updated 08/31/2004 AT 2:40 PM ET
•originally published 09/03/2004 AT 6:00 AM ET
Chris Evans may have plenty of buzz around him with his roles opposite Kim Basinger in the upcoming thriller Cellular (opening Sept. 10) and as one of the titular stars of next year’s Fantastic Four, but success hasn’t spoiled the Boston native yet. “My Massachusetts buddies don’t give a crap” about his career, says the 23-year-old actor. “Hey, dude, I booked a movie,” he’ll say to them. The response? ” ‘Sweet. When are you coming home? ‘” Evans says. “They don’t even care. They’re very grounded and they’ve known me since I was 12 and a little geek. So there’s no confusion with who I am to them. It’s a good dose of reality to go back and hang with those guys.” So was it his inner 12-year-old geek that led Evans to take on the role of Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four? “I think that it’s every kid’s dream to be a superhero,” he says. “Who didn’t run around with towels tied around their necks and jumping off couches? So any superhero really would’ve been fine by me, but Johnny Storm is particularly fun because he’s a little bit of a hothead. He’s a hotshot. He just has a lot of fun and enjoys himself.”
What’s a stranded traveler to do? Well, if it happens to be John Travolta, he definitely won’t starve. When the Pulp Fiction star and his family and friends got stuck in Indianapolis recently, the traveling party of 20, staying in a motel near the Indianapolis International Airport, gave local caterer Tim Kirk, co-owner of the family-run IndyAnna’s Catering, a bit of unexpected business. Kirk got a call at around 11 p.m. from a Travolta assistant, who warned him to “expect a call tomorrow morning with a big order.” When the call came at about 7 a.m. the next day, “It was a big order all right,” Kirk tells us. On the menu: 20 ounces of black Russian caviar, 20 lobsters, 20 sirloin cheeseburgers (“that’s filet mignon,” says Kirk), mashed potatoes, eight cheese pizzas, 160 silver-dollar pancakes, 20 assorted sandwiches (turkey, tuna and rare roast beef) cut into wedges and 40 of IndyAnna’s own Worcestershire sauce-infused crab cakes. While it was no problem finding top-rate beef in Indianapolis, rounding up that much caviar and lobster, “that’s another story,” says Kirk. Ten employees worked all morning and got everything loaded on Travolta’s plane by 12:45 p.m., a half-hour before departure. The tab? About $8,000.
What’s it like to be 13 and have a No. 1 song on the charts? You could ask singer-songwriter JoJo (real name: Joanna Levesque), but then again … “As much as my friends who aren’t in the industry would like to be able to say they understand what I’m going through, it’s very difficult unless you’re really living it,” the “Leave (Get Out)” singer told us at the recent Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day event in New York. “If I’m seeing somebody, you have to know you can’t take pictures with them. You can’t let it be known because everybody has their opinions. Just that constant pressure to maintain a certain image when you’re just trying to live your life and be a teenager.” Of the comparisons between her and Britney Spears, she says, “Britney sold a whole lot of records, so it’s great to be put in the same category as her, in the same sentence. But she’s a singer-dancer. I’ll never be able to break it down like Britney does.”
Caught in the Act
Mark Wahlberg, at L.A. hotspot Ago with six friends. Also there the same night: Survivor alum Colby Donaldson.
Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn, dining on the patio at Nobu in Malibu with two companions.
Marisa Tomei, participating in a reading of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Electra at New York’s Lincoln Center, as part of the city’s Imagine Festival.
Dustin Hoffman, shopping at Fred Segal in L.A. with his wife and son.
Actor Taye Diggs, playing basketball at the Reebok Sports Club on New York’s Upper West Side.
By AMY LONGSDORF, SHIA KAPOS, CAROLINE HOWARD, KWALA MANDEL, MARISA LAUDADIO, CLARE KLEINEDLER and LAURA DOWNEY