"When Nicole Kidman walks into a room," says Stephen Rebello, who conducted this month's Playboy Interview with the Oscar-winning siren, "there's no question this is not the girl next door. She is completely larger than life in terms of her looks and her daring. We may not see it today, but I think years from now she'll be considered a legend, like Vivien Leigh or Geraldine Page—one of those extraordinary actresses who come along once in a blue moon." Rebello has known Kidman since she first washed ashore from Australia, back when most people thought she was destined to be nothing more than Mrs. Tom Cruise. "These days she is more confident. That frees her to reveal more of herself, which is apparent in the interview. She would not have given this kind of interview five or 10 years ago."
It's one of the best-kept secrets in acting: If you want to be successful, plan a trip to Serbia. At least that's the way it works for Ivana Bozilovic. "Every time I book a flight, I get a big job that keeps me from going," says the Belgrade native. "I need to keep booking flights." As a host of the Spike TV series Hotlines, she finds that travel and adventure come with the job. "I'm always jumping out of planes, riding real bulls or swimming with sharks," she says. "This year we're going to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. My life sucks, doesn't it?" At her annual Babes on Bulls charity event, Ivana tries to persuade her model friends to ride the mechanical bull. "I like girls who just go for it," she says. "I'm far from wild, but I'm not shy—or tame." She wasn't shy as the massageable Naomi in Van Wilder, and moviegoers will get another eyeful in The Wedding Crashers, in which she falls victim to lothario Vince Vaughn. "He plays a guy who goes to weddings to meet girls, and we make out," she says. "In real life I prefer that guys call me on time. Hey, I'm very available!" If you call, be ready to play Would You Rather...?, the game in which players trade unappetizing sexual scenarios. "I come up with really sick choices," she says. "It's entertaining to gross people out."
My girlfriend and I often stay with friends on week-end trips. This past weekend the walls were so thin I could hear the clock ticking one floor down. In this situation is it rude to make "fun noises"? Keep in mind that there is no way for us to be quiet. We have a good time and like to hear it. The bed will rock, the floor will creak, the windows will rattle. Please advise.—R.W., Chicago, Illinois
The Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee is a master-piece of artificiality. Under a 15-story glass atrium, Mississippi flatboats cruise an indoor river through nine acres of meticulous gardens. Brick sidewalks meander through miniature townscapes. It is a perfect world that does not, in any meaningful way, exist.
Over the past three years the U.S. has asserted its right to act militarily anywhere in the world to defend its global interests. The nations highlighted in red had more than 100 U.S. troops in mid-2004.
From Remarks by Kenneth Feinberg, special master of the federal fund that distributed $6 billion to relatives of 9/11 victims: "You would get situations like this: 'Mr. Feinberg, I'm the brother of the victim. Don't let my sister get a nickel. The victim hated her. Trust me.' Then the sister comes in. 'Is my brother spreading rumors? My dead brother and I loved each other.' Or this: 'Mr. Feinberg, I'm the biological parent of the victim. Don't you dare give his fiancée money. The marriage was never going to take place.' The fiancée comes in. 'We were going to be married on October 11.' You go back to the parent. 'You threw a shower for them. You said you were gaining a daughter, not losing a son.' 'Yeah, but on September 10 my son told me it was off.'"
Dead Calm (1989) The risk: Kidman dominates this nail-biter, especially when she turns the tables on psycho killer Billy Zane. When Kidman fakes passion for Zane by straddling him, he rips off her shorts. Don't worry—she wreaks serious revenge with a speargun. The payoff: At the time a relatively unknown Aussie, Kidman put herself on the map with her acting and sexy bravado.
Here's how the whole thing went down. Kelly Campbell first talked about it when she was working as an armored car driver. She was standing inside the entrance to the loading dock, a few feet from where the bare ground slopes downward toward the parking lot. That's when David Ghantt approached her van. He was pushing a chrome cart—call it six feet by three feet—loaded with about $2 million in green plastic bags.
What kind of woman goes on TV and chugs a maggot, bile and duck-tongue shake for money? Answer: the bikini-model kind. And therein lies the gag-reflex wonder, the dirty allure, the sheer genius of Fear Factor, one of the most perverted must-watch shows in prime time. There's no secret to why viewers come back every week: "It's the gross things the contestants do," says million-dollar "Couples" Fear Factor winner Monica Jackson, who cites encounters with spiders and snakes and the consumption of cow eyeballs before adding, "Of course, there's the attractive girls who are on, too." Take a look at Monica: Sure, she's eating a pig uterus, yet she's still sexy.
When I was 15 I realized for the first time that every woman in my town had a vagina: I had a girlfriend of my own, the first girl I got naked, and while horsing around I'd inadvertently done something that made her sigh in a way that changed everything. It meant I had become more than a dog rubbing up against a tree. It meant all the women in town could be made to sigh, and thus the town—where each morning the men gathered like ravens on the train platform, waiting for the 7:15 into the city, leaving the women needy and alone—could be mine. The teachers, the shop owners, the aerobics instructors, the moms. Oh, especially the moms, holed up in the kitchen or alone in the rec room, working out to Jane Fonda (this was the 1980s). Under each dress and pantsuit, under each pair of jogging shorts, jeans and clam diggers, the same secret machinery. Over time I lost this knowledge. I forgot it the way craftsmen in the Dark Ages forgot how to grind glass. My world became a rocky place, and I was too dumb to know it.
It's a December night, and despite the chill, Jerry Lee Lewis wears flip-flops, plaid pajama bottoms and a loose nylon jacket with a casino's logo on the back. Rock and roll's original wild child, now 69, enters the Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis. His band, along with a Los Angeles producer and an engineer, gathers around him.
About 800 feet above French soil, I feel the panic start to set in. I'm in the rear seat of a red-and-white Robin DR400 single-prop airplane, the meekest vehicle I've ever encountered. The little wings flap in the breeze. The engine buzzes like a gnat. I need a drink, and in that regard only, I'm in the right place.
As one of the managers of Campisi's Restaurant, a family-run business that has been a Dallas favorite since 1946, Amber Campisi can be chauvinistic about her family's cooking. "I'll eat anything," she says, "but I don't usually like Italian anywhere else. The way we do it is just better." It's hard to argue with her, especially since she's willing to put her opinion where your mouth is. When the 23-year-old restaurateur visited our office, she hauled in enough oval Campisi's pizzas to feed the staff. "My family can't travel without them," she says. "When we go to the Cayman Islands every year, we bring lasagna and pizzas in a cooler. It's ridiculous."
When my mother died, my father's early widowerhood gave him social cachet he would not have had if they had divorced. He was a bigger catch for the sorrow attached. He was kind, cultured, youthful and good-looking, and many women tended to him. They cooked dinner for him and sent their housekeepers to his Victorian near the Presidio Gate. My brothers were away at college, but I, who had dropped out of school, spent a good deal of time at the house.
Wristwatches with jumbo faces are big this year and getting bigger. So get bold and lead with your wrist. Top Row, from left: With a burgundy leather band, the chronograph by Ice Tek ($795) features eight diamonds. The Seastar diver's watch by Tissot ($525) is water-resistant to 100 meters. Noa makes the watch with the black face and raised silver numbers ($1,495). Its band consists of alligator leather stitched to rubber. Bottom Row, from left: Tourneau offers the steel Safari Sport ($495) with steel-mesh bracelet. The oversize watch with rubber strap is by Ebel ($4,350). The clean silver dial distinguishes the stainless steel watch by Movado ($1,495). The watch with the cream face and brown leather strap is by Timex ($35). It features an Indiglo night-light. Oris makes the stainless steel watch at far right ($995) with a sapphire crystal and leather band.
We caught up with Teri Polo the other afternoon, inside her great big Los Angeles house, near her great big tiled fireplace. She wore her blonde hair pinned up with a cheap plastic butterfly clip. She had on a pair of baby blue Ugg boots, green A&F work pants, a black thermal shirt from Target, a sweater. She seemed in a frowsy, lounge about mood, and at the moment she was looking out a window.
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 33, 37–40, 106–111, 112–113 and 162–163, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
As you approach Blackie Pagano's shop on Ludlow Street in New York City's Lower East Side, ignore the chopped-out motorcycle sitting outside the window. Same goes (this is harder) for the mint 1957 Porsche GT parked in front. Why? Because the really good stuff is inside. Pagano's work space is a riot of multimeters, oscilloscopes, drill presses, saws and World War II military surplus, all packed into a long, narrow storefront smaller than some people's bathrooms. From these rude electronic guts Pagano brings forth devices that are one part stereo equipment, one part sculpture—like Victrolas that play MP3s and monoblock amps made of circular saws that sound the way Milla Jovovich looks. Having cut his teeth building and repairing guitar tube amps for everyone from the Strokes to David Bowie for 13 years, Pagano creates works that could easily hang with the audiophile in-crowd—and at $3,000 to $20,000, they're priced to match. But Blackie has no interest in seeing his work in snobby high-end audio showrooms. Rather, his aim is to custom design and hand build something unique for each client. "I like to hang out with the person, have dinner with them, find out what kind of music they listen to," he says. "Then I can build them something. If someone's giving me five grand for an amp, I can't give him the same thing I gave the last guy." Plus, it's an investment: "When I build something, it's guaranteed for life. You should feel like you never need to buy another amp." See more of Pagano's work at tubesville.com.
Stolen Scream—In August 2004 The Scream, the Classic Painting by Edvard Munch, was Snatched from an Oslo Museum. It was the second time in a Decade that a Version of the Iconic Piece (there are four) had been taken. Simon Cooper Investigates the mind-blowing Multimillion-Dollar Heist.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), February 2005, volume 52, number 2. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, call 800-999-4438, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.