Anthony Rapp, the openly gay actor and singer best-known for his role in the Broadway and movie versions of RENT, can’t say very much about his role in the first new Star Trek series in more than a decade.
‘I can say that I’m in it, and that I’m really excited about it,’ Rapp tells Metro Weekly of being part of the cast of Star Trek: Discovery. ‘I pretty much am not allowed to say anything else. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say that. It’s so profoundly under wraps, which I completely understand and actually endorse. But I’m really excited.’
Star Trek: Discovery is currently filming in Toronto and expected to debut later this year on CBS All Access. Rapp plays the character of (Lt. Stamets who he can confirm is gay.
‘I’m honored,’ he says of playing a gay character in Star Trek. ‘I’m also honored to be a part of a piece of work that’s part of the cultural pantheon. It’s kind of crazy that I get to be a part of something that means so much to so many people. It meant a lot to me, too. I’m thrilled and I’m honored to be the vehicle for this aspect of the story that’s being told.’
This summer’s Comic Con in San Diego should give Rapp his first real taste of what it’s like to be a part of something that is such a cultural phenomenon.
‘The Rent phenomenon was much smaller, in many ways, but I think it gave me a taste of what it can be like,’ he says ‘I have a couple friends who are huge Trek fans, so they’ve kind of given me the heads up that what’s coming my way. I’m as ready as I can be. The thing I hope the most is that the work is good and well-received, and that we can all be proud of it.’
Our gorgeous and talented Morning Man is Nicholas Rodriguez who is celebrating his 40th birthday today.
I became a fan of his back in 2009 when he played the role of Nick on the late, great ABC soap One Life to Live.
His character came between the characters of Kyle and Oliver in daytime TV’s first gay love triangle.
It was great stuff for awhile until suddenly all of the gay characters were written out of the show in the early months of 2010.
Still, the storyline had gone on long enough that it was able to clearly touch all kinds of people.
But the soap was hardly the beginning or the end for Nicholas who is a busy veteran of the stage.
Last year alone he appeared Off-Broadway in Spamilton: An American Parody and in Death for Five Voices as well as I Am Anne Hutchinson/ I Am Harvey Milk in Washington DC.
He portrayed Captain Georg von Trapp in the 2015 national tour of The Sound of Music and was The Beast in a 2015 regional production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Nicholas had also previously starred in the role of the young, lovestruck Italian shop clerk Fabrizio in Arena Stage’s production of The Light in the Piazza, played Jesus in a touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar and appeared on Broadway as the King of the Apes in Tarzan.
Diana Ross has been one of the biggest for more than 50 years and is still going strong. When I last saw her in concert at Hollywood Bowl in 2013, it was as if time had stood still. She looked amazing, the voice was in fine form and she had a capacity crowd wrapped around her finger. Look forward to seeing her again this summer!
Her decade as lead singer of The Supremes secured her place in music history then she went out on her own and scored a stunning series of number one hits including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me in the Morning, Do You Know Where You’re Going To, Love Hangover, Upside Down, and Endless Love. Then there was the wonderful anthem adopted by so many gays: I’m Coming Out, the dance faves The Boss, Chain Reaction, Mirror, Mirror, I Will Survive and the beautiful ballads Missing You, Reach Out and Touch and It’s My Turn.
I’ve also seen the legend in concert in 1989 (Workin’ Overtime tour), 1991 (Force Behind the Power tour), 1995 (Take Me Higher tour) and in 2008 at Hollywood Bowl and have just about every solo CD including Diana’s most recent: I Love You, her biggest seller in many years. She has only released three CDs in the past 20 years as her once-famous ambition seems to have leveled off. She’s also an Oscar nominated actress (Lady Sings the Blues) whose last full-on dramatic role was in the 1993 movie-for-television Out of Darkness. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for what was, I think, the best acting performance of her career second only to Lady Sings the Blues. She also starred in Mahogany and The Wiz but her most recent film, Double Platinum, was a decade ago!
The drop-off in professional output could be because she has had other interests like her five amazing kids, some of whom are making their way in showbiz including Girlfriends star Tracee Ellis Ross and actor Evan Ross. She’s also a grandmother now. It’s probably easier to pick and choose when you’ve accomplished just about all there is. In 2007, Miss Ross was among the recipients of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors award, the highest tribute any artist can get from this country. In 2012 she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award then last year, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.
So on her birthday, here is Miss Ross singing some of her many hits through the years.
Dreamboat television and film actor Perry King is still looking terrific at 69 but he was a real heartthrob in the 80s when he was one of the stars of NBC’s Riptide.
Perry made his film debut in the 1972 feature Slaughterhouse Five but lost out on the role of Hans Solo in Star Wars three years later to Harrison Ford.
His other feature credits included The Lords of Flatbush with Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler, Lipstick with Margaux Hemingway and a very controversial movie for its time: A Different Story which cast him as a gay man best friends with a lesbian played by Meg Foster.
He made scores of TV movies including Inmates: A Love Story opposite Kate Jackson; The Hasty Heart for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the highly-rated miniseries I’ll Take Manhattan.
Post-Riptide, he had a recurring role on Melrose Place and played a patriarch of a very rich and very dysfunctional family in the NBC primetime soap Titans which also starred Victoria Principal, John Barrowman and Yasmine Bleeth, among others.
His most recent TV credits include guest spots on Big Love, The Mentalist and Drop Dead Diva.
In Dax Shepard’s new cop buddy comedy CHIPS, an undercover FBI agent played by Michael Pena accidentally does a face-plant into his partner’s crotch.
Then he kind of freaks out about it.
In an earlier scene, the hyper-masculine agent’s face can be seen twitching uncomfortably when he is greeted in a police locker room with the sight of cops in their tight underwear.
Their bulges bounce off each other as the bare-chested cops share hugs, according to TheWrap.
‘The buddy comedy — set amid the culture of a Southern California police force — seems to endlessly dredge up scenarios where men are confronted with the naked bodies, perceived masculinity and potential desire for other men,’ the site states.
Shepard not only stars in the comedy, he also wrote and directed it. He and his actress wife Kristen Bell – one of the film’s co-stars – addressed the charges of homophobia this week.
‘I do think it’s fun and challenging to have a topic like homophobia be in this movie and to do it correctly. That’s a very fun challenge,’ Shepard tells Huffington Post.
‘The intent isn’t homophobic, the intent is actually to be progressive and still deal with that issue because that issue is always going to be funny ― all those issues are going to be funny.’
Bell described her husband to the Associated Press as ‘the most un-homophobic person you could ever find ― I mean, we waited until everyone could get married before we got married, based on principle.’
The Wrap notes that the film has three gay characters. The include a dirty cop and an armored car driver are secretly a couple.
Another cop – this one openly gay – is proudly promiscuous. He tells female officers he’d sleep with either Shepard or Pena’s character as he objectifies them in their tight uniforms.
It’s so great that Elton John has turned 70 and is still so active and passionate about life. He’s a husband, the father of two young kids and as an artist still touring and still turning out new music. In his five-decade career, Elton has sold more than 300 million records – here are a handful of some of my very faves:
‘You know, this is an important thing. People who live in the mainstream and the status quo think that everyone else is there to serve them.’
It’s clearly part of a bigger issue.
Explains RuPaul: ‘OK, so I’m a brown-skinned gay man, I do drag. Early on, I learned that I could do it well and make money. So people automatically ask me about beauty tips and I get kids who write me and say, “I wish you could do my makeup for my prom?” Or “I wish you could do my makeup for my wedding?” I’m like, “Bitch, I’m not a makeup artist. I’m an entertainer. OK?”’
Because he is a gay man who does drag, RuPaul says people don’t know how to place him in their consciousness.
‘They think “Oh, you must be here to make me look good. That’s what gay guys are right? You’re an accessory for my straight life.” Just because your limited view is that everyone’s there to serve you and that you’re the only person in the world. It doesn’t work that way.’
The four-time Emmy winner is such a hoot on The Big Bang Theory. But he’s also used his fame to land dramatic roles in such acclained films as The Normal Heart and Hidden Figures. He was also a smash on Broadway in An Act of God. Here are some comedy clips from Jim Parsons for you to enjoy on his 44th birthday.
Sadly, Cher has dropped out of Flint, a Lifetime TV movie about the Flint, Michigan, water contamination crisis.
The Oscar winner says family issues prevent her from being able to begin shooting Flint in Toronto next month.
‘This has been a project so near and dear to my heart and I was truly looking forward to helping tell this story,’ Cher said in a statement.
‘Unfortunately I will be unable to leave Los Angeles during the scheduled filming as I am dealing with a serious family issue that prevents me from going on location for the April filming.’
Cher added: ‘I’m so glad that [executive producers] Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron] plan to move ahead and I know that this Lifetime movie will be done beautifully.’
Cher’s role will be that of a Flint resident whose family is impacted by the poisoned water.
The fact-based drama not only looks at the human element of the crisis but also at the politics and poor management that led to it.
The ultimate gay icon had been passionate in speaking out about the crisis and has donated vast amounts of clean drinking water to the residents of Flint.
Focusing more on live performing in recent decades, Cher has made relatively few films since her Academy Award-winning performance in the 1987 film Moonstruck.
But several of her movies have been memorable including Mask, Silkwood, The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, Tea with Mussolini, Mermaids and Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.
Cher has made only one other TV movie in her career. It was 21 years ago when she was one of the stars of the HBO trilogy of abortion stories If These Walls Could Talk for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
It’s not known if Cher will remain a producer on the movie along with Zadan, Meron, and Katie Couric.
Oscar and Emmy winner Patricia Arquette will need to make room on her shelf for GLAAD’s Vanguard Award. This is an award presented to media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equality and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Previous Vanguard Award honorees include Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone.
Arquette will be honored at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on April 1. She is being recognized for consistently using her platform to voice support of the LGBTQ community and issues such as marriage equality and transgender equality. An outspoken advocate for her late transgender sister, Arquette most recently spoke out against the Academy Awards’ glaring omission of Alexis Arquette from this year’s In Memoriam tribute.
“Patricia Arquette embodies the critical voice needed during these times to resist against injustice and discrimination across a range of issues,” says GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “She is a beacon of light who has consistently used her platform to advance equality across marginalized groups and to drive culture-changing conversations that move acceptance forward.”
Steve McQueen, the ruggedly handsome and very sexy star of The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Papillon, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown Affair and many other films, died far too young.
McQueen was born 87 years ago today. Sadly, he was just 50 when he died in 1980 after developing several large abdominal tumors.
Thank God for the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival which is where in recent years I’ve seen so many McQueen films on the big screen which is how they should be seen to be fully enjoyed and appreciated. This is an actor who really was one of a kind.