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A sweet tweet from NPH to David Burtka

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Their twins celebrated their first birthday this week and Neil Patrick Harris paid tribute to his partner David Burtka via Twitter. It is very, very sweet!

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Dustin Lance Black blasts GQ for Taylor Lautner interview: “It’s 2011 and it’s time to grow up.”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Dustin_Lance_Black_at_the_81st_Academy_Awards.jpg/230px-Dustin_Lance_Black_at_the_81st_Academy_Awards.jpgA few days ago, I posted about how outrageous it was for an interviewer for GQ Australia to ask actor Taylor Lautner if he was hit on by openly gay director Gus Van Sant and Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black when the three of them had dinner together last summer.

In a new blog post, Black has blasted the magazine and the writer and makes a series of excellent points: “For my very first post I’d hoped to keep it light and talk about how my new swimming pool isn’t coming along at the rate I’d hoped (fingers crossed for summer 2012). Instead, more than a few friends and co-workers pointed me to a recent GQ interview with Taylor Lautner and I felt I had to respond. Evidently the GQ writer asked whether director Gus Van Sant and writer Dustin Lance Black made a pass at him when the three dined together in Los Angeles recently. Really Mr. GQ writer? I’m curious, will you be asking all of the handsome actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with or meeting if I made passes at them as well? I’d love to be there when you ask Sean Penn that same question. Or, Mr. GQ writer, were you projecting your own unprofessional desires onto me and Gus? Perhaps? Or worse still, are you a homophobe? Above and beyond this clear attack on my character, I’m shocked that GQ would allow their writer to lean on the scurrilous, outdated stereotype that gay men are by nature sexual predators. I mean, would you have asked this same question if it were Diablo Cody and Kathryn Bigelow at dinner with Mr. Lautner? Leaning on lies, myths and stereotypes about gay people is hateful, harmful and outdated. It’s not the 1950s anymore GQ, it’s 2011 and it’s time to grow up.”

FILE UNDER: Controversy

George Takei is second gay star to join cast of gay marriage foe Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice”

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00040/_George-Takei_40989s.jpgStar Trek icon George Takei married his longtime partner Brad Altman in a high-profile ceremony in 2008 after 20 years together.

Takei is an outspoken LGBT activist who was particularly visible during California’s fight against Proposition 8.

So why the heck has he agreed to join Clay Aiken and others on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice when host Donald Trump so readily threw the LGBT community under the bus during his ill-fated run for the presidency earlier this year.

The three-times married Trump said of same-sex couples like Takei and Altman being legally married: “I just don’t feel good about it, I don’t feel right about it.”

Well, I just don’t feel good about gay people appearing on his show, I don’t feel right about it.

But I am hoping either George or Clay will hold Trump accountable for his stance against gay marriage.

Related Post: Clay Aiken to appear on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice

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“I Love Lucy” turns 60 today! Pics! Clips! Facts!

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I Love Lucy
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http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/2011/08/Lucy-and-Desi-i-love-lucy-3529972-350-396.jpgYesterday, I began a two-day tribute to the 60th anniversary of I Love Lucy.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in to share their favorite episodes and to those who pointed out that Lucy had chosen a pair of “hostess pants” for Ethel’s birthday. I had called them “cocktail pants” and was quickly corrected!
Hey, you can’t expect me to remember every single detail of the 179 half-hour episodes and 13 hour-long specials that ran over nine seasons.
Or can you? So many of us know the lines and the nuances from those episodes like “Luuucccyyy, I’m hoooome” to “Lucy, you’ve got some splainin to do.”
It was on Oct. 15, 1951 that I Love Lucy premiered on CBS with the episode “The Girls Want to Go to the Nightclub” and that was followed by all kinds of antics and adventures that included stealing John Wayne’s footprints from Grauman’s Chinese Theater, impersonating martians on the roof of the Empire State Building, Lucy lighting her putty nose on fire in front of William Holden, Lucy and Ethel trying to eat 25 pounds of cheese on an airplane, Ricky and Lucy celebrating their anniversary in the living room closet, and the show’s gayest moment: Designer Don Loper playing himself during a fashion show in which Lucy has to fight a painful sunburn to appear.
Love, love, love them all. God bless the late Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley and their great company of guest stars.
Here are some I Love Lucy facts:
** “I Love Lucy” was one of the first TV shows shot on 35mm film. The film–unlike kinescope, which deteriorates very quickly–endured, making “I Love Lucy” reruns possible right up to the present.
** “I Love Lucy” continues to be enjoyed in more than 77 countries. The show is dubbed in 22 different languages!
**  “I Love Lucy” was filmed on a converted movie sound stage. A live audience of 300 attended each taping. The audience sat on grandstand bleachers erected by a scaffolding company.
**  When Lucille Ball became pregnant in 1952, the unprecedented decision was made to write the pregnancy into the show. It was decided that, no matter what the actual sex of the Arnaz baby, the Ricardo baby would be a boy. When the Ricardo’s TV son Ricky was born, more people watched that episode than watched the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. During Lucy’s TV pregnancy, the word “pregnancy” was never used. Instead, she was “expecting” (or as Ricky said, “specting”).
** Ethel actually had three middle names during the history of the show (Louise, Mae, and Roberta).
** The “I Love Lucy” theme song lyrics were sung only once–by Ricky, in the “Lucy’s Last Birthday” episode.
** Although “I Love Lucy” opened to generally favorable reviews, not everyone was impressed. Less than a day after the first show aired, the sponsor tried to find a way to get out of the contract, but reconsidered.
** Keith Thibodeaux joined the cast of “I Love Lucy” during its final season as Little Ricky. Keith was the only Little Ricky who had speaking lines.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_iJP_wg6Tnag/SzI49_BKcmI/AAAAAAAAEP8/Jw_Hyg-g8qw/s400/I_Love_Lucy.jpg**  For the episode “Pioneer Women,” a metal shop custom-built a pan for the eight-foot long loaf of bread that shot out of Lucy’s oven.After filming “Pioneer Women,” the crew cut up the eight foot loaf of rye and divided it among themselves.
** On March 1, 1953, Jack Gould of the New York Times commented that “I Love Lucy” was so successful because “It’s very human–and so are we.”






Morning Man Encore: Cameron Mathison!

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Just take a look deep into those  gorgeous blue eyes!

Cameron Mathison is one of the most handsome men on television. He has enjoyed a decade-plus run on ABC’s All My Children as Ryan Lavery and is probably that soap’s biggest breakout star next to Susan Lucci.

What I really like about Cameron – besides his shirtless scenes on the soap, of course – is that, like the lovely Miss Lucci, he is such a positive person who has worked hard to expand his career opportunities.

He was signed in January as a regular contributor to Good Morning America, a gig that he is juggling with his role on the soap. Cameron is used to double duty: he flew back-and-forth across the country when he was competing on Dancing With the Stars in Los Angeles and taping scenes for All My Children in New York.

I bumped into Cameron last month when we were both working the red carpet at the Grammy Awards. The last time I had seen him – in the flesh – was at the Daytime Emmy Awards last June.  He was excited about working for GMA and said: “It’s tough to do movies, it’s tough to do other acting gigs. But the beauty of working on All My Children is that Good Morning America airs before the show even starts taping. It really is a great fit.”

Here’s to many more years of steady gigs for the handsome and dynamic Cameron!

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

“I Love Lucy” Friday: Happy 60th Anniversary to this singular show that has made our lives happier

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http://thegrassskirtblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/i_love_lucy_-stomping_grapes.jpg“Speeeeeed it up a little!”

The line is still hilarious and so is this great, great show – the best sitcom ever.

I Love Lucy had its premiere 60 years ago tomorrow. Who knew then that this sitcom about zany red-headed housewife Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), her bandleader Ricky (Desi Arnaz) and their best friends and neighbors Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance) would just go on and on and on?

Everyone has a favorite episode whether it be the chocolate factory, the grape stomping in Italy, Vitamitavegamin, the Hollywood episodes, Lucy doing the tango when her blouse was filled with eggs, Lucy having the baby and on and on.

Some of my favorites are Aunt Martha’s Old Fashioned Salad Dressing, when Lucy and Ethel hitched a ride to Florida with Elsa Lanchester (“I love buttered grass!), when the girls went to charm school (“I’m not wearing powder”), when Lucy was afraid of her mean maid Mrs. Porter, when Lucy danced with Van Johnson,  when Lucy got jealous of Ethel and Betty’s friendship, when the Ricardos and Mertzes bought a diner, and, of course, when Lucy and Ethel had a big fight over Ethel’s birthday present (cocktail pants to wear to smart dinner parties).

Oh! And let’s not forget The Operetta! (“MY song!”)

I’ll have more tomorrow – on the actual anniversary – but would love to hear from some of you. What are your favorite episodes???





FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

Clay Aiken to be on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” starring same-sex marriage foe Donald Trump

http://celebquestion.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/clay_aiken_5_en.jpgI’m not saying I’d ever seen more than a handful of episodes of Celebrity Apprentice over the years but I completely boycotted the show anyway after host Donald Trump decided to become anti-gay marriage when he was caught up in running for president.

Frankly, I don’t see how any gay person can agree to be on the show with Trump but reportedly, Clay Aiken is among the celebrities who will be taking part. I hope Clay get the chance, and takes the chance, to question Trump about this stance against LGBT equality.

I’m always extra rankled when someone who has been married three times does not believe that same-sex couples deserve that same right.

High-profile straight ally Cyndi Lauper had just finished appearing on Celebrity Apprentice to benefit her True Colors Fund – which benefits LGBT advocacy groups and works to raise awareness of LGBT issues – when The Donald said on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor about same-sex marriage: “I just don’t feel good about it, I don’t feel right about it.”

Miss Lauper told me at an April event that she found his remarks very hurtful: “We make strides and then they take it away,” she said sadly. ”I went on Trump, he embraced me and my charity and then he turned around and nullified everything. It broke me heart. I couldn’t believe it. It hurt my feelings so much.”

Cyndi said it appeared that Trump, who had been getting a lot of attention as a possible Republican candidate for president, was doing what others in the party have done in the past.

“They use the gay community, the LGBT community to distract everybody and to say the gays this and that and it’s really a crock,” she said. “A lot of people who say things like that have people in their organization who are from the community who are the people who help make them successful.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Friday Morning Man: Ioan Gruffudd!

http://images.contactmusic.com/newsimages/ioan_gruffudd_1115617.jpgIn The CW’s new drama, Ringer, today’s Morning Man Ioan Gruffudd plays Andrew Martin, a self-made millionaire made to the character played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

He’s best-known for his feature film work, obviously, having recently appeared in Horrible Bosses.  He also portrayed Reed Richards in Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four 2, was Tony Blair in W, directed by Oliver Stone and starred as Lancelot in King Arthur alongside Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

Ioan’s television credits include Horatio Hornblower in the Hornblower television movie series and the BBC productions Warriors and Great Expectations.

Born in South Wales, he attended the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts from 1992 to 1995, and was then cast as the lead in the popular British television series Poldark.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

GLAAD Video: Tori & Dean, Dustin Lance Black and Mario Lopez speak out against anti-LGBT bullying

http://www.accesshollywood.com/content/images/143/230x306/143547_tori-spelling-and-dean-mcdermott-at-the-2011-glaad-awards-in-los-angeles-on-april-10-2011.jpgTori Spelling and hubby Dean McDermott, pictured here at this year’s GLAAD Media Awards, join Mario Lopez, Dustin Lance Black and others in this new anti-bullying PSA.

It is one in a series (I’ll feature the others in the coming days) launched this morning by The American Federation of Teachers & GLAAD.

The videos feature celebrities speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying and direct viewers to GLAAD.org where students, parents and teachers can download free anti-bullying resource kits. For more information, go to www.glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Kellan Lutz shares with Men’s Fitness magazine how he got so chiseled: “I ate 16 eggs every morning”

Twilight star Kellan Lutz is looking good enough to eat on the cover of the latest issue of Men’s Fitness magazine. He needed to look like a Greek god for the film The Immortals and And here’s how he got that way: “I ate 16 eggs every morning. I got up to 220 pounds of solid muscle. We’d work out every day. Shooting one scene could take all day—and when that’s just driving a Humvee at five miles an hour, we had energy to burn. We were doing push-ups on top of the Humvees. We were throwing wheels and rocks. We were timing each other, betting who can do the most push-ups, just to keep our sanity. We did these [UFC fighter] Bas ­Rutten tapes, where it’s like, ‘OK, shadowbox! ­Defense! ­­Shadowbox! Drop to the ground!’ Within 30 minutes, you’re dripping. And it’s Africa. So it’s hot as balls out there. We pushed each other to be the best we could be.”
Very impressive. Now somebody please pass me a cupcake.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Cyndi Lauper on helping homeless LGBT youth: “My commitment to doing what I can is just beginning”

http://sdgln.com/files/give_a_damn-5235-5418.jpgCyndi Lauper is a tremendous talent who always gives 150 percent in her concerts.

I’ve seen her at least five times and each time, it has been a thrill.

But Cyndi is so much more than a big music star, she is a woman who gives a damn about the LGBT community and has committed herself to helping out the youth who have been made homeless by cold-hearted parents who can’t deal.

“As a mother, I could never imagine throwing my kid away for any reason, let alone over something like their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Lauper wrote in a Huffington Post column this week. “It would be like ripping out a piece of my very own soul. For far too long, dogma and fear have torn apart too many families. It is a time when the heart must lead the way when your child shares this personal and life-changing moment with you.”

Cyndi points out that 20-40 percent of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender while only 3-5 percent of the general population does the same.

She has this advice for parents: “If you are a parent and you have a child who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or just questioning, or whom you think might be, the most important thing you can do is let them know that you love them first and foremost. Do not let fear and long-held beliefs interfere with the most important relationship you will have in your life. Lead with your heart and with the love that you have for your child. Just a little bit of acceptance can make a huge difference, and that little bit will grow over time.”

Cyndi has joined with the West End Intergenerational Residence in New York City to open the True Colors Residence in Harlem. It is the first permanent housing facility in New York state specifically for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth ages 18 to 24. This low-income housing building will provide 30 young people with a permanent roof over their heads and supportive services as they go after the future they have been dreaming about and deserve.

She also started the Give a Damn Campaign last year in part to educate straight people about this issue and to help gay and transgender people use the information to spread the message.

Thanks Cyndi for all you do!

FILE UNDER: Straight Allies

Freddie Smith says love story being set up for his “DOOL” character. Will it be with Will?

We’ve all been getting frustrated at the snail’s pace of the gay storyline on Days of Our Lives.

Freddie Smith has been terrific in the role of openly gay Sonny but after a promising start, has been given very little to do.

In a recent interview with Blog Talk Radio, the actor assures fans there is more to come and their patience will be rewarded.

“The new writers have been doing a wonderful job.” he said. “They’ve been setting it up and allowing everyone to get comfortable with the idea. I just got the scripts and these will be airing in late December and early January.January is when you’re going to see the whole love story with me and I don’t know who yet begin. There are a few characters I’m mixed up with so we’ll see who it ends up being.”

Smith says he has no clue who he’ll be romancing.

“It was going to be Will (Chandler Massey) for awhile but then something changed because it doesn’t look like it’s going that way,” he said. “But you never know. I’m just as excited as everyone else to see who my love interest will be.”

Source: AfterElton.com

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Rosie O’Donnell talks about Oprah, Hasselbeck and a painful split in “Nightline” interview

http://www.ontopmag.com/images/ArticleImages/rosie_odonnell_nightline.jpgCynthia McFadden interviewed Rosie O’Donnell this week on ABC’s Nightline and I have the video for you right here!

It’s a good piece.

We see Oprah Winfrey’s reaction to walking into her old studio and seeing it completely transformed (she doesn’t look thrilled actually) and Rosie admits that Oprah had stopped by her house before they sealed the deal for “a crazy check.” Somehow, Rosie says, she passed.

Of course, The View is brought up – in particular, her last day on the show more than four years ago when she had an explosive on-air argument with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She said when she watches the fight on YouTube, she still feels the betrayal and the two have not spoke except publicly through Twitter.

But Rosie remains quite fond of Barbra Walters: “I love her and I hope she’s going to come and be a guest.”

We all know that Rosie and Kelli Carpenter famously split four years ago and Rosie felt that she was really letting the LGBT community down: “It was probably the most humiliating experience of my life and the most painful and the most humbling.”

FILE UNDER: Lesbian, Out Stars

Thursday Morning Man: Kenny Leon!

http://www.talive.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/KennyLeon.jpgYesterday, I wrote about my dream cast for the black version of Steel Magnolias.

Today, I feature the dreamy guy set to direct it: Kenny Leon!

This extraordinarily handsome man (he was one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful people in 2004) is notable for his work on Broadway and in regional theater.

In the spring of 2004, he directed a revival of A Raisin in the Sun – his Broadway debut – and leading lady Phylicia Rashad won a Tony for her performance. He went on to direct the Broadway premiere of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean as well as Wilson’s Radio Golf, both which also earned Tony nods.

Leon himself was nominated for a Tony in 2010 for best director for his work on Wilson’s play Fences which earned Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both Tonys.

In addition to his directing experience, he has extensive acting experience on stage and in television and film.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

A message from Matthew Shepard’s mom

Matthew Shepard Remembered

Judy Shepard wrote a column for Huffington Post on the 13th anniversary of her son Matthew’s death. Here are some excerpts:

October is very hard for me.

It’s not that the early autumn in Wyoming isn’t beautiful. If you haven’t experienced the crisp air as the nights come earlier each day, or the last few cricket chirps of the season that follow the brilliant orange sunsets, you can’t really know the peaceful, quiet contemplation this time of year brings those few of us fortunate to make our homes here.

http://www.outfrontcolorado.com/img/blog/JudyShepard1.jpgBut it’s those cues, these turns of the calendar pages, that remind me of the tragedy that autumn brought us 13 years ago, and start us reflecting on what our family, and our society, have learned from it.

Thirteen years ago this week his father, brother and I were at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., with our firstborn son, Matthew Shepard. He was 21, and dying. Just days before, he had been just like millions of American college students whose names are not known to the world — getting the hang of his new classes, adapting to a new campus, making friends. His father and I thought his biggest challenges were keeping money in his checking account and getting his homework in on time.

But here he was in intensive care, the victim of a terrible, senseless attack at the hands of two other young men who, at some point in their lives, learned it was OK to hate others for being different, to victimize them, to disregard their humanity.

Matt passed away quietly in the early morning hours of Oct. 12, 1998, with his family at his bedside. He died because of violence fueled by anti-gay hatred. For a lot of reasons, some of which we will probably never quite understand, the world had been watching, praying for him, and voicing their outrage.

October cannot go by anymore, and never will again, without us wondering what might have been, for us and for so many other families, if hatred of gay, and lesbian, and bisexual, and transgendered people, and all those whom others simply think might be, had been rooted out long ago.

*********************

Thirteen years later, the Matthew Shepard Foundation stands up for the LGBT community and its straight allies, in Matt’s memory. We are a modest organization, but we do our part and persuade others to do theirs, as well. We pushed — for a long, long time — for federal hate crime legislation that includes LGBT people. That finally happened in another chilly October two years ago — one more step forward. We go to schools and companies and community groups to implore everyone there to embrace diversity. We try to give young people hope, despite their parents’ or peers’ rejection of them, that they have a bright future. We keep Matt’s story alive and look to turn bystanders into activists.

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FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Harvard University wrestling team came out as straight allies on National Coming Out Day

With frustrating people in the news this week like an astonishingly forgetful Tracy Morgan and the Australian GQ writer who stupidly asked Taylor Lautner if he was hit on by Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black during dinner, it’s awfully nice to share a bit of news about some thoughtful straight allies to the LGBT community: The Harvard University wrestling team!

The Harvard Crimson reports that members of the team arrived at the Malkin Athletic Center to pose for a team photo in gay pride attire and rainbow pins that read “Proud Ally.”

Wearing a shirt that said, “Some Dudes Marry Dudes. Get Over It,” Anthony J. Buxton, a varsity wrestler, said he had received smiles from people on the street.

“There is a much larger community of allies who are willing and ready–even eager–to stand with their LGBT peers,” McCarthy said.

I love it!

Thanks so much guys for making my day.

FILE UNDER: Coming Out

Taylor Lautner comes out as straight after GQ Australia asks him offensive question about a recent dinner

GQ Cover HunkWhat is wrong with people?

Yesterday, I shared with you Tracy Morgan’s amnesia about his homophobic rant last summer and today, there’s an interview with Taylor Lautner in the Australian GQ that has me peeved.

The heartthrob star of the Twilight franchise was photographed coming out of a restaurant last summer with director Gus Van Sant and Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black – both openly gay.

So, of course, the interviewer thinks this is reason enough to ask is either man made a pass at him. Seriously? If a young actor or actress had a dinner with straight filmmakers would this even be a question?

It is completely offensive.

But Lautner took the bait and answered: “No, definitely not. I think they know I’m straight. But they’re great guys. They’re a lot of fun.”

Then he points out the obvious: “It’s not a coincidence that there was a writer, a director and an actor at dinner.”

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FILE UNDER: Controversy

Matthew Shepard died 13 years ago today

Today is a painful anniversary.

On October 12, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old college student, died after being tortured in a hate crime in Laramie, Wyoming. A promising life cut short brutally short because Matthew was gay.

We want our gay kids to be strong with our important messages of “It Gets Better,” but we also have to keep in mind that some of these anti-gay bullies can not only be dangerous, they can be killers.

We have to teach young people to not bully!

Matthew Shepard

Matthew’s memory lives on in large part through the tireless activism of his mother Judy Shepard who founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation after her son’s death.

In 2009, the US House of Representatives passed the “Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act”  which allows for added charges and harsher jail sentences for those convicted of what is deemed to be a hate crime, a crime against somebody’s race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

It also means the federal government could step in to prosecute in states that request it or in those who choose not to prosecute.

Judy Shepard was a driving force behind the legislation. In 2009, her book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie and a World Transformed was published.

I once asked Judy where gets all the energy to keep doing what she does and she said: “I think Matt gives it to me.”

We so appreciate her efforts and we’ll never forget her beautiful son.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Viola Davis, Jenifer Lewis and Diana Ross lead my dream cast for black version of “Steel Magnolias”

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ksv4WjnEIu8/TYf-F0KoHCI/AAAAAAAADvc/PRKUjrWvPnw/s400/steel-magnolias.jpgLet’s face it, the cast for the movie version of Steel Magnolias was perfect: Sally Field as M’Lynn and Julia Roberts as her daughter SHELBY. There was also Dolly Parton as Truvy, owner of the local hair salon where all the ladies gather and Darryl Hannah as Annelle, the new girl in town hired by Truvvy as a hairdresser.  And finally, you had the great Shirley MacLaine as the town grump Ouiser and Olympia Dukakis as her best friend Clairee.

I can do all of their line readings – especially Sally Field’s at her daughter’s graveside: “I’m fiiiiiiiiiinnnnne!!!!!!!”

Now comes word that Lifetime is cooking up a contemporary remake of the film with an all-black cast.

Oh, what fun!

Let’s explore the possibilities!

The casting of M’Lynn is key since she’s sort of the glue that holds all the women together. Sally Field was exceptional in the role and robbed of an Oscar nomination (only Julia Roberts was nominated for the film).

http://orvillelloyddouglas.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/viola-davis-doubt1.jpgThis is certainly a role Oscar nominee Viola Davis could sink her teeth into. She should be offered the part on a silver platter. But the star of The Help and Doubt certainly has her pick of parts these days. If she won’t do it, Angela Bassett or Alfre Woodard could nail it or even Halle Berry who is technically old enough to be a grandmother.

For the role of Shelby, help me out here. I think it should likely go to a young actress who is largely unknown as Roberts was.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xW7B86GRfzk/RoaueO7zc3I/AAAAAAAAAXQ/OayuQnaZKPU/s1600/f9df563f-60be-4eb6-ad78-47191368fb9c-diana_tracee_ellis_beta07.jpgFor Truvy, I’ve already heard RuPaul suggested but I’d like to nominate Diana Ross. She hasn’t made a movie since 1999′s Double Platinum and she’s at least as good an actress – if not better – than Dolly Parton. How fun would it be to have Diana running a beauty salon?

And a perfect Annelle? Miss Ross’s very own daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross who starred for eight seasons on the sitcom Girlfriends and recently had a recurring role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Did you think I was going to suggest Jennifer Hudson? She’s a great singer and deserved the Oscar for Dreamgirls but I still have doubt about her acting chops after seeing her in Sex and the City.

Grumpy Ouisa? I think Jenifer Lewis would be such a hoot in the role! But, of course, Oscar winners Mo’Nique and Whoopi Goldberg would probably have to pass on it first. And rounding out the cast as Clairee would absolutely have to be 2011 Emmy winner Loretta Devine.

So there it is: I’ve cast the film!

The project will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron and Sony Pictures TV and directed by Kenny Leon, who directed the 2008 ABC movie A Raisin In The Sun.

NOTE: I have corrected the character of Shelby. I had originally called her Chelsea. Of COURSE I know her name, was just thinking of Jane Fonda’s character in On Golden Pond I guess!

FILE UNDER: Movies

“True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgård chats about why Swedes are so liberal regarding their sexuality

SWEDES CHAT: For OUT’s November cover story, True Blood star Alexander Skarsgård chats with filmmaker and fellow Swede Jonas Åkerlund about why Swedes are so liberal regarding their sexuality, the American media’s obsession with nudity, and the how the his progressive HBO series is changing attitudes in the U.S.

Skarsgård recognizes that even True Blood, considered envelope-pushing in America, remains “very tame, by Swedish standards.” He tells OUT “…that always strikes me as weird because parents in the States freak out if their kids see a nipple or a butt cheek, but, at the same time, they’re OK with their kids watching people bash each other’s heads in with baseball bats. In interviews in the U.S. all people want to talk about is nudity…. If it makes sense as a scene, I’ll do it. I don’t even think about it.”

Skarsgård also applauds True Blood creator Alan Ball for challenging America’s attitudes. “Yeah, well, we’ve really come a long way. What’s interesting is when you have a character like Lafayette, who’s black and gay, if you can find someone – some guy who doesn’t know any gay people or black people, who may have all these prejudices – if that guy watches the show and thinks, I really like this character, then you’ve done something pretty good.”

What Skarsgård misses from his homeland, however, is the creative freedoms and what that freedom brings with it. “It’s a combination of a good school system and the long, dark winters. Because that means people sit in their garages and play music for five months because it’s too cold and dark to be outside.” After Åkerlund interjects that the long winters create “boning season,” Skarsgård quickly agrees. “And that’s also why we’re so liberal and so cool with our sexuality – because we f*ck a lot [laughter],” he says. “When you’re bored, just have sex.”

Here is a LINK to the entire OUT cover story.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized