Janeane Garofalo: The Anti-Ally McBeal

When Janeane Garofalo read the Hollywood Handbook, she must have skipped the part about how to develop an ego.

"I actually don't like my acting as a rule," says the comedian turned actress, who, in fact, turns in a fabulous performance as a savvy FBI agent in the new black comedy Clay Pigeons. She will, however, admit to a certain authenticity: "When I am laughing at stuff on camera, it's real. There are some actors who are so fake when they're having fun on camera that it drives me crazy. Like, the Selena movie Jennifer Lopez's laughter is so fake. Granted, she had to do 18 takes and everything, but my take on that is, 'If you can't bring the joy, just don't do it.' "

She's equally hard on Fox's Ally McBeal although she stresses she likes Calista Flockhart just fine. "I don't buy that empowering-women nonsense. Until her skirts get longer I don't buy it. And until she and Courtney Thorne-Smith stop dabbling in vaguely sexual behavior with each other over Starbucks coffee, it doesn't empower me. It doesn't make me feel better to see an anorexic in a short skirt."

Given her view of miniskirts, it's perhaps not surprising that Garofalo whose slate of upcoming films includes the dramas The Minus Man, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway and Abbie Hoffman won't do nude scenes. "I can't make that leap, because I'm still me," she explains. "I still have to go to Starbucks in the morning. My dad's still going to go to the movie. I'm not that kind of an actor yet where it's, like, 'That's not me.' That is still my ass. I can't live a life among people and be nude on the big screen." Susan Campbell Beachy