Tony Soprano says Redford's a goodfella

James Gandolfini admits he's a donut; war with no end: Ono and McCartney. Plus: Drew Barrymore to take direction from George Clooney.

By Amy Reiter

Published October 22, 2001 4:22PM (EDT)

Standing next to the Sundance Kid can make anyone feel a little insecure. Even Tony Soprano.

"Robert Redford's in great shape, isn't he?" James Gandolfini inquires rhetorically about his strapping costar in "The Last Castle" in a New York Post interview. "And here I am, 20 years younger, and I [look] like a jelly donut in a camouflage outfit!"

Paging Dr. Melfi ...

Then again, the 40-year-old "Sopranos" star isn't itching to go from beefy to buff anytime soon.

"I suppose if I lost 20 pounds I could play different parts," he says. "Right now, I'm just enjoying myself."

Pass the prosciutto.

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Big Pussy-cat

"I think I got him a little nervous, so I said to him: 'I'm not a wiseguy, don't get scared.'"

-- Vincent Pastore, who played Pussy on "The Sopranos," on making Emeril Lagasse less than "happy, happy" during the taping of his cameo appearance on "Emeril."

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Bam! You're snockered!

And goodfellas aren't the only fellas that frighten Lagasse. Wireless Flash News reports that the TV chef is none too pleased about a new trend that is sweeping through college dorm rooms across the nation: "Emeril Drinking Parties."

How's it work? Every time Lagasse utters "happy, happy," "kick it up a notch" or "Bam!" or tipples a little himself on his Food Network cooking show, "Emeril Live," the kooky kids take a shot in his honor.

"I don't like the idea of promoting irresponsible drinking," Lagasse laments.

Way to burn the toast, dude.

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Bad Beatles blood

"I don't think I was invited."

-- Yoko Ono on why she did not attend Paul McCartney's Concert for New York City benefit over the weekend, in the Toronto Sun.

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Juicy bits

Although it's still not clear how much Tom Cruise is going to have to shell out to Nicole Kidman in their divorce settlement, a judge has ordered him to shell out a chunk of change to the ex-wife of his alleged tormentor, Chad Slater (aka porn star Kyle Bradford). According to the Agence France-Presse, the court has thrown out the actor's claim against Slater's ex, Kristina Ann Kristin, which Cruise filed as part of his defamation suit against Slater himself. What's more, the judge has reportedly ordered Cruise to pay Kristin's court costs: $27,900. Show her the money, Tom.

"The Gong Show" gets goin': Drew Barrymore has agreed to play the female lead in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," the Chuck Barris story, Variety reports. She'll star alongside Sam Rockwell (as Barris) and George Clooney, who will also direct. Charlie Kaufman ("Being John Malkovich") has written the script. No word yet on who will play "Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine."

And you thought Elaine had chutzpah. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is boldly going where her "Seinfeld" costars have failed (or appear to be failing). The actress is fixing to star in her own sitcom, which has just been picked up by NBC. Louis-Dreyfus will play a struggling nightclub singer in the show, "23:12," which will take place in real time (23 minutes, 12 seconds, total). Here's hoping this one turns out to be a show about something.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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