Eccentric MONA LISA SMILE star Maggie Gyllenhaal had an unusual method of keeping herself cool in the summer before she found fame - she froze her bedsheets.

The actress, sister of Jake Gyllenhaal, found it to be the best way to beat the oppressive heat of New York City's summers after graduating from Columbia University - especially as she couldn't afford air conditioning.

She says, "When I first got out of college I didn't have any air conditioning. I came up with interesting things to do. I put my sheets in the freezer. It's something that really works.

"You get your sheets a little bit wet and you put them in the freezer. In fact, you don't even really have to get them wet. You can just put them in the freezer. Just crumple 'em up before you go out and then right before you're about to go to sleep, take them out, put them on your bed.

"Hopefully you'll have a bottom sheet and a top sheet. Put the top sheet over you, and you have about 10 minutes - 12 minutes, maybe - to fall asleep, and it helps."

22/07/2005 09:30