Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
February 06, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Chris Cherot: If Miramax produced a Will Smith movie, it would go something like Hav Plenty, the slick love story written by, directed by, and starring Cherot, 30, who comes across like Smith’s funkier cousin. Miramax snapped up Cherot’s film, which pokes fun at rappers, Waiting to Exhale, and film festivals, for $1.2 million last fall, allowing Cherot the luxury of chilling out at his first Sundance. “My job on Hav Pletny is done,” he said. “I’m here to see movies.”

Robin Tunney: Her turn as a woman with Tourette’s syndrome in Niagara, Niagara made Tunney, 27, one of the most buzzed-about actors in town. Tunney, who also appeared in Montana, jokes, “I heard the word ‘fan’ said to me more than ever before.” But it was she who gushed upon meeting Lyle Lovett. “He had no idea who I was,” Tunney says. “I think he thought I was crazy.”

Christina Ricci: Coquettish turns in Buffalo ’66 and The Opposite of Sex created a blizzard of interest in the Ice Storm actress, but what she relished most was her role as an underage chaperone. “I go out with my agents and watch them get trashed,” said Ricci, 17. “It’s like they’re in high school, and the parents have left for the weekend. They’re partying, having sex, and doing every drug possible. It’s a riot here.”

Sam Rockwell: With three movies at Sundance (Safe Men, Jerry and Tom, Lawn Dogs), Rockwell temporarily replaced the ubiquitous Parker Posey as the patron saint of Park City. “It’s a fluke,” says the actor, 29, who wished the good fortune could’ve spread to one of his films (Safe Men failed to attract a distributor). “I don’t get it. It’s the most commercial of the three.”

Saul Williams: Even more electrifying than his turn as Slam‘s gifted poet were the impromptu slams Williams delivered after most screenings. But when asked to sum up Slam‘s surprise win, the loquacious 25-year-old used just one word: “It’s supercalifragilisticexpialiDOPEsh- -!”

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