So got to last night’s CBS/CW/Showtime party outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel last night and rather than go right inside and try and interview stars, I lingered for awhile around the red carpet.
Thought the readers of Greg In Hollywood might appreciate some of my snapshots of their favorite stars.
Though my lens automatically gravitates toward hot guys like Michael Weatherly (pictured, right), Oliver Hudson, Trevor Donovan, David Duchovny, Ed Westwick, Shane West, Matt Lanter, some of my very favorite ladies like Sela Ward, Sara Gilbert, Swoosie Kurtz, Hollyw Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Gabourey Sidibe also caught my eye.
Also at the party but who I spotted but whose photos I did not manage to get were Michael C. Hall, Tom Selleck, Pauley Pereete, Donnie Wahlberg, Julie Chen, William Shatner, Kevin Nealon, Jerry O’Connell, Madeline Zima, Shenae Grimes, AnnaLynne McCord, and Michael Steger, among many others.
Inside, the booze flowed and there were some pretty tasty food stations serving such grub as grilled paninis, goumet pizzas, fish and chips, and prime rib and some delicious-looking gelato. I usually only tell my sisters what food was served at parties but thought for today, why not share?
Tim Gunn, mentor to the designers on Project Runway since 2004, is having a birthday.
Talk about a Silver Fox!
Runway marked the beginning of his television career and he has since also hosted Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and done guest stints on Ugly Betty, Drop Dead Diva and How I Met Your Mother.
Before he became a TV star, Tim was on the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design from 1982 to 2007 and was chair of fashion design for the last seven years. He then joined Liz Claibourne as its chief creative officer.
A few things I did not know about Tim: His father was an FBI agent working under J. Edgar Hoover. Tim was also a champion swimmer throughout high school.
If Tim is anywhere near The Abbey in West Hollywood tonight, I’d love to buy him a drink!
It’s my second day here at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
My posts are going to be a little off their usual schedule but there will be plenty of updates via Twitter throughout the day of what I see and hear. So if you are not following greghernandez on Twitter, what the heck are you waiting for?
It’s CW and Showtime day at TCA. Here is a sampling of some of my tweets so far:
TCA: Matt Leblanc says that after 12 years as Joey, he wanted some time away from showbiz. about 1 hour ago via web
TCA: Matt Leblanc is here for “episodes” panel. He looks great with the salt and pepper hair! The show looks very funny! about 1 hour ago via web
TCA: Jennifer Carpenter on how Deb’s mouth affects her: “I cuss a lot. I’m trying to be more aware of it. I don’t even see it anymore.” about 2 hours ago via web
TCA: A healthy Michael C. Hall says of returning to work: “It was gratifying. I was grateful the hiatus managed to coincide w/my treatment”
TCA: Cast of “The Real L Word” is just ripping on Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s screwy theories on why older women become lesbians about 3 hours ago via web
Much more to come with the CW folks introducing their shows Nikita, Hellcats and Gossip Girl in just a bit!
So here’s the deal: If I were not here in Beverly Hills hunkered down covering the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week, I would have made some time to head out to the tennis center at UCLA where the male pros are playing this week.
One of the entrants is this Russian stud, Dmitry Tursunov! He lost in the qualifying but is still competing in doubles of what is now called the Farmers Classic.
The 27 year old was 12 years old when he came to the United States to train and further his prospects of becoming a professional player.
He’s an offensive baseliner with excellent groundstrokes from both sides, and prefers to play on faster surfaces. He is the first to joke about his lack of ability and success on clay courts.
Tursunov helped the Russian Davis Cup Team win the 2006 Davis Cup and reach the finals of the next year. He’s twice made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon, won six career titles and been ranked as high as number 20 in the world.
But he’s suffered a series of injuries and his ranking currently hovers below 300. But his hotness is not lost on fans and promoters of the game: Tursunov was the December month in the 2009 Association of Tennis Professionals calendar.
Anyway, if Dmitry promises to play UCLA next year, I promise to be there!
We know that a male character is going to come out as gay during the next season of the CW’s 90210.
What we don’t know is who the character will be.
But it’s a safe bet that it will be one of three characters: Liam Court (Matt Lanter), Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan) or Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger).
I chatted with all three actors at last night’s CW/CBS/Showtime party in Beverly Hills and point-black asked each of them if their character was the one.
The trio was too smart to let it slip!
“I do know. I, however, cannot say,” Matt said. “I guarantee you someone is watching over my back right now. It’s a big secret. They sent us all emails and made sure we were very aware that we were not to talk about that secret.”
But Matt did have some thoughtful things to say about the plot development: “I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s an issue that is becoming more and more real in schools today, people are coming out more and more. I think it’s something that teens deal with and it can be done in a real way.”
“However they do it, I hope it holds some weight and I hope it’s not just like a one episode on, one episode off kind of deal,” he added. “I hope it’s something that they take seriously and I think they’re going to. That’s the plan so we’ll see.”
Matt has not yet played a gay role but he said he does not have an objection to doing so: “I think you have to find the right project to do it. I don’t think it’s something that you want to take lightly. I think it’s something that if you’re going to tackle as an actor, that you’ve got to do it right. You’ve got to give it your all. What [Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal] did with Brokeback Mountain was I really think changing for the industry, I think it really was. They’re both regarded as tremendous actors and they got a lot of respect for that and I respect them for that too.”
Trevor would also be glad to play gay and is impressed so far by how the show is developing the storyline.
“It’s exciting because the way they’re explaining it, it’s going to be written in a way where it’s really going to focus on the struggle of coming to fruition of who he is – whoever he is,” he said. “To tell you the truth, I would be honored and flattered and excited if it was me. Because not only would it be a great opportunity to sort of display and showcase your acting chops, but it’s also a great opportunity to struggle of coming to that fruition, the realization.”
“From what I understand, it’s going to be a process, it’s going to be an arc just like it is in real life, coming to terms with it and coming out,” Trevor added. “It’s a struggle and they really want to show that struggle. It’s not just, ‘Oh, I’m gay’ and show like the shock value of two guys kissing on network TV. They are going to write it intelligently and it’s going to be interesting.”
Regardless if Navid is the gay character, Michael will be playing gay on television anyway. He will guest on the Aug. 12 episode of HBO’s True Blood and his character is gay.
As for the 90210 plotline, he said: “I think it’s going to be interesting because last year they dealt with Adrianna [Jessica Lowndes] experimenting. This year it’s going to be on a much more serious level and it’s going to run a while arc of the show so it’s going to be much more compelling for audience members and they’re going to be shocked to find out.”
Okay, we’re heard from all three. I’m going to put my guess/prediction out there: Teddy Montgomery will be the character who comes out.
But whoever it is, it will be fun and, I hope, gratifying to watch.
Roseanne alum Sara Gilbert has played many different characters as an actress. But in her new CBS daytime show The Talk, she’ll be herself – something that seems a little daunting to the actress who is one of six co-hosts on the show as well as executive producer.
At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour on Wednesday, Gilbert was asked if she thought it would be easier to succeed as a lesbian in daytime television thanks to the road paved by Ellen DeGeneres.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t really ever think of things as out or in. I just think I am who I am and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them share when it seems right.”
Julie Chen, one of the other hosts who seems to be the panel’s moderator, interjected: “You probably don’t know the answer to that right now. Because once we get on the air, you’re probably going to see how much press there is about ‘Sara Gilbert’ is a lesbian.’ And then you probably can answer that a little more accurately I would think. It’s a whole new journey.”
One reporter tried to gauge just how comfortable Gilbert is about her personal life since in the initial press release announcing the show, the husbands of Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remni and Marissa Jaret Winokur were all mentioned but Gilbert’s partner Allison Adler was not.
“That came from me,” she said. “CBS would have written whatever I wanted. I’ve been acting my whole life, and I’ve never really discussed my personal life. This is a talk show. so obviously I’m going to be discussing my life more and I felt that the first place that I wanted to do it wasn’t in a CBS press release. It just seemed impersonal, and I felt like I’d rather come in person and talk to you about all that stuff here [at press tour].”
Sara was also asked if a performer who is gay can be out and worry less about the impact on their career these days. She said: “I don’t know. I’m not an expert on this or I don’t analyze these things. I’m just sort of living my life. I plan to put my heart and soul into this show and I plan to continue acting, and I don’t think it will be a problem.”
After the session, Sharon Osbourne – a staunch LGBT supporter – told Greg In Hollywood that the questions about Sara’s sexuality “really pissed me off. Who’s business is it? Why does it matter?”
But I decided to talk to Sara about it anyway, wondering if she, for example, would take a cue from Rosie O’Donnell when she was on The View and would talk often about then-wife Kelli Carpenter and their kids. [She and Allison have two children].
“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m naturally kind of a private person. I’m at a place in my life where I’m excited about this project and I want to share more. How much that is I guess I’ll get to find as the show goes. I’m not someone who’s been a talk show host before so I’m going to follow the lead of people like Sharon and Julie who have a lot more experience than I do and try and find the right zone for myself and my family.”
it was for her to, for the first time, talk a little bit about her girlfriend in front of the media.
“It feels fine,” she said. “It’s a change for me and I’m excited. That’s one of the things I love about life is changing and growing and having new experiences because if I didn’t then it would be the same thing over and over again. I feel happy about where I am in my life right now.”
Publicist Howard Bragman, who recently helped actress Meredith Baxter (pictured) and singer Chely Wright with their well-orchestrated coming out campaigns, has a special Coming Out airing on A&E later this year.
Early reports had Bragman involved in a series but he sat down with Entertainment Weekly to clarify the focus of his upcoming television project greenlit last week. Here is an excerpt:
Q. Are you envisioning this as a live show, where people pop out from behind a curtain and say “Hey, I’m gay!”? Or will it be more of a behind-the-scenes look as they go through the planning and process of coming out?
A. The latter. It’s going to be very documentary-esque. We’re going to be telling people’s stories, and you have to do that with a certain amount of sensitivity. You know as well as I do, none of us gets out unscathed from coming out and growing up gay. I don’t care if you’re the best looking kid in the world and go to the most liberal school and have the best parents: It still screws your head up to some extent, and we all get a little damaged as a result of it. And hence we get stronger and more creative, and lots of good comes out of it, but it’s not easy.
Q. Why do this show, and why now?
A. I want people to understand that standing up and saying “Yes, I’m gay” is a huge deal. Right after Chely Wright (pictured, left) taped Oprah, five days after she came out, she found out that at the little high school she went to in Kansas, three kids went to the guidance counselor and said, “We’re gay. In honor of Chely, we’re coming out. We’re dealing with it.” And the high school promised them a safe place to learn. That was huge for Chely. That made it all worth while. We have to understand what the suicide rates are for gay teens, and the damage that some of the hatred in the world does to people. We’re in a country that’s very divided on this issue, but it’s not okay to be homophobic; it’s that simple. If we change a few minds, then the show has been successful, no matter what the ratings are. You used the term “post-gay world” when you blogged about the show last week, and some people disagreed with you. But my theory is the revolution is over; we’re now in the evolution. Evolutions take longer and produce fewer results than revolutions, but we’re getting changes incrementally.
President of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler was asked this morning about her network’s horrible track record in recent years of having any LGBT characters in its dramas and comedies.
The exec said at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour event in Beverly Hills that there were a couple of pilots and a couple of other pieces in development “that unfortunately we didn’t pick up.”
“But we are adding a few characters to this season because we are very disappointed in our track record so far. We know we will do better. We’re going to meet Alicia’s brother on The Good Wife as a gay character. We’re also going to be adding a new character to Rules of Engagement. Jeff and Audrey’s surrogate will be a member of Jeff’s softball team and she’s a lesbian. We’re also going to be recurring a gay character in Bleep My Dad Says. The character Tim Bagley played will be returning this season.”
Tassler added: “Once you come out of your pilot season disappointed with yourself, you go into the current series season and say “Let’s look for every opportunity to imporove the numbers we have represented in the cast so we’re going to do that. And then we’ll continue to focus on that as we go into development season. We’re not happy with ourselves.”
CBS received a “failing” ranking last week from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The network has more hit ensemble dramas than any other with the CSI and NCIS franchises as well as Criminal Minds and The Mentalist but not a single regular character is gay – not ONE. Ditto for its comedies which include Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory,Rules of Engagement and the now-canceled New Adventures of Old Christine.
But CBS has featured gay contestants on its hit reality shows Amazing Race, Big Brother and Survivor.
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios has just issued this statement in response to Tassler’s comments: “It is encouraging that CBS shares our disappointment in the network’s lack of gay and transgender representation and we are hopeful that the new characters will help build awareness and understanding of our community among viewers. After two years of receiving a ‘failing’ grade and a commitment last year to be more inclusive, we hope that CBS President Nina Tassler makes true on this promise to bring the network more in line with the industry standard.’”
Hi all! I’m sitting here in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel eating a very boxed lunch, a brief lull in the action here at day 2 of the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour.
The broadcast and cable networks are previewing their new shows for us and trotting out all their talent and today is CBS’s day.
I was just standing next to Scott Caan and Alex O’Loughlin (Hawaii Five-O) and earlier had interviews with Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly) and Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne of The Talk (think The View without the annoying Elisabeth Hasselbeck).
I’ll get the interviews up as fast as I can but in the meantime, you can get a taste of what I’m hearing by following me on Twitter. I’m tweeting like a mad man today so join the party!
We’re so used to men being so uncomfortable about their sexuality but actor Tom Hardy certainly isn’t!
A star of the box office smash Inception, Tom talked toDaily Mail and was asked if he’d ever had sexual relations with a man. Here’s his surprisingly candid answer: “As a boy? Of course I have. I’m an actor for ****’s sake. ‘I’ve played with everything and everyone. I love the form and the physicality, but now that I’m in my thirties, it doesn’t do it for me. I’m done experimenting but there’s plenty of stuff in a relationship with another man, especially gay men, that I need in my life. A lot of gay men get my thing for shoes. I have definite feminine qualities and a lot of gay men are incredibly masculine.’”
The 32-year-old actor (pictured below in a scene from Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio) is engaged to British actress Charlotte Riley, 28, and also has a two-year-old son with a former girlfriend.
In Guy Ritchie’s hit film Rock’n'Rolla, Tom starred as gay gangster Handsome Bob who had a crush on Gerard Butler.
Before Chaz Bono went public with his transition from female to male, Alexis Arquette had already gone through her transition from male to female.
The star of such independent films as I Think I Do with Tuc Watkins,Grief, and Killer Drag Queens on Dope, has also had supporting roles in such studio movies as The Wedding Singer (remember the Boy George-like singer?), Threesome and Bride of Chucky. Her breakthrough role, ironically, was as transvestite Gorgette in 1986′s Last Exit to Brooklyn.
At the Outfest Film Festival three years ago, I watched the documentary Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother and found it to be very moving and not easy to sit through because of its honesty about such things as taking hormones and about removing or not removing genitalia.
The decision to transition could not have been an easy one and professionally, it has clearly had an impact. Alexis has not had a movie role in 2005′s Lords of Dogtown and her only television role since then was a 2008 episode of Californication.
Alexis, who is 41 years old today, deserves the very best and and I hope she is having one helluva birthday party!
GLAMBERT MAINA: Lots going on in the glam world of Adam Lambert.
The singer wraps a two-night stand at the OC Fair’s Pacific Ampitheatre and if I were not covering the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week, I’d be there with a beer in my hand.
Also, today’s The Oprah Winfrey Show repeats Adam’s appearance from earlier in the year (along with Susan Boyle’s!). Adam chats with Oprah and sings Whataya Want From Me and If I Had You.
Adam (pictured left on Ryan Reacrest’s KISS show yesterday morning) also appears in the next People Magazine via the photo above of him hoisting a beer, according to the Adam Lambert Fan Club Facebook page.
Since Zach Snyder, director of such films as 300, Watchman and Dawn of the Dead, does his work behind the scenes, it was not until seeing some photos of him at the recent Comic.com that I realized what a good looking man goes with that name!
Zach is 44 years old and founded his production company Cruel and Unusual Films in 2004 with his wife Deborah Snyder and producing partner Wesley Coller. He made his feature film directorial debut that year with the remake of Dawn of the Dead.
What had he been doing before that?
Commercials! And not small ones. His clients included Audi, Subaru, Nissan, BMW, Nike, Reebock and Gatarade.
Next up for sexy Zachis Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole which is due to be released this year. He is scheduled to begin work this fall on the film Sucker Punch.
Today was the kickoff of the summertime Television Critics Association press tour and Greg In Hollywood will be bringing you coverage over the next two weeks!
But your faithful blogger was not at today’s first event: a visit to the set of ABC’s Desperate Housewives. But, thankfully, Ray Richmond of Deadline Hollywood was. Show creator and executive producer Marc Cherry was asked about the pending $20 million lawsuit filed against him by former cast member Nicolette whose character was written out at the end of season five. She alleges physical abuse and that she was fired for reporting it.
Said Cherry: “I’m not going to comment further on that because I have some Disney lawyers who would have my hide if I did….As you know, I tend to kill off people on this show, something like 36 of them in its history. I’ve had only one bad experience with someone who took umbrage at their firing.”
Flanked on the Housewives set by regulars Eva Longoria Parker and Marcia Cross, Cherry continued, “You guys can come here and see how we interact, and how much love and kindness and tenderness there is.
Richmond also reports that Cherry may be ready to pass the reigns of the show along to someone else after the end of season seven: ““I hope (Housewives will be around) for a couple of more seasons, and my thing is I always will be executive producer and consultant on the show. It’s my baby. I can’t let go. I have control issues. They can’t totally get rid of me.”
Full disclosure here: I cannot stand Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
It’s not so much that she’s a staunch Republican, it’s that she does not seem to have a fully formed mind. She has been known to parrot certain conservative talking points with utter conviction and just does not seem to me to be at the level of some of the other cohosts[not including Sherri Shepherd] on The View who seem to speak more from life experience.
Anyway, Elisabeth once again went off on things she knows nothing about when the topic turned to women coming out later in life as lesbians. Hasselbeck thinks she knows why: Guys their age are going after younger women leaving these poor gals with no one but each other.
Uh, I don’t think that’s how it works but maybe Meredith Baxter can go on the show soon and talk some sense into this gal.
Joy Behar did a pretty good job of debunking this theory: “That’s ridiculous. I’m sorry.”
“Being gay is not just holding hands and walking through the tulips,” Joy added. “There are things people do sexually. I don’t think you suddenly wake up one day and say, ‘Oh, I wanted to do that.’ You wanted to do it, but you were just trapped in a system that has just said, ‘get married.’”
I can’t wait to hear Elisabeth’s theories on the economy and world peace when President Barack Obama visits the show this week.
One of my favorite sites, We Love Soaps, has begun posting a terrific interview with actor Eric Sheffer Stevens who has made As the World Turns worth watching in its final year.
The actor talks about his delicious character of Dr. Reid Oliver in this excerpt. I’ll highlight more as the week goes on:
We Love Soaps: Have you played a character like [Reid] before?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I don’t think so.
We Love Soaps: So it’s not typecasting or anything?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: [Laughs] No. I’ve definitely not played anything like him, probably characteristics that he has have been shared with other people. But he’s definitely a unique character in my experience which is what made it so fun for me. It was really well-written and fun to do. I liked the way he didn’t know how to interact with people. His only way of dealing was to be sarcastic or to say something funny. They wrote really good stuff. All the eating stuff and talking with his mouth full all the time started out as their idea, but as it went on, any time there was food on set I would grab it and start shoving it in my face.
We Love Soaps: Reid had battles with Luke, but he was also battling with Bob. I thought that made it really interesting and unique because Bob is the pillar of society.
Eric Sheffer Stevens: Right. He started out more well-rounded maybe than they usually do because right away he didn’t just have the Luke and Noah storyline with the blindness, but he was clashing with Dr. Bob, which was really fun because I love Don [Hastings], that guy is amazing. I really admire him. And also right off the bat clashing with Trent-Henry. He had a foil to play off of instead of just being a third wheel in the Luke and Noah romance. It was really fun to do the stuff with Trent because he and I worked together six years ago. We did George Bernard Shaw’s “Misalliance” in Baltimore. He’s a great character actor. He’s just a great actor. He’s very inventive and comes up with really funny stuff to do. He does great “takes” and has a really solid background.
Broadway is always a little more special, not to mention exciting, whenever the great Patti LuPone is in a show.
Last seen in Gypsy, for which she won a well-deserved second Tony Award, Miss LuPone will be featured in the upcoming production of the new musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown based on the film by Pedro Almodovar.
The production will also star Brian Stokes Mitchell, de’Adre Aziza, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Mary Beth Peil and Sherie Rene Scott. The show is set in late 20th-century Madrid and tells the story of the intertwining lives of a group of women whose relationships with men lead to a tumultuous 48 hours of love, confusion and passion.
The book for the musical is by Jeffrey Lane with music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Bartlett Sher will direct the show which will begin previews Oct. 2 and open Nov. 4 at the Belasco Theatre, according to BroadwayWorld.com.
For LuPone, the show will be the latest in a stellar Broadway career dating back to the mid-70s when she received a Tony Award nomination for The Robber Bridegroom. She won her first Tony for Evita in 1980 and was nominated again in 1987 for Anything Goes and in 2005 for Sweeney Todd.
On the London stage, she created the role of Norma Desmond in the original production of Sunset Boulevard and won the Olivier Award for originating the role of Fantine in Les Miserables.
It’s never really made sense that Logo pulled the plug on the Noah’s Arc television series after just two seasons.
There were just so many stories left to be told and the show was one of the biggest reasons why a lot of us tuned into the MTV-owned network dedicated to LGBT programming.
But the promise of a feature film kept us from dissolving into bitterness and that film, Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, was a wonderful gift to fans of the franchise about a group of black gay men living and loving in Los Angeles.
The feature film grossed $532,878 [according to Box Office Mojo] when it was released into theaters in October 2008. Who knows how much more if could have grossed had it ever been booked into more than nine theaters.
Anyway, when I ran into the man who played the title role of Noah, Darryl Stephens, and Jensen Atwood who played his boyfriend and then husband, Wade, I asked them this question: “Is Noah’s Arc dead?”
“Noah’s Arc as we know it is over although it seems it keeps breathing life,” said Jensen who can currently be seen nationally in a Coors Light commercial. “From what I hear, they’re trying their best to get some kind of spinoff going. I don’t know.”
“Noah’s Arc seems to never die,” he added. “Every year there seems to be new life to breathe back into it. They’ve been playing the reruns on Logo and they just played the movie for the first time on television. It’s still alive and kicking.”
Would he be open to stepping back into the role of Wade?
“I’m down, who wouldn’t want to see Wade again?”
A few minutes later, I chatted with Darryl about the possibility.
“There are a lot of rumors afloat,” said Darryl, who will appear in an episode of ABC’s Private Practice this fall. “I think most of the actors are open into it and I think that Logo was really impressed with how the movie did. I’d say that t this point anything is possible. Nothing official has been announced.”