We don't like spiders and snakes... That was the mantra on the set of the jungle thriller Congo. Which is why the most popular person on the Costa Rican set was snake-catcher Jules Sylvester. ''His whole job was running around the bushes and shaking a stick,'' says Congo actor Dylan Walsh. ''The first day it was silly. But after you'd seen a few poisonous snakes, Jules was the man to get in your corner. I'd strike up conversations with him just to keep him by my side.'' Ernie Hudson was equally sneaky. ''I was like, 'Jules, come over here, buddy. Let's do lunch.''' Though Hudson estimates Sylvester caught 20 to 30 snakes, the serpent tamer admits it was more like four. ''But I saw lots more,'' says Sylvester, who claims he's caught nearly 10,000 snakes in his 28-year career. ''If I'd gone looking for them, I'd probably have nabbed that many.''