One of my favorite shows, for the short time that it aired, was the ABC comedy It’s All Relative. I especially loved the show because it had two openly gay actors playing a couple that were two of the main characters.
One of the actors was Christopher Sieber who had previously played the father of the Olsen twins in the sitcom Two of a Kind. But his biggest success has been on the Broadway stage, most recently in a Tony nominated performance as Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical.
He made his Broadway debut starring opposite Betty Buckley and F. Murray Abraham in Triumph of Love and went on to star in Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie and a revival of Into the Woods.
Christopher, who turns 41 today, came out publicly as a gay man during the production of It’s All Relative and has been in a long-term relationship with actor-turned French chef Kevin Burrows.
I’ve been pretty engrossed in the Winter Olympics and am really looking forward to tonight’s long program in the men’s figure skating.
American Evan Lysacek finished the short program in second place and could very well win gold. I’m rooting for him! He blended artistry and athleticism and excelled on triple while blazing through footwork. The judges gave him a career-best score of 90.30 points.
He now is in a virtual tie with defending Olympic champion Evgeny Plushenko of Russia (90.85) and Daisuke Takahashi of Japan (90.25).
The 24-year-old is the reigning world champion and is a two-time US champion and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school in 2003. He began skating at the age of 8 and originally wanted to play hockey but was soon competing as a figure skater.
This is a companion post to the previous Mo’Nique piece that I excerpted from The Advocate.
The Oscar-nominated actress had a very surprising but wonderful reply to the question: Who is your celebrity girl crush?
Mo’Nique: “Ginger from Gilligan’s Island! Baby, that bitch was always sexy! Do you hear me? On an island — listen to me! Had new gowns every day, makeup and hair was beat — wasn’t no damn makeup artist there! Ginger pulled it together every day, baby! [Laughs]“
These are some excerpts from an Associated Press story by Jill Lawless:
Alexander McQueen hanged himself in his apartment on the eve of his mother’s funeral after leaving behind a note, a coroner’s inquest said Wednesday in the first confirmation of details of the fashion designer’s death.
The inquest — which has yet to formally rule McQueen’s death a suicide — opened as London Fashion Week prepared to mark the passing of one of British fashion’s brightest stars.
Coroner’s official Lynda Martindill told the inquest at Westminster Coroners Court that 40-year-old McQueen died from asphyxiation and hanging.
Days before his body was found on Thursday, McQueen had left several messages on the social networking site Twitter revealing his grief at the death of his mother days earlier.
The designer’s body was found in the armoire at his London apartment and was formally identified by his sister, Janet.
Police detective inspector Paul Armstrong told the inquest there were no suspicious circumstances.
McQueen’s family, who are now free to hold the designer’s funeral, issued a statement through their lawyers appealing to the media to respect their privacy.
McQueen’s death has cast a shadow over London Fashion Week, which opens on Friday. A spokeswoman said the event would feature a tribute to the designer, whose attention-grabbing designs helped re-energize British fashion after a fallow period following the punk explosion in the 1970s.
“There will be something simple and tasteful,” she said. “The time for memorials will be later in the year.”
She spoke on condition of anonymity because organizers are waiting for McQueen’s family to approve the tribute.
Known for his dramatic statement pieces and impeccable tailoring, McQueen dressed celebrities from Cameron Diaz to Lady Gaga and influenced a generation of designers.
McQueen was a private man who avoided the limelight, but his Twitter postings show emotional turmoil after his mother’s death on Feb. 2. McQueen had posted messages four days before his death about his “awful week,” and said he had to “somehow pull myself together and finish.”
His mother’s funeral was held the day after McQueen died.
Friends also said he might have felt under pressure to outdo himself at the unveiling of his spring collection in Paris next month.
“I don’t think success was easy for him,” friend Plum Sykes wrote in the Sunday Telegraph this week. “He told me he was driven by his insecurities, and he believed that all successful people were.”
Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Katharine Hepburn could all come back from the dead to do battle on Oscar night, and they still might have trouble ripping that gold statuette from Mo’Nique’s clutches for her role in Precious.
A lifelong supporter of gay causes and AIDS awareness, the sassy woman who once shouted “skinny bitches are evil” from the mountaintops found time to chat it up with Advocate.com about Precious, her talk show, and homophobia in the church.
Here are some excerpts:
On gays and church: “Now, I know a lot of folks that go to church and are gay. I tell them, “God don’t make no mistakes, baby, and we keep using it when it’s convenient.” If we are all made in his image, there are no mistakes. I think it’s absolute foolishness, just in my humble opinion, when people make statements like, “It’s blasphemy and you’re going to hell!” Really? And I’m a child of God — do you think God set me up? I’ve never bought in to it. With gays and church, I think there are so many of our brothers and sisters that’s in pain because they go to a place to receive nurturing, the love of God, and you start hearing that you’re going to hell because of who you were made to be. I just don’t buy that!”
On her days working at a phone-sex company when women called looking to chat with other women: Well, I was inside of the operation. I didn’t actually talk to the people. I actually had to connect the call and make sure you were doing the call properly! Yes, honey! Now, did women ever call in? Yes! I was like, “Go ahead, girl — do you! Ain’t nobody judging you! Get your money’s worth!” If the sex operator wasn’t doing it right, I would pick up the phone and say, “Listen! You’re not doing this right!” [Laughs]
The song to be played when she arrives in heaven: Wow! “Move, bitch, get out the way” — no! [Laughs] I would say Jill Scott’s “Golden.”
There won’t be any new episodes of Glee until April 13.
So until then, we Gleeks have to make do with the DVD of the first half of season 1 or music CDs.
But we are starting to get teased with little bits and pieces of the second half of the season.
Last night during American Idol, a preview of the Madonna episode which included a quick look at Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) wearing one of the cone bras from on of the Material Girl’s past concert tours.
Here is the preview which was also shown during last night’s Entertainment Tonight.
This is fun news to share: Guest House Films announced today the development of Make the Yuletide Gay 2, a follow-up to last year’s hit Christmas comedy from writer/director Rob Williams.
The first film won several awards at festivals worldwide and enjoyed strong DVD and Video-On-Demand sales.
The plot of the first film was about a college senior (Kieth Jordan) who is an out activist on campus with a serious boyfriend (Adamo Ruggiero) but still in the closet to his parents. When he goes home for the holidays and his boyfriend – not aware that he’s not out – shows up to surprise him, things get complicated – and very funny.
“At every screening of the film, people asked about the possibility of a sequel, which is one of the biggest forms of encouragement a filmmaker can receive, and we want to make our fans happy by continuing the story of these wacky and endearing characters,” Williams said. “We hope to reunite the original cast in the sequel, while bringing in some new faces to shake things up for the Gunnunderson and Stanford families.”
The sequel is in its early stages of development, with production tentatively set for 2011. It will be produced by the Guest House Films production team of Rodney Johnson, Matthew Montgomery and Rob Williams, with Williams set to write the script and direct.
The first film hit No. 1 on the iTunes Independent Movie Rental chart shortly after its release in November 2009 from TLA Releasing.
In addition, it produced numerous sold-out screenings during its acclaimed film festival run and generated a successful soundtrack album.
The combination of these factors led Guest House Films to begin developing a sequel.
“Make the Yuletide Gay was our most successful cross-platform day-and-date release,” said Derek Curl, Head of Production and Development, TLA Releasing. “Guest House Films delivered a stellar Christmas film that will enjoy continued revenue for years to come.”
Elizabeth Taylor earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her extraordinary performance as Catherine Holly a young woman whose cousin’s death on a trip to Europe under sordid circumstances results in an emotional disturbance so severe she is institutionalized.
The cousin, Sebastian, was using her to attract boys in order to proposition them to prostitute themselves. That’s the reason for the iconic white bathing suit Taylor, in her late 20s and completely ravishing, wears in some of the flashback scenes.
She starred with Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift in this 1959 film written by Gore Vidal based on the Tennessee Williams play. It was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
This is the final 15 minutes or so of the film when Catherine – who Hepburn’s character wants lobotomized – grows increasingly anguished as she recounts, in excruciating detail, her cousin’s brutal murder.
So I was watching a little bit of Regis and Kelly yesterday and out walks the winner of Sunday’s Daytona 500: Jamie McMurray. Now I could care less about auto racing but boy, what a cutie!
The 33-year-old from Joplin, Mo. held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the biggest race of his career. It could not have been more different from a year earlier when he was eliminated from contention after he was involved in the race’s biggest crash.
Since the victory, he’s been on something of a media blitz (he also appeared on Letterman – see video below) and has suddenly become a celebrity.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever been recognized,” Jamie said on a national conference call Tuesday from New York. “I can’t believe in just the 24 hours that I’ve been here the amount of people that have found me and have brought their USA Today paper up and had me sign it. I can’t believe how popular that race is and how, by winning it, how many people realize who you are all of a sudden.”
“I don’t really care about sleep right now,” he said. “I’m just enjoying the moment.”
Brian Burke, the president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and general manager of Team USA at this month’s Olympics, talked about the death of his openly gay son, Brendan Burke, during an emotional press conference.
“It’s not supposed to be this way, your kids are supposed to bury you,” Burke told reporters. “It’s compounded by the fact that Brendan was a special kid, not too many 21 years old had blazed a trail like that, [he] had a huge heart and a great future. I promise that his message will live on.”
That message was that hockey at all levels should be a welcoming place for gay players. Brendan had been was attending Miami University in Ohio and was working with the school’s hockey team. He came out publicly in December in an interview with ESPN.com.
Then on Feb. 4, his life was cut short on in a car crash on an Indiana road made slick my heavy snowfall. His friend, 18-year-old Mark Reedy of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. was also killed in the head-on crash.
“I got the call that you never want to get,” said the father. “You don’t get the chance to say goodbye. …I don’t think my grief will ever end, I think a part of my heart was ripped out.”
Brian Burke said it was a tribute to his son it’s that 1200 people showed up to his wake and 1,000 people were at his funeral which was followed by a private burial on Wednesday.
The father said he would now be heading to Vancouver for the Olympics: “It’s time to engage again and move forward the way Brendan would have wanted … I’ll never forget Brendan.”
Brian Burke said he has every intention of battling homophobia in the sport:”I think that’s a wall that needs to be broken down … This game should be open to everyone… That was Brendan’s message and it took a lot of courage.”
We’ve seen some of the photos and now here’s a little bit of video of the new quartet of Calvin Klein underwear models: Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz, True Blood‘s Mehcad Brooks, Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata, and Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco.
Whether it’s on the big screen (Madea’s Family Reunion, Dirty Laundry, The Preacher’s Wife) television (Jackie’s Back! Strong Medicine, Girlfriends) or on stage (Dreamgirls) and in her own one-woman shows (The Diva is Dismissed, Bipolar, Bath and Beyond), Jenifer Lewis is a force of nature and someone whose talent I greatly appreciate.
“I am a quadruple threat,” Lewis says in a new interview with Advocate.com during which she fully embraces her over-the-top on stage persona. “You name the bitch who sings, dances, is funny, and can act!”
Jenifer is premiering Hot Flash, her new one-woman show, as a benefit for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. It will be performed at the center’s Renberg Theatre each Saturday through March 6. As the tag line for the show says, “Be on time, or Jenifer will cuss you out!”
So why the name Hot Flash? Here’s what she had to say: “Child, please! I’m going through menopause and my ass is on fire constantly. [Laughs] Seriously, Hot Flash is basically about everything. I just happen to be at a time in my life when I am literally hot-flashing. When it first started happening, I thought it was fabulous. I was thinking, My God, I get to burn up every other hour! But now I’m gettin’ sick of it because it disturbs your sleep! Basically Hot Flash is just a metaphor for my life … the extremes of standing on extinct volcanoes … all the way to seeing Mount Vesuvius of Naples and Mount St. Helens. It’s all about my eruptions and the lava flow. It’s basically me talking about the extreme fabulousness of my life.”
I’ve interviewed Jenifer several times but the first time, about three years ago, was my favorite because it was then that I asked her why it is that gays love her so much. I loved her answer: “I think like Judy Garland and any other diva, the gay boys and girls, they relate to not only the ambition and the difference. We’re not of the world, we’re different. We are. I think we also relate with the struggle, the struggle of being different. We don’t live normal lives, there’s nothing normal about us in different lives and I think they see that. There’s a crispness in knowing who you are and doing what we do…”
With his film I Love You Phillip Morris finally coming out next month, Ewan McGregor is on the cover of Out Magazine and gives a really juicy interview about playing gay (opposite Jim Carrey) in this and other films.
Here are some excerpts:
Despite the fact that it stars perhaps the most bankable star in Hollywood — the worldwide gross of Carrey’s movies is more than $4 billion dollars — and, opposite him, its most talented, I Love You Phillip Morris, has languished undistributed domestically for more than a year, even after a strong showing at its Sundance debut in 2009. “At Sundance everyone assumed it would be snapped up,” says McGregor, “but it wasn’t.” Perhaps one reason is that the central character is an unlovable (or uneasily loved) sociopathic scammer. But a more likely reason is that in cells, on bunks, on boats, before sunsets, after sunsets, on divans, over ottomans, without panning away or dissolving to white, the two men kiss, fondle, fuck, blow, suck, hold hands, dance, murmur, and eye. In short, they act like lovers do, and, because both Morris and Russell are openly gay men and their gayness seems not to trouble them in the slightest, this is a dicey commercial proposition. “There was talk,” says McGregor, “that Disney fended off the release until after A Christmas Carol came out. They didn’t want kids thinking [Carrey’s] Ebenezer Scrooge was a bender.”
“I’m very keen that it’s a gay movie,” McGregor insists. “There was quite a lot of talk at Sundance that ‘Well, it’s not a gay movie. It’s a film about guys who happen to be gay.’ And I was thinking, it’s nothing but a gay movie. It’s about a gay couple, about a man’s sexuality, and he comes out. It’s not the point of the film, but let’s not pretend it’s not a gay film.”
Though I Love You Phillip Morris may be some sort of Rubicon for Carrey, McGregor has kissed boys his entire career. “The first bisexual character I played was in [1996’s] The Pillow Book. There’s tons of sex in that film. We didn’t even bother putting clothes on between scenes. I had quite a full-on sex scene with a 75-year-old Japanese guy,” he recalls. “We’re kissing, and I remember going, He’s got a mustache and that’s kind of weird. Oh! That’s definitely a scrotum. That’s odd.”
Though his silver daddy moment was somewhat lost in the Trainspotting scrum, McGregor’s next movie, Todd Haynes’s Velvet Goldmine, wherein he plays a barely disguised Iggy Pop to Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s epicene “David Bowie,” brought his propensity, willingness, and talent for kissing men to a wider audience and, in so doing, provided the raw footage for a fantasy reel of dreamy leading men locking lips. In fact, upon reflection, theirs might be about the most satisfying gay kiss ever committed to film. It’s got all you need: gold lamé, an Oscar Wilde quote (“The curve of your lips rewrite history”), the deceptive vulnerability of McGregor with his wide grin, the cruel-seeming beauty of Meyers. Oh, and eye shadow — dark, glam pools of it. “I remember when I kissed Johnny,” says McGregor. “It was just a rush at the end of the day. It was just an electrical moment, because you look around and some of the British electrician guys — who are all mainly closeted homosexuals, I think — were sitting around going ‘Fuck, no.’ But I like kissing boys on screen. As a straight guy, it’s quite an interesting proposition. Anything on a film set that takes you by surprise like that, that gets your blood up, is good.”
After seeing the amazing stage show Streep Tease a few weeks back, I wrote a rave review and hoped that as many people as possible would get the chance to see it.
This evening of Meryl Streep Monologues is performed by an all-male cast at Bang, a West Hollywood theater and improv studio. Cast member, the talented Steve Hasley, tells me that the first three shows this month (including the upcoming one on Saturday) have been sellouts so two additional shows have been added.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, there will be the regularly scheduled the 8 p.m. show and now a 10 pm show has been added as well. An 8 p.m. show has also been added on March 6.
Barbara Walters may not look it or act it, but the legendary newswoman is 80 years old!
She has more than earned the right to do what the heck she wants and if she wants to quit doing her post-Oscar specials, that’s her right.
“This is my last year, I’m not going to do anymore after this year,” she said Monday on The View. “I think I’m sick of them…I feel I’ve been there, done that.”
She called the specials a “labor of love” for nearly three decades.
“I will always remember when Hugh Jackman gave me a private lap dance or sitting down with the legendary Bette Davis or being taught to tango by Al Pacino,” she said. “It’s those priceless moments that have made this special the Oscar tradition that it has become, but I truly feel enough is enough.”
This year’s show will include a retrospective of past specials in addition to new interviews with 2010 nominees Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique.
It’s no fun being under the weather but it’s more bearable when the Winter Olympics are on!
I got completely caught up in all kinds of events yesterday and one of my favorites was watching Seth Wescott go from fourth place to first to win his second consecutive gold medal in the men’s snowboard cross. He won the same event four years ago.
The 33-year-old was having a lackluster season and not favored to win again and becomes only the fourth U.S. Olympian to capture back-to-back golds in the Winter Games.
“I had a bad start in the final,” he said after the race. “You can’t let that get to you. The race isn’t won until the finish line — kind of pick your way through the crowd. You start with a game plan and you kind of get creative along the way.”
The annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon is always such a great event because the stars are so relaxed. I was not there this year but have wonderful memories of past years. Two years ago, I sat right next to George Clooney and the year before that, I was placed right next to Jennifer Hudson! (seating is done via lottery so I was twice lucky).
I was also there last year but Meryl Streep, nominated for Doubt, was not present which was a pity. But the 16-time nominee did make it this year and looked fabulous. It’s smart of Streep to show up since ballots are still out and she appears to be in a tight race with Sandra Bullock for best actress.
Out director Lee Daniels is a first-time nominee while the five best actor nominees are a dapper bunch with Clooney once again in the running, Colin Firth getting a nod for A Single Man while Jeff Bridges is the clear front-runner for Crazy Heart.
This is a great episode from season four of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It is most significant because it marked the debut of Sue Ann Nivens, the delicious character played to perfection by Betty White. I love in this clip how everyone less than tactfully tells Mary how terrible her parties are.
She hopes a dinner party she has planned for a congresswoman will be different now that Sue Ann, TV’s Happy Homemaker, volunteers to cook the meal.
Don’t look for Matt Bomer, the handsome star of USA’s White Collar, to talk very much about his personal life anytime soon.
But that doesn’t mean people will stop asking or trying to lead him there!
In the March issue of Elle, writer Corrie Pikul writes that “while Bomer hopes to parlay his new found fame into more TV work … he’s still not comfortable talking about his personal life in interviews.”
Photos of Bomer kissing another man who said the actor is his ex-boyfriend. It has also been widely reported that Bomer is in a relationship with Simon Halls, a powerful PR exec.
Here’s what the actor has to say about his private life in the interview: “My favorite actors are people who I don’t know anything about, and I can project any characters onto them. They focus on their work and then go live their lives with the people they love.’”