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The Deal Report

MOVIES Bird? Plane? No, it's...Eva Marie Saint playing mama Martha Kent in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns! ''Well, isn't that good?'' laughs the Oscar winner (1954's On the Waterfront), who also appears in this month's Because of Winn-Dixie and fall's Wim Wenders drama, Don't Come Knocking. Since she's ''sworn to secrecy,'' Saint would tell us only that Mrs. Kent is a widow who helps protect her son's superpowered identity. That's enough for her three teenage grandkids. ''They were so impressed!'' she says. ''Not Waterfront — kind of dark and serious. North by Northwest — oh well, climbing a mountain. But this: 'Good God, Grandma, that's great!'''. . . Where the heck has The Big Lebowski's Sam Elliott been lately? ''I'm older and I get boxed into this genre thing,'' says the movie cowboy, who just wrapped another lone-ranger-type part in the Aaron Eckhart comedy Thank You for Smoking and recently headed to Australia to play the Caregiver in the Nicolas Cage comic-book flick Ghost Rider (also featuring Eva Mendes). ''I hang out in a graveyard and drag a shovel around,'' he boasts. He and his wife, The Graduate legend Katharine Ross, may also team up for the baseball indie The Final Season. ''She plays the coach's wife. She's thrilled to be working. This town s---s on its actresses, particularly when you get past a certain age.''

TELEVISION The Deal Report thinks Kyra Sedgwick is swell (loved her as Dennis Quaid's sassy sister-in-law in Something to Talk About — hooo-weee!). So we're counting the days until her TNT cop series The Closer (not to be confused with Tom Selleck's short-lived CBS comedy) premieres in June. ''It's like Prime Suspect, but my character's from Atlanta, kind of Southern belle-ish, and moves to L.A.,'' says Sedgwick, last seen in hubby Kevin Bacon's Sundance premiere, Loverboy. ''She's this quirky, complicated CIA-trained interrogator trying to make it in the masculine world of the LAPD.'' The Agency's James Duff and Nip/Tuck's Greer Shephard and Mike Robin are exec-producing the 13-episode first season, which Sedgwick promises is ''really cool. I would have been horrified if it had not turned out well and I still had to do it.'' So would we, Kyra.

Originally posted Feb 14, 2005 Published in issue #807 Feb 18, 2005 Order article reprints