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Lunch Break Video: Stockard Channing talks about how she’s changed in “Six Degrees of Separation”

http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/mgm/six_degrees_of_separation/_group_photos/donald_sutherland2.jpgStockard Channing is so damned good in everything she does from First Lady Abby Bartlett in The West Wing to bad girl Rizzo in Grease.

But I don’t think this two-time Emmy winner has ever been better than in her Oscar nominated role of Louisa (‘Ouisa’) Kittredge in the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation co-starring Donald Sutherland, Will Smith, and Ian McKellen, among others.

This scene comes at the end of this fine film and shows how Ouisa’s comfortable world as a New York City art dealer is turned upside down by a young man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her son’s friend from Harvard – and the son of Sidney Poitier.

Many things happen and the film is filled with a lot of smart and funny moments – and some heartbreaking ones too. Great performances all around but Channing is the anchor and this scene shows you why.

Enjoy!

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Look who turns 18 today …

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Happy Birthday to Taylor Lautner!!!

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FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Thursday Morning Man: Ed Harris!

http://api.ning.com/files/yVDdHA0Mkf2M-id1of8Zt7jl2wTXO84YAPOf4IsOGPIMYnmX-pnAUB0fQ2HpTSs6rabQTh8nzi5n0f5EaqRCej0vohOV6vTT/246454EdHarrisPosters.jpgEd Harris is one of those immensely talented people who manages to year after year to deliver excellent performances in movies like Pollock, The Hours, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence and Apollo 13 and direct quality movies like the superb Appoloosa and Pollock.

The 59-year-old sex symbol first gained fame playing astronaut John Glenn in 1983′s The Right Stuff, the same year he won the Obie for his performance in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love.

He met future wife Amy Madigan when both had roles in the film Places in the Heart, They have been married since 1984.

Ed opened this week at The Geffen Theatre in Neil Labute’s Wrecks. He plays a grieving middle-aged Midwesterner at a funeral parlor, sorting through complex feelings following his wife’s death.

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Daytime Soap Clip: Luke and Noah have entered an annoying stretch on “As the World Turns”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/00/Luke_and_Noah-Main.png/300px-Luke_and_Noah-Main.pngVan Hansis is a fine actor but it has to be frustrating for him to be getting such crap scripts from the writing staff of As the World Turns. His Luke Snyder character is all over the place fight now – obsessed with missing bio-daddy Damian while forgetting his loyalty to Holden, the man who raised him and to whom he had always been genuinely close.

Luke has always been loyal to those he loves but he has been getting very annoying. And poor Jake Silbermann and this terrible “Dr. Oliver’s rules” plot that is supposed to keep Luke and Noah apart – it’s just plain stupid even by soap standards. Is this once promising storyline going to get as lame as the one with Mason?

If so, I will mourn the pending demise of ATWT far less.

Here are the Luke and Noah scenes from Wednesday, if you can stand it:


FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Helen Mirren says she couldn’t say no to playing Ellen DeGeneres’s love interest but would find Leo DiCaprio a distraction

http://www.realistichair.com/store/images/helen_mirren.jpgHelen Mirren sure seems like someone comfortable in her own skin. That’s why I love reading or watching interviews with the Oscar winning star of The Queen who has been nominated again this year for The Station Agent.

Here are some excerpts from her conversation with The Advocate’s Brandon Voss:

If you do play a lesbian … whom would you pick to play your love interest?
I would just want a wonderful actress, gay or straight, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to Ellen DeGeneres. I’m such a huge fan of hers and I’ve loved her from a distance for such a long time, so it was quite a moment for me this year to do her show, stand on her set, and see her right there in front of me.

Out of the many actors you’ve worked with, which one have you found the most distractingly handsome?

Well, Liam Neeson in Excalibur was a big one. He was pretty distracting, but it worked out, luckily, because I subsequently dated him for four years. And if I were to work with Leonardo DiCaprio, I think I would find him quite distracting as well.

In her acceptance speech at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Mariah rambled on about meeting you that night. Have you ever had one too many before accepting an award?
Oh, yes, I have, and it’s a terrible mistake! [Laughs] But I thought she was so sweet and lovely—and blasted, yes, but why not? It was her night to celebrate. It wasn’t officially televised, so she should’ve been free to be whatever she wanted to be, but the trouble nowadays with YouTube is that everyone records everything. I thought she accepted her award with great charm.

You and Dame Judi Dench, with whom you’ve only appeared in 1968’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both got Oscars for playing Queen Elizabeths. When you won for The Queen, you beat Dame Judi, who was nominated for Notes on a Scandal. Forgive my gay propensity for celebrity feuds, but is there any rivalry between you two?
No, I wouldn’t say so. Like her, I work in film, television, and theater—which is a very British attitude—but she came ahead of me, so I’ve always been following in her footsteps in many ways. Certainly, I’m an incredible admirer of hers, and I aspire to work the way she works. So no, Brandon, we don’t arm-wrestle.

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Tommy Cruise returns to “Mission Impossible”

http://mithrasblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/tom_cruise_mission_impossible_2_010.jpgThe last time Tom Cruise stepped into the role of Ethan Hunt, the box office results were far below expectations and Paramount Pictures seemed to sever ties with the star who was seen as damaged goods following some bizarre behavior during interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Matt Lauer.

But Paramount Pictures confirmed todat that another action-packed, adrenaline-pumping Mission: Impossible adventure will hit theaters next year with Cruise as the star.

Tom seems to have rebounded a bit especially after his late 2008 movie Valkyrie grossed more than $80 million domestically. But this fourth MI movie will be a true test of what remains of his drawing power as an action star.

Cruise does indeed seem to have been humbled by the backlash against him a few years back and no longer inserts the controversial Scientology into interviews. Then there his adorable daughter Suri (mother is Katie Holmes) who has softened his image a bit.

So, what do you think? Does Tom have what it takes to score another blockbuster?

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Channing Tatum shows Ellen some dancing moves

Good afternoon all!

Sorry for the lack of posts all day. I’m been engrossed in a project and am just now coming up for air! And what better person to come up for air for than box office king Channing Tatum whose movie Dear John is a box office sensation.

The handsome actor paid a visit to Ellen DeGeneres’s daytime show this week and showed Ellen some of his moves from his days as a stripper! Pity he’s not doing that anymore!

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Anne Hathaway’s decision to leave the Catholic Church in support of gay brother is topic on “Behar”

Anne Hathaway BrotherWe can always count on The Joy Behar Show to do a nice job covering gay-related topics. Last night, Joy and guests, including Michelangelo Signorile, discussed actress Anne Hathaway’s decision to leave the Catholic Church because of its anti-gay stance.
The decision came after her brother, Michael, shared with the family that he is gay.
Apparently Anne used to want to be a nun!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Wednesday Morning Man: Leonardo DiCaprio!

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http://access.nscpcdn.com/gallery/i/d/dicaprio/3C7V390104444.jpgHe was king of the world in The Titanic.

But by the time that 1997 blockbuster came around, its handsome leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio, had already built up an impressive acting resume.

He had already earned an Oscar nomination as Johnny Depp’s younger mentally handicapped  brother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and starred in The Boys Life, Marvin’s Room, Total Eclipse, The Quick and the Dead, Romeo + Juliet and The Basketball Diaries.

Then came Titanic and superstardom along with all kinds of lucrative offers.

But DiCaprio has been quite choosy with his roles post-Titanic and has been most fortunate to have teamed with the great director Martin Scorsese on Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and now Shutter Island which opens Feb, 19.

His work without Scorsese has been equally impressive with an Oscar-nominated turn in Blood Diamond as well as stellar performances in Revolutionary Road and Catch Me if You Can.

At 35, Leo’s just getting started.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Luke trying to figure out what the heck happened to his bio-daddy on “As the World Turns”

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0V88Ov8kRQE/Sgw_RUuJHlI/AAAAAAAADMo/fjHyqO_C0UM/s400/jpi_episode13527_104504.jpgI realize that Luke Snyder doesn’t care what I think but I just want to say, ‘Hey Luke! Damian’s gone! Count your lucky stars – and your inheritance!)

But Luke is determined to find out what happened to the creepy Damian and goes to the Oakdale cops who, I’m sure, will be of no help since they never are! Holden, the man who raised Luke, is not happy with this because, well, he may have killed Damian in a fight.

“I need to find Damian and I need him to explain this to me to my face,” he tells Holden who’s probably thinking, ‘Not gonna happen, he’s toast.”

Holden reminds Luke that “family is more than DNA … you’re a Snyder – always have been.”

FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

Sam Pancake chats with The Advocate: “I knew fairly young that it was Burt Reynolds for me and not Suzanne Somers”

http://l.yimg.com/l/tv/us/img/site/96/28/0000009628_20060920163546.jpgI’m always looking forward to seeing who Brandon Voss is going to talk to next for Advocate.com and his latest interview is with the always busy actor Sam Pancake who has done memorable guest spots on many TV comedies and was a cast member on the short-lived gems Lovespring International and Kitchen Confidential.

Her currently stars In Pretty, a mockumentary Web series on PrettyTheSeries.com and FunnyOrDie.com Sam plays a dim-witted pageant dad named Michael Champagne who has a precocious 5-year-old daughter (played by adult actress Stace McQueen).

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Tell me about Michael Champagne, the pageant dad you play in Pretty. We know from the first episode that he loves everything Disney — including Zac Efron.
He really loves sparkle, glitter, and glitz, but according to Steve — and I don’t know how this will play with your gay magazine — Michael is supposedly straight. We find out later that he and his wife do have sex, even though she’s cheating on him with his brother. If he is gay, he’s in deep denial or doesn’t have the self-awareness to understand that he’s gay. He’s a Christian, he’s a little bit racist, and he’s not very smart. In the second episode he says, “I’m a doer; I try not to think,” which I think sums up everything about him. We’ve chosen to make him from southern West Virginia, as am I. He moved to L.A. to make it as an actor, but that didn’t work out. Now he’s delighted to be entering his daughter in pageants because, you know, it’s what she really wants.

http://willwilkinson.net/flybottle/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/znaniBurt%20Reynolds.jpgWhat was your experience growing up gay in Romney, W.Va.?
I knew fairly young that it was Burt Reynolds for me and not Suzanne Somers. I also knew everyone around me would not be cool with it, so I tried to keep that under wraps as much as possible, but I just couldn’t. I was a pretty theatrical, high-strung little boy, so anyone with half a mind could figure out why I loved the show tunes and wasn’t so great at basketball. My mom was always trying to butch me up, telling me not to say certain words, but my stage debut was ironically in the Romney Women’s Club Minstrel Show, where I had to dress up as Minnie Pearl and do numbers from Hee Haw. Like Michael Champagne, I wanted to be around sparkly things like Hollywood.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Bradley Cooper makes the premiere of “Valentine’s Day” in which his love interest is Eric Dane!

Bradley Cooper
Hollywood’s famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was the site of last night’s star-studded premiere of the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day and among the cast members in attendance was Bradley Cooper.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you are led to believe Bradley and Julia Roberts‘ character are an item but they’re not. They are just BFFs and she is advising him on his relationship with his boyfriend played by McSteamy himself, Eric Dane (pictured below with pregnant wife Rebecca Gayheart)!

Rebecca Gayheart

It annoys me that the trailer completely ignores the gay relationship while flaunting all of the others but I guess they are essentially deciding to woo the homophobes over the gay ticket-buyers. I’d like to think most people who would go to see this kind of movie wouldn’t be put off by onbe gay plotline intertwined with about a dozen heterosexual ones. (See earlier post HERE).

The movie opens on Friday and also stars, among others: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Hathaway and Ashton Kutcher.

FILE UNDER: Movies

Happy Birthday to wonderful Judith Light!

http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,judithlight.jpgJudith Light is the real deal.

Not only is she a great actress, but she is a great humanitarian. Judith, currently starring in ABC’s Ugly Betty,is beloved by the LGBT community for her extensive involvement in several causes like The Point Foundation and organizations like Outfest.

It all began in the early 1980s after she won two Emmys for ABC’s One Life to Live and was about to begin an eight-year run on ABC’s Who’s the Boss. Judith was horrified by the AIDS epidemic and the government’s lack of action when people, including her friends, were dying. She was one of the first celebrities, way back in the early 80s, to step-up and help to raise money and awareness.

“I’ve been part of the really dark days,” Judith told me at the Ribbon of Hope event back in 2007. “How it feels now is it feels mildly better but it’s not enough. I know that people are working really hard to make it be different and that’s what we have to keep doing …[HIV/AIDS is) out there and it’s not over.”

I love what Judith said at another awards show earlier that year about gay people: “You are my teachers, you are my role models. You risk everything to be authentic. Do you know how rare that is in this culture? …People who are out and who are willing to risk in order to lead.”

This wonderful woman turns 61 years old today and I hope she is having a terrific birthday.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Lunch Break Video: Birthday girl Carole King sings a few of her many, many hits

http://www.buzzine.com/media/data/albums/15/Carole_King_20071120.jpgHard to believe that the ever-youthful Carole King is 68 years old today.

She is touring the US with James Taylor and I hope to catch them at Hollywood Bowl.

Carole is responsible for co-writing and/or singing so many absolute classics: You’ve Got a Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Natural Woman, It’s Too Late, Jazzman, I Feel the Earth Move, Locomotion, Where You Lead, Go Away Little Girl, Take Good Care of My Baby, One Fine Day, Up On the Roof and many more.

Her album Tapestry showed the world that she is as fine a singer as writer and is one of the biggest sellers of all time. I could listen to it all day – every track is sensational with my favorite being So Far Away.

Here is Carole singing some of her hits:

Kathy Griffin on her “SVU” kiss with Mariska Hargitay: “I was basically trying to get laid”

Actress Kathy Griffin films scenes for her guest appearance on an episode of "Law and Order: SVU.".
Mariska Hargitay is a beautiful woman, a fact not lost on Kathy Griffin who guest stars on Mariska’s Law & Order: SVU on March 3.
Gay icon Kathy, a two-time Emmy winner for My Life on the D List, plays a militant lesbian named Babs Duffy. Babs at one point plants a kiss on Mariska’s character who has gone undercover.
“Yes, we have a lesbian kiss,” Kathy tells TV Guide. “The director told us he needed the kiss to be longer, so we ended up really making out. I was basically trying to get laid.”
FILE UNDER: Television

Tuesday Morning Man: Keanu Reeves!

http://www.rtvchannel.tv/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/keanu-reeves.jpgWhy Keanu Reeves you wonder?

Because I read a snarky comment  about him last night on Twitter and decided to show my appreciation for the star of The Matrix trilogy as well as such memorable films as My Private Idaho, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Point Break, The Devil’s Advocate, A Walk in the Clouds,  Speed, Something’s Gotta Give, The Gift, Constantine and many other films over the past 20-plus years.

Keanu, now 45, has been around long enough as a leading man that he certainly deserves some respect. I never found him more appealing than opposite Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give but also liked him in the less successful The Replacements and Sweet November.

I’ve never done a sit down interview with Keanu but I have had a couple of red carpet encounters with him, including at the Oscars 3-4 years back. I found him to have a good energy and very professional – a movie star who is very good at his job.

I think that’s why he’s lasted so long.

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Portia de Rossi on cover of The Advocate

1036 COVER x300 | ADVOCATE.COMLove Portia de Rossi, the lovely actress who was so good in Ally McBeal, Arrested Development and Nip/Tuck. She’s currently in the ABC comedy Better Off Ted and, of course, is married to Ellen DeGeneres.
“It’s one thing to have attention; it’s one thing to stand for something,” she says in an Advocate cover story regarding her marriage to Ellen. “But unless it’s backed up with genuine happiness, I think people can sense that it’s not worth celebrating.”
“Ever since Ellen and I got together, I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity to actually—God, this sounds corny…” She rolls her eyes at herself, fidgets, and then forges ahead. “Well, I feel like my life can actually kind of stand for something. And I don’t mean that in a self-aggrandizing way, like, ‘Look at me, I can make a difference.’ But I feel like, maybe I get why I’m here. … Maybe by sharing my life, I can make people more aware of how important gay marriage is.”
http://www.shewired.com/images/contentimages2009e/GiftGuides/EllenPortiaWedding.jpg“I think it’s up to us to save marriage,” she adds. “Up to gay people across the country, seeing as though we’re fighting for it so vehemently.” De Rossi has an impressive ability to marry the personal and political: “This whole thing has been a wave of excitement and hope, and then it gently falls back into despair. And then it picks us up again. Unfortunately, we’re the ones who have to suffer this—this humiliation, really. There’s kind of a dignity that’s been stripped from us. Gay people are the ones who have to suffer through it—but without it, it won’t change.”
Go to Advocate.com to read this terrific interview in its entirety.
FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Out Stars

See Levi Johnston’s Playgirl cover

Well, all the fuss and here it is.
It’s fine but I think Levi Johnston might have to actually accomplish something in his life (besides fatherhood) if he wants to stay in the public eye.
That, or he can go on a reality show or two.
Whaddaya think: Celebrity Apprentice? The Bachelor? Maybe he could gain a ton of weight and go on The Biggest Loser. Hey, it worked for Kevin Federline!
FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Stage: “Streep Tease” is a delightful and at times moving tribute to the magic of Meryl and her material

Streep Tease

If you are a Meryl Streep fan, then you must see the brilliant Streep Tease which is being performed on Saturday nights all this month.

I went last Saturday and had the most terrific time. This evening of Meryl Streep Monologues is performed by an all-male cast at Bang, a West Hollywood theater and improv studio. The show had been selling out during its monthly performances last fall and the weekly performances seem to be just as popular with a complete sellout last night.

The show is a real tribute to the quality and the variety of roles the 16-time Oscar nominee has had throughout her unparalleled career.

The heart of this show is creator-producer Roy Cruz, a stand-up comedian who in the playbill writes:  “It’s fascinating to know how a line from a movie resonates with one person, especially with Meryl Streep movies. So this show is maybe finding out why we are fascinated with Streep and her movies. It’s maybe the writing, the character, the way she delivered the lines, etc. But we all agree she is a great actress.”

http://ideagirlconsulting.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/the-devil-wears-prada-meryl-streep.jpgCruz delivers those lines pretty well himself as he kicks things off brilliantly with his Miranda Priestly monologue from The Devil Wears Prada. It was the perfect way to get us into Meryl mood and to have a few big laughs. He captures Miranda’s imperiousness perfectly (“Oh do move at a glacial pace, you know how I love that.”) and is savvy enough to hold back his next line when the audience is still laughing at the last one.

Cruz then slips into the narrator role and hilariously introduces the seven monologues that careen from heavy drama (Silkwood, Bridges of Madison County, Out of Africa and Sophie’s Choice} to unintentional comedy (A Cry in the Dark, The River Wild) to full-out comedy (Death Becomes Her and Prada). He also does a few trivia questions with the audience and for answering one correctly (The name of Streep’s character in Kramer vs. Kramer was Joanna) I got a Meryl fan as a prize. I can use it to fan myself when the weather get warmer and do lines from Postcards From the Edge, the Streep film that I know ALL of the dialogue.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/06/03/article-1190714-0532CA53000005DC-375_468x286.jpgPostcards was originally part of this show but the actor who did it is no longer part of the cast so a hilarious scene from Death Becomes Her (performed by Ron Morehouse) replaced it. I haven’t seen the film in years and did not remember what an absolute monster Streep’s character of Madeline Ashton was.

Morehouse said he chose that role because it’s a role that allowed Meryl “to play against everything we’ve come to know about her. She’s vain, catty and downright bitchy! As Madeline, Meryl encapsulates the true Hollywood that has always been around her but one she has never bowed to.”

http://www.videodetective.com/photos/022/00092626_.jpgA real comic revelation is Drew Droege’s Lindy Chamberlain from A Cry in the Dark. His Aussie accent is spot-on and his delivery is a real high point of a consistently superb show. I think my favorite comic line was during Mike Rose’s Gail Hartman’s The River Wild when he said, as Gail: “Now listen here you little idiot!”

Taylor Negron was deeply moving as Sophie Zawistowski in a monologue from Sophie’s Choice so intense you could hear a pin drop. Also pulling off a dramatic role with great skill was  Trent Walker doing Meryl’s doomed title character in a scene from Silkwood.

http://www.zuguide.com/image/Meryl-Streep-The-Bridges-of-Madison-County.1.jpgSteve Hasley brought real depth – and a fine Italian accent – to his performance as Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County. The monologue reminds us of why this Iowa housewife from Italy decided to stay with a husband, a decent man who she did not love, instead of running off with the dashing photographer who came into town and turned her world upside down.

“I find Francesca’s struggle between the choices we have made in our lives and the choices we want to make to be universal and something that resonates within my own life,” Hasley writes in the playbill.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/filmprogramme/media/out-of-africamain.jpgProbably the best-known actor in the cast is David Dean Bottrell who had a recurring role as the psychotic Lincoln Meyer ABC’s on Boston Legal. He chose the role of Karen Blixen from Out of Africa because of his love of Danish accents. With a few other cast members helping out in supporting roles and others helping to simulate an airplance, Bottrell turns the whole thing into a hilarious tour-de-force and actually manages to act out the entire plot on about six minutes.

The cast gets together for a wonderful finale from Mamma Mia which they perform with impeccable choreography and plenty of joy and it just leaves the audience wanting more.

I can see so many other possibilities including Doubt, Julie & Julia, Heartburn, She-Devil, and Adaptation. The possiblities are endless!

I’m not sure if there are any tickets left for the remaining shows this month but if so, I suggest snapping them up right away.

Here is a LINK to the theater’s website.

FILE UNDER: Stage

Happy Birthday to Jim Verraros!

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The star of the first two Eating Out comedies and a top 10 finalist in the first season of American Idol, the multi-talented Jim Verraros turns 27 today.

Jim has found great happiness in his personal life as he and Bill Brennan tied the knot in Chicago in a big, splashy ceremony in Chicago in September.

They were two-and-half years into their relationship when Bill, president of Bridal Expo Chicago, pulled a white gold ring with eight diamonds out of his pocket.

“Being a gay male in this day and age you don’t really think about marriage,” Jim admitted in an interview with Greg In Hollywood. “He’s in the business and he really wanted to have a wedding,. Everything changed for me when I met.”

Jim Verraros & Bill Brennan

“People say, ‘Why are you even doing it if it’s not even legal?’  We don’t have to wait for the government to tell us it’s okay, we’re doing it anyway. It’s more about our family and friends and people we care about witnessing something that is true and beautiful. It’s important  for us to see our family to see something that is very traditional. Hopefully we will begin to create  a movement. You can still have a wedding and no one has to tell you you cant do it.”

Jim the groom is a bit more buff than Jim the Idol contestant. He has added 20 pounds of muscle to his frame through intensive workouts.

“You get to a point in your life when you are ready for a change and you get to it,” he said.  “I changed my diet and threw myself in the gym to see how far I could take my body, I got tired of being that geeky dork from the Eating Out movies.”

FILE UNDER: Birthdays