Q&A: Jennifer Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge has made a scene-stealing career playing the coquette in "Best in Show" and the hot mom in "American Pie." She turns up in the Hilary Duff movie "A Cinderella Story." She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Nicki Gostin.

You play a mean floozy in "A Cinderella Story."

Yeah, sort of a mean, gold-digging, extremely self-centered plastic-surgery fanatic.

Is the floozy character based on anyone?

I used to baby-sit in Beverly Hills for these surgically sculptured women. They wanted me to come to the back door, and drink different water than the family.

Because of "American Pie," is it weird to be the idol of teenage boys?

[Laughs] A month ago I was walking through a very remote part of British Columbia, and kids were getting out of school and they went nuts.

Do younger guys ask you out?

Only the younger ones. It's very strange. I've never had an older man ask me out. I'm actually dating a younger guy right now.

You dated Chris Kattan. I thought he was gay.

I think he made a mistake by doing a lot of gay characters on "SNL." People thought he was the characters he was playing. When I was with him he was a very hetero guy--a very sort of horny young guy.

You play Matt LeBlanc's agent in "Joey." Are you and Drea de Matteo going to compete for tacky outfits?

In the pilot she had much less clothes on than me. We're both playing strong women. I hope that we get a scene together where we go against each other. I'm hoping there's a showdown.

The Housekeeper Really Cleaned Up

Ok, someone had to win the multistate, $294 million Mega Millions lottery, and if it couldn't be us--by the way, why couldn't it be us?--it's hard to begrudge the Lowell, Mass., woman who finally stepped forward last Friday. Geraldine Williams, a 68-year-old housekeeper and grandmother of eight, said she'd even intended to keep a cleaning appointment after learning of her multimillionaire status, but had to huddle with her financial advisers. (We'd have been in Tahiti by now.) "I can't believe it's me," the humble Williams told reporters at a press conference. Rather than take the jackpot in 26 annual payments of $7.8 million, she's opted for a lump sum of $117.6 million (that's post-Uncle Sam). Even after taxes, that's some Cinderella story.

Celebrities Say 'I Do' In Droves

Apparently taking advantage of the brief lull between Britney Spears's marriages, a surprising number of celebrities walked down the aisle last week. A quick look at who was in whose arms.


A "Bachelor" takes the plunge, though America didn't choose this "All My Children" beauty.


Branch, 21, added her name to the list of singers who marry young and believe it will work.


The rumors about David's flings and Posh's bling persuaded this pair to renew their vows.


The Spelling mansion was full of roses, uninvited paparazzi and ex-"90210" cast members.

A Little Kink in Cameron's Plan

It's not the sight of Cameron Diaz showing off her breasts and whipping a shackled guy's butt that's a shocker--hell, that's the raison d'etre of "Charlie's Angels." What's truly disturbing about Diaz's kinky video is that the star once sported gobs of purple eye shadow, fishnets and a frizzy mane, like some refugee from Bananarama. Diaz had tried to block photographer John Rutter from selling the video, taken during a racy photo shoot she did at the age of 19--and even had him arrested for extortion. But last week an offshore Web site,, began selling downloads for the obscene price of $39.95. Now the truth is out: Diaz was never porn-star material. "Get nasty, Cameron," Rutter coaxes in the video. "You look too cute."

So What If Athens Isn't Ready?

By the end of August, the name Michael Phelps will be as familiar to Americans as Carl Lewis, Mary Lou Retton and, if all goes according to plan, Mark Spitz. Last Wednesday night at the U.S. Olympic trials in Long Beach, Calif., the 19-year-old Baltimore swimming phenom put the world on notice that he is a serious threat to match--or even exceed--Spitz's 1972 record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics next month in Athens. On the opening night of the qualifying trials, Phelps shredded his own record in the 400-meter individual medley by nearly a full second, touching the wall in 4:08.41. After his win, a poolside reporter asked if it was wise to go full throttle in his first final, given his plan to race in five more events over the next seven days. "Well," said a grinning Phelps, who two days later won the 200m-freestyle final and a 200m-butterfly semifinal heat with a break of just 38 minutes in between, "I figure I'm here, so I might as well try to swim fast." Mission accomplished.