Mirror Magazine


When the stars need to chill out
By Frank Durham
It's a tough life being a movie star, what with the parties, premieres and red-hot romances. So the stars all have their own ways of chilling out... like knitting a woolly jumper.

Others stand on their heads, get the needle or get on their bikes. Then there is the big star who loves to birdwatch and then strut his stuff with the occasional tango.

Among the glitterati who get busy with the knitting needles and balls of wool are Julia Roberts, Hilary Swank, Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, Winona Ryder, Cameron Diaz and Sarah Jessica Parker.

And tough Aussie Gladiator Russell Crowe isn't ashamed to fight stress by doing some 'knit one purl one' in the privacy of his own home.

Top-earning woman star Julia also likes to relax by having needles plunged into her by Suk Woon Hahm, a popular Hollywood acupuncturist. He then turns Penelope Cruz, Mena Suvari and Dan Aykroyd into human pin cushions.

Suk Woon explains: "Stars are stressed because of work and relationships, or from working at relationships. Their lives are not their own. It is often very hard to get them to relax."

Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell loves nothing better than to feel her cares melt away as she stands on her head by the pool in the skimpiest of bikinis. She is just one of the stars who use yoga as a stress-buster.

Others who find relief by practising the ancient art are Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Meg Ryan, Spider-Man Tobey Maguire and Nicolas Cage.

Among the calmer methods of relaxing is the ancient Chinese art of 'cupping' - as practised by Patricia Arquette. Small cups of heated air are applied to the skin, exerting a mild and soothing vacuum pressure.

Jennifer Lopez insists on having French aromatherapy candles on her list of dressing-room necessities. Sex and the City's Kristin David has a simple, down-home method of relaxing. She retreats into the kitchen and bakes her heart out.

Veteran star Robert Duvall chills out by 'twitching' - going bird-watching. He also loves to tango, and has installed a dance floor in his barn.

When the pressures of stardom get on top of Hollywood's hottest couple - Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston - they take a hike. Right into the Hollywood Hills.

Although many a star likes to get away from it all on the golf course, actor Hugh Grant has his own special way of playing the game. When he is on the road, Hugh takes along an indoor putting green.

Then, when darkness falls, he unrolls it and plays away until he is relaxed enough to climb into bed and fall asleep.

But golf is never going to do for the macho men of Hollywood. They love nothing better than tooling down the Pacific Coast Highway and into the mountain canyons on big, powerful motorcycles. Harley-Davidson 'hogs' are a favourite means of getting away from it all.

Among the ton-up boys are George Clooney, talk show host Jay Leno, Harrison Ford, Patrick Swayze and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As well as a $30,000 Harley Davidson, Arnie has lots of other toys to play with, including a tank. He bought the M-47 tank he drove as an Austrian Army conscript in 1965, and shipped it to his Pacific Palisades home.

He also has a $80,000 military Hummer, an overblown jeep as wide as a Tinsel Town agent's smile, and 'his' and 'hers' brand-new Mercedes G-wagen people carriers at $90,000 each.

The action star's garages also house a $150,000 grey turbocharged Porsche 911 and a retro-chic Excalibur roadster sports car, which retails at $80,000.

It's just as well Arnie, now 55, is pulling in $30 million for his forthcoming movie, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

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