Perry Ellis undies.


Hanes couldn't wait to get him for a skivvilicious TV spot.


"Coach Carter," "Finding Forrester" star will be the 2xist guy.

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