Like most everyone, we at EW sometimes get backlogged with our correspondence and end up having to play catch-up. So for the next few weeks, we'll be doubling up on the issues covered on our mail page. In other numbers-related news, the trio of stunning leading ladies -- Naomi Watts, Jennifer Connelly, and Charlize Theron -- gracing our Oscar Race Begins! cover scored major points with readers (#745, Jan. 9). ''If you're going to keep running covers like the one you did for #745, you're going to have to include a sponge to sop up the drool,'' gushes Felix Vasquez Jr. from the Bronx, N.Y. ''Never have I seen such a beautiful cover with three of the most classy and sexy ladies in Hollywood.'' And speaking of sex appeal, our feature about 'N Sync's other heartthrob, JC Chasez, left many panting (#746, Jan. 16). ''Your Prince comparison is right on the mark,'' says Andrea Peterson of Tacoma, Wash. ''JC is an amazing talent who deserves as much attention as his bandmate has received.'' Surely Justin would agree.
I was shocked when I saw the cover featuring three talented and beautiful women, all fully clothed. Not only did EW prove that a woman can be sexy while wearing more than a thong, but it may even start up some crazy fad out in Hollywood: female entertainers who spend more time exploring their talents than taking off their clothes. BOBBI MACKENZIE email@example.com Des Moines
Watts, Theron, and Connelly are right to be grateful that they were cast in highly desirable, award-friendly roles and to dismiss claims they were ''brave'' for accepting them. What none of them acknowledges, however, is that their glamorous looks ironically played a part in their landing these ''unglamorous'' roles. For the powers that be to cast one of the enormously talented and underemployed character actresses in any of these leading roles rather than a model-type beauty -- that would be the real act of Hollywood bravery. ANDREW HEFFERNAN firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles
If Jessica Simpson is feigning stupidity for the sake of ratings, as your cover story suggests, then she is the finest actress since Meryl Streep. ERIC KLEIN email@example.com Glendale, Calif.
I'm disappointed that your Oscar story predicted only one cast member (Sean Astin) from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as a potential nominee. The Academy, narrow-minded as always, will reward this movie only for its technical achievements. Several of the actors gave wonderful performances, without which this would have been another Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones. Astin, Ian McKellen, and Bernard Hill top my list as those who should have been recognized but weren't. ANDREA KUMLER firstname.lastname@example.org Indianapolis
Ryan Seacrest the next Dick Clark (#745, ''The Music Man'')?! I wasn't aware that being a publicity whore with no discernible talent got you into a category like that. At least he'll be able to look at that and cry in a year when his middle-school-age fan base has grown tired of his fake smile and lame jokes. Good luck trying to be Carson Daly, Ryan! TYSON SUTTON email@example.com Wichita, Kan.