I wrote last week that the April release of the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor love story I Love You Phillip Morris had been postponed indefinitely.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and focuses on a love affair between a con man (Carrey) and his cellmate (McGregor).
Now there is a new date that’s just been announced but my advice is take it with a grain of salt because we have been here before: Variety reports that the movie will hit theaters in limited release on July 30 then expand into more theaters a week later.
Oh good grief, release the movie already! And if you think audiences or exhibitors can’t handle the gay subject matter and sex scenes, then put it out on DVD and let people make up their own minds.
There are some really awful people in this world and among them are those responsible for duping lesbian teen Constance McMillen into attending a fake prom in Mississippi recently.
It would be one thing if it were just kids but you have so-called adults involved in this act of homophobia and cruelty. But there are also plenty of good people in this world and former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass is one of them. He will join celebrity chef Cat Cora and members of Green Day in sponsoring a gay-friendly prom on May 8.
The event is being organized by the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and is open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation. The American Humanist Association will also donate $20,000 for the inclusive prom.
The Itawamba School District refused to allow Constance to bring a same-sex date to her prom. After a U.S. district judge ruled that the school could not bar Constance and her date, the district canceled the prom and allowed parents host an off-site prom inviting everyone but McMillen and a handful of other students.
In an interview on Monday with The Advocate, Constance said that she and her date showed up at a prom on April 2 in Fulton, Miss. attended by a sm
all number of her peers, including two students with learning disabilities.
“They had two proms, and I was only invited to one of them,” she said. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”
As infuriating as the behavior of some of these district officials, parents and students has been, I thank God for brave teens like Constance who have the courage to stand up for their equal rights. God knows I didn’t have the guts to even begin to speak out until I was in my 30s and had less to lose.
I hope everyone has a great time at the prom.
Here are some recent television appearances by Constance including a chat with another hero: Ellen DeGeneres:
Former CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts, currently host of The Advocate’s new television newsmagazine, has bravely spoken out in the past about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest at his Catholic high school.
Thomas spoke with GQ.com The Wire about the Catholic Church and its handling of the abuse scandals that envelope it. Here are some excerpts:
What would you ask Pope Benedict if you had a chance to sit down with him?
I think I would ask why a man in his position doesn’t feel a greater sense of compassion for the victims…why he doesn’t just be like, The buck stops here. This is unacceptable. People are watching and do care about how [the Church] reacts, so I’d think they’d want to act with more swift justice so they can provide the confidence people need to still want to be Catholic.
One of many excuses the Vatican gave in the case of the priest who molested 200 deaf boys was that the incidents exceeded the church’s statute of limitations. As someone who waited almost 20 years to come forward, how do you feel about this? Were you in denial?
Oh, I was in complete denial. I considered myself to be a strong and intelligent person, and to place yourself in the “victim” category is very hard to do. I thought that I had been able to deal with what life had dealt me. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I’m happy that I was able to confront these demons that had been chasing me for a really long time and extinguish them.
So you came out to your family when you were 27. Later, when you were 33 you began opening up about the abuse. Some people see a causal relationship between abuse and sexuality. Did you worry that people would try and draw those lines?
For me these are two very separate, distinct issues, and I don’t want them to ever be confused. No one ever asks a woman who was abused as a young girl if she grew up and decided she was straight. I had the complete love and support of my family though, and that was most important thing.
Let’s imagine Meryl Streep wasn’t the greatest actress of all time – living or dead. Let’s pretend that she couldn’t act her way out of a bag and those 16 Academy Award nominations never happened.
That would leave her with only a magnificent singing voice that has been overshadowed by her tremendous acting gifts. But Miss Streep has been given the opportunity to sing in some of her movies and in recent years and actually headlined a full-blown musical: Mamma Mia.
She also sang a lot with Lily Tomlin in the recent film A Prairie Home Companion, the last film directed by Robert Altman and performed musical numbers in Death Becomes Her and Ironwood.
I became aware of her singing ability in 1990′s Postcards from the Edge where she did two terrific numbers that I have included here. Her mother in the film is played by Shirley MacLaine whose character is trying to persuade her actress daughter (Streep) to record an album: “You’re a much better singer than that Madonna person.”
We’ve heard it from the lady herself: Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky is not getting married for the ninth time no matter what US Weekly says.
The legendary actress, longtime AIDS activist and Dame of the British Empire took to Twitter today to clear up the report that she was set to marry her manager Jason Winter.
Tweets Miss Taylor: “The rumors regarding my engagement simply aren’t true. Jason is my manager and dearest friend. I love him with all my heart.”
What is disturbing is that the US report was picked up by ABC News and many other outlets and just a few minutes ago, I saw it being discussed by Barbara Walters and the ladies of The View as if it were fact!
Barbara Walters can pick up a phone and get to the bottom of it in about three minutes so this is annoying.
Anyway, Miss Taylor has done so much good for this world through her art and her humanitarian work that whatever she decides to do, I wish her nothing but happiness.
Daniel Cosgrove is a very good actor in search of a TV show that isn’ t going off the air!
He recently joined the cast of As the World Turns in the role of Chris Hughes but that will only last until September because the long-running CBS soap has been canceled. The 39-year-old actor knows the feeling: he previously played Bill Lewis on Guiding Light which went off the air last September. He had been with that soap off and on since 2002 and earned an Emmy nomination for best actor during the show’s final year.
He also ushered another show off the air, this one in prime time: he played Matt Durning on the last three seasons of Beverly Hills 90210.
But I’m sure he’s not to blame!
Daniel, who also had a recurring role on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money and starred in the short-lived series In Justice, may still look like he’s in college but he and wife Marie are the parents of four kids!
BROADWAY BOUND: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason told me in 2006 that she had written and secured financial backing for a Designing Women Broadway play featuring Julia, Suzanne, Mary-Jo and Charlene as they would be today.
All would still be working at the design firm and would have a thing or two to say about what is going on in the world.
“Those four women are made for Broadway,” Linda said. “You just want to see them, high heels clicking and mouths moving. We never got to close the show, we never got to say good-bye to ourselves or the public. They would talk about how society views women today and that sort of vapid, superficial world we live in now where everybody has to weigh 90 pounds. I think Julia would take issue with that.”
The next year, I asked Jean Smart about the stage version and she didn’t seem interested in reprising her role of sweet Charlene even though she is itching to get back onto the New York stage once her son graduated high school.
“I love Linda and I think she has never really gotten the proper credit for the brilliant writing she did on that show,” she told me. “But to me, [the Broadway play] would sort of be like being in one, great big episode and I don’t know why I’d want to do that.”
Even if Jean changed her mind, the play can’t ever happen now with the passing of Miss Carter.
Dixie did make it to the Broadway stage in recent years though including the plum role of Maria Callas in Master Class and played the role of devilish Mrs. Meers in the Tony winning production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
You can expect to continue to see a lot of appreciation for Dixie Carter on this site in the coming days as her many fans try and process that the beloved star is gone.
The actress passed away Saturday from complications arising from endometrial cancer. She will forever live on through her many roles – especially that of Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women.
I wanted to share more from an interview we did in 2006.
Of the celebrated cast of Designing Women, which ran from 1986-93 on CBS and lives on in reruns and on DVD, she told me: “We are all kind of dazzled by the fact that we happened to be there, at that place in time, to do that show. It was love at first sight and we all thought very highly of each other’s abilities.”
Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the show revolved around the workplace as well as the personal lives of its characters. It also tackled such social issues as AIDS, hunger, single parenting, gun control, aging, weight discrimination, racism, domestic violence and equal rights.
But it was all presented with humor and humanity. Julia was most often the social conscience of the group as well as the voice of reason, as the other characters sometimes got themselves into a bit of trouble.
“Julia’s acerbic nature softened as time went on, but she never lost her edge,” Dixie said. “The perception of Julia is that she got to be a woman of warmth and humanity as well as a woman of wit who would take no prisoners.”
During that period of time, Miss Carter had a personal assistant by the name of Marc Cherry who would go on to create a series called Desperate Housewives: “He was handling my personal business and picked up my underwear at Neiman (Marcus) sometimes,” she remembered, laughing.
“Marc was very memorable, a very memorable young man,” added the actress. “He was always observing. We knew he was a writer. He never got upset with a really kind of goofy household that Mr. (Hal) Holbrook (her husband of nearly 26 years) and I somehow rock along with. He never got upset with the zaniness of our life.”
Cherry wrote the role of Gloria Hodge just for his old boss during the show’s third season and her performance earned her an Emmy nomination.
“Marc called me, and it was really exciting,” she recalled. “He said, ‘I have something nice for you to do if you are willing to de-glam. The woman is older and needs to be gray and not made up.’ I said, ‘OK, fine, I’ll do it.’ The part is quite wonderful…I’m a bad mama. I like to hit the liquor cabinet, and they don’t like having me there on Wisteria Lane.”
“It’s a very heady atmosphere,” she said of her Housewives gig. “When you drive onto the lot, your little heart beats faster and you’re singing ‘Hooray for Hollywood!’ ”
It all began when Marc moved to Los Angeles in 1988 to be a writer. Designing Women was in its third season and and a friend of the unemployed Cherry said the Holbrooks needed help moving from Bel Air to Hancock Park.
He told TV Guide in 2006 that working for her was funnier than any project he has ever been associated with: “Every morning Dixie would sweep out of her bedroom and make an entrance. I’d say, ‘Dixie, I’m the only one HERE.’ It didn’t matter. That was when I knew she was a star…I remember one day I counted and there were two maids, a yoga instructor, a voice teacher, a chauffer and a cook in the house and I thought I was in the middle of Upstairs, Downstairs.”
On working with his old boss again: “I got very emotional when I introduced Dixie to the cast. I said, ‘This was my start in show business.’ And I had a momentary feeling like, ‘I guess I have come a long way.’ Ever since I started ‘Desperate Housewives.” When I covered the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards, It was so great to see Dixie and Hal on the red carpet. He was nominated for supporting actor for Into the Wild.
I asked Dixie how it felt to have her husband of nearly 25 years nominated for both the SAG award and an Oscar for his performance in “Into the Wild.”
“I am dizzy with delight,” said Dixie. “It’s dreamy and unforeseen and glorious turn of events as you can imagine. So I’m smiling all the time.”
And finally, here is my memory of the first time I ever saw the Holbrooks in person. It was around 2005 and me and my late friend Tim Fairholm – who also died too soon – went to see Bea Arthur’s one-woman show at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood.
We had dinner that night at the Eclectic Cafe and Tim spotted Dixie and Hal at a nearby table. Knowing I was obsessed with Designing Women, he kept daring me to go say hello. I never did because they always seemed to have food in their mouths! But when I told Dixie about it when we finally did meet, she said: “Oh, you SHOULD have!”
I’ve been a little indifferent to Brothers & Sisters lately but tonight’s episode was so damned good, just took me back to the first few seasons when it was can’t miss TV.
The shocker: We found out that a 14-year-old Kevin Walker left a boy paralyzed but didn’t know it. In a flashback scene, we see that four of the five Walker siblings are at an unchaperoned party at Ojai Foods one night. Kevin was hanging out with a cute kid named Aaron. When Aaron tried to kiss a conflicted and closeted Kevin, they start to fight and Aaron ends up falling off a platform and is paralyzed.
Kevin’s dad drove up just as it happened and later told Kevin everything was fine. So now, at the age of 38, Kevin finds out that his parents kept it a secret and bought off the silence of Aaron’s family.
Kevin (Matthew Rhys) is completely devastated. He feels betrayal, guilt and anger at his mother (Sally Field) who says she was trying to protect him.
In another flashback from later that night, we see Kevin telling Kitty that he had fought with Aaron but had in fact been wildly attracted to him and says: “Oh God, I’m gay aren’t I? I’m totally gay. Mom would have a breakdown and dad would kill me.”
There’s a lot of us who can relate to that feeling. It was awful.
Anyway, Kevin tracks Aaron down, pays him a visit and explains: “I was so scared of the way I was feeling.”
Aaron tells Kevin that he “had a lot of rage and I’m going to lie and say it wasn’t directed at you … But not anymore, I’ve moved on. That two boys couldn’t share a kiss and feel all the normal things you feel at that age was not your fault. … I made peace with that and you need to do the same. But not here, not with me.”
Neil Patrick Harris is directing Rent at The Hollywood Bowl Aug. 6-8 and has cast High School Musical franchise star Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi, the HIV-positive exotic dancer in the award-winning ’90s rock riff on Puccini’s La Bohème.
No other casting has been announced for the fully staged show, which will mark the musical directing debut of NPH who starred in the 1997 L.A. production and national tour of the show.
Blogger Perez Hilton is not impressed with the casting and via Twitter, encouraged Neil to “Pick someone with real talent! Was #ZoeSaldana unavailable?”
Responded Neil: Don’t be such a hater about Vanessa in RENT. She came in, smoking hot, knew the part, sang it great. Why not be open it. … Zoe is great, but Mimi is 19. I think casting someone age specific, especially at the Hollywood Bowl, will have added impact. … Mimi’s not a hooker. Addict, yes. You’re saying, because of her past roles, Vanessa can’t play that? I respectfully disagree. … Well, I hope when you see it, you like her. I look forward to reading your post-show wrap up.
Replied Perez: Ok. Ok. I will happily go see it and maybe, hopefully, be pleasantly surprised by her. … And if she’s absolutely horrible, slap a wig on ya and get ready to Take Me Out Tonight!
Last summer, The Bowl staged Guys and Dolls which featured a surprisingly terrific Jessica Biel.
On the cover of today’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section on Glee star Matthew Morrison who, thankfully, returns to our TV screens on Tuesday night in the first of nine new episodes of Glee.
It’s so nice to see that someone with real talent has become such a big star and after paying his dues on Broadway, is poised for all kinds of new career opportunities including an album that he has just begun recording.
Here is an excerpt from the Times piece:
A current problem for Morrison, though one he cheerfully contends with, is the attention that has come from his starring turn in a hot series. For an interview the day before the Oscars, he arrives at an outdoor café with a New York Mets baseball cap pulled down low, tamping out of sight his most attention-getting feature, the wavy brown hair that is subject matter in more than 3,000 online entries.
For all of Morrison’s cursory dismissal of fame — “I’m not famous; the ‘Octomom’ is famous” — he falls under its sway occasionally. For instance, he is surprised to be suddenly not just recognizable to regular people he meets, but also to the even more famous people he can’t believe he is meeting. In December, he performed at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., singing and dancing a spot-on version of “Springtime for Hitler” during the salute to Mel Brooks.
“After, there was a party, and suddenly, there’s Robert De Niro.” Morrison’s eyes widen a bit, remembering the encounter with Brooks’ fellow honoree. “He comes up and says,” Morrison’s voice ratchets down into a credible take on the De Niro growl, circa the 12th round in “Raging Bull,” ” ‘Hey, you da guy, you da guy that was funny. Ha, ha. Good, kid.’
“And then Bruce Springsteen [another honoree] is in front of me, and he’s like, apologetic: ‘I don’t mean to bother you, but would you come over and meet my kids?’ ”
Morrison’s eyes are now big as saucers. “I mean, you’re the Boss! You can ask me to do anything you want!”
Morrison pauses, reflecting on the evening’s encounters and his career: “I don’t really believe in reincarnation, but I feel like I’m living my next life right now.”
Michael Ontkean hasn’t been seen in a any new movies or TV shows in several years but the actor we know best from Twin Peaks, The Rookies and the film Making Love certainly made an impression.
Now 64, the Canadian actor was such a good hockey player growing up and at the University of Vermont that he was offered a contract to play professionally with the New York Rangers.
But the child of well-known Canadian performers Leonard and Muriel Ontkean loved acting more and headed to Hollywood in 1970. He soon landed a series of TV guest spots (including The Partridge Family!) and became a star when he was cast in The Rookies. He left the hit show after just two seasons and spent a few years writing poetry before returning to acting in 1977 with the hit Paul Newman film Slap Shot which united his two loves: acting and hockey.
He went on appearing in various films such as Voices (1979 with Amy Irving), Willie and Phil (1980) and Summer (1981 with Brooke Adams) and in 1982 reunited with Rookies co-star Kate Jackson in the film Making Lovein which they played a married couple coping with the fact that Ontkean had fallen in love with another man played by Harry Hamlin.
After appearing in such films as Made to Order and The Allnighter, he landed another of his best-known roles: Sheriff Harry Truman in the 1990 TV series Twin Peaks.
Many other roles followed, my favorite of which was the 1994 miniseries Family Album opposite Jaclyn Smith. He has not had any credits since a series of guest appearances in 2004 on the Fox series North Shore.
LEGENDARY LADY: Here are just a few of my favorite Julia Sugarbaker scenes from Designing Women in honor of the woman who inhabited her. Dixie Carter passed away on Saturday and will be greatly missed.
The great actress Dixie Carter, who starred as the outspoken Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women for seven seasons, died Saturday morning at the age of 70.
She is survived by her husband, Hal Holbrook and her two daughters.
I found out about her passing just before dinner in West Hollywood when my friend Ted arrived and delicately shared the news. He knew how I felt about Miss Carter who is one of the stars I’d enjoyed meeting and interviewing the very most.
She had such grace and class and I’ll never forget first meeting her at a Designing Women reunion at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills and sitting directly her and former co-stars Delta Burke, Jean Smart and Annie Potts. I do believe it was the last time the fab four made a public appearance together.
She had some of the most delicious lines on that show including her famous “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” speech (posted HERE on Thursday) which I did part of with her when we did an interview a few years back.
“We were told right away that gay bars all over the country were showing the show and bars in Atlanta and L.A. would do the “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” speech,” Dixie told me.
Dixie said she loved doing Julia’s famous speeches but after they were filmed “I’d have to drop all that information as soon as we drive off the lot in order to clear the brain for next week’s script!”
In the pilot, her character got the most laughs so this was a real showcase for the actress. One of my favorite lines of Dixie’s is when obnoxious Ray Don Simpson (”I want to thank you…RAY DON…”) tries to join the women for lunch at a sushi restaurant saying they look like they could use a little male company. Dixie puts down her chop sticks, looks at him and says: “Trust me when I say that you have completely misjudged this situation.”
Carter’s favorite episode? The episode when Charlene (Jean Smart) wants to become a pastor and Julia gets to sing How Great Thou Art at the end. Carter’s mother was dying and that was the last episode of the show she ever saw, her daughter by her side. “She got to see her little girl sing this great Methodist hymn for the whole country.”
After Designing Women left the air, Dixie spent four years playing an attorney on the CBS drama Family Law and earned an Emmy nomination for her juicy recurring role of Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives.
She also has performed her one-women show all around the country and is one-half of one of showbiz’s great marriages: she and Hal Holbrook celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.
She never looked happier than when she accompanied Mr. Holbrook to the Academy Awards two years ago when he was nominated for best supporting actor for Into the Wild.
He released this written statement on Saturday: “This has been a terrible blow to our family. We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.”
Carrie Bradshaw was dating the world’s most perfect man – Aidan – when she stupidly embarked on an affair with her ex Mr. Big. Then even more stupidly, she ends up confessing all to Aidan on the morning of Charlotte’s wedding to Trey.
Aidan is devastated and in this scene, meets Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) at the wedding to tell her it is over: “I just know myself. This isn’t the kind of thing I’m going to be able to get over,” he says. “I just need to be on my own for awhile.”
Of course they do get back together down the road before parting ways for good. Or is it for good? Aidan (John Corbett) runs into Carrie in the Sex and the City 2 movie!
The star of In Bruges, Pride and Glory and The Recruit recalls his memories of how his gay brother Eamon Farrell was terribly treated when they were young and growing up in Dublin.
Here is an excerpt:
Intolerance is not genetically encoded – it is taught. It is learned at home. It is learned in the classrooms and it is learned anywhere else we gather as a group. But it is usually learned early and added onto from there. If there is nothing to feared, there is nothing to hate. If there is nothing to hate there is no pain.
My brother was so forceful in standing up for who he was, and for the good that he knew was inside of him. Many people missed out on an opportunity, not only to enjoy him, but to enjoy themselves by embracing his “difference”.
They missed out because they saw him as a threat – not as a testament to the kaleidoscope and diversity of this beautiful world. Bullying is torture, it is another betrayal of basic human decency and its scars reach way into the future of its survivors. But the saddest truth is that not all children survive it. It is a potentially fatal societal illness and must be respected and not feared. Respected and dealt with as a very real problem and as an adversary of a potentially harmonious world, that should have no place for bullies or bullying.”
What I really loved about Friday’s episode of As the World Turns is that Van Hansis got the chance to remind us of what a superb actor he is.
There’s a reason he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award three years in a row!
Things come to a head for Van’s character of Luke Snyder when he finds out that blind and very annoying ex-boyfriend Noah (Jake Silbermann) has a date with another guy.
“Look, it’s just easy to be with Richard … and I don’t feel any pressure to be the old me.,” Noah tells Luke. “… He doesn’t love me but he doesn’t try to fix me.”
Says Luke: “This sucks. … I want you to get what you need more than you will ever know but I’m not going to sit here and watch it happen.”
He storms out then later when he runs into the diner to get some takeout food, Luke sees Noah and Richard having their dinner and he is clearly angry and devastated. He’s made so many sacrifices for Noah only to be pushed away and now he feels the sting of rejection and possibly betrayal.
But as one door closes, another is opening if Luke lets it: He has come to the aid of Dr. Reid Oliver (Eric Sheffer Stevens) who finds himself on suspension while a malpractice suit against him is investigated by the medical board.
It becomes clear to us that without the ability to be a surgeon, his life feels meaningless. It’s as if he is naked and gone is the sarcasm and ego.
“If I can’t work … you might as well shoot me,” he tells Luke.
Luke asks his grandmother to help out, she pulls strings and gets an emergency hearing scheduled. As the episode ends, Luke and Reid are jetting off to Texas together. What will happen in the Lone Star State?
Don’t know how I came across this guy but I’m sure glad I did.
His name is Ethan Boroian and he is best known for his time on Britain’s X-Factor show which was created by Simon Cowell and will have a US version in 2011.
He’s just 20 years old and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. According to Ethan’s Facebook page, he began playing guitar at 13. He joined the band Jona’s Basement with two of his friends after playing guitar for only a few months. The band, focused on rock music and played various clubs, including New Morning in Paris.
After the band broke up in 2003, Ethan began approaching different styles of music. He spent a year of playing strictly Blues and Jazz then decided to move forward looking at other genres.
Ethan started to write his own music at the age of fifteen, and has never looked back. Now living in England while he studies at Royal Holloway University of London, he still finds the time to write music and dreams of people all over the world listening to his music.
Who wouldn’t want to knock on someone’s door and have this guy answer?
It’s Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the comedy Date Night which hit theaters today. We’re used to seeing Mark in far more intense roles like his Oscar-nominated turn in The Departed or in such action flicks as The Shooter, The Happening and We Own the Night.
In Date Night, the former Calvin Klein underwear model has a role that has his still buff bod on full display. He plays a hunky former real estate client of Tina Fey’s character named Holbrooke Grant who just happens to be a security expert. He also refuses to put on a shirt when Fey and Steve Carell, on the run from mobsters in a case of mistaken identity, come to him for help.
Carell has talked about Wahlberg’s stunning physique on more than a few talk show’s recently including The Late Show With David Letterman. “He did not put on a shirt the entire time,” Steve tells Dave. “Not even between takes.”