Things look bad for Det. Lily Rush, who is currently stuck in a Ford Taurus under 18 feet of water at the bottom of a river thanks to a sideswiping driver with murderous intent – but it’s safe to predict she’ll manage to emerge in Part 2 of the “Cold Case” season finale Sunday (5/10). Lily’s real-life alter ego, Kathryn Morris, is also predicting her CBS show will emerge from its place on the bubble and survive with a Season 7 renewal.
“We’re hearing very positive things,” reports the star. The two-parter is getting into Lily’s own past, finally revealing the origins of her relationship fears and opening up an array of story possibilities. Morris says, “I think we’ve taken it to a new level. It feels like this is page 68 at the height of Act II, and now we’ve opened Pandora’s box.”
Morris’ man in life, Emmy-winning producer-director David Barrett — with whom she formed their Hot plate Productions company — helmed the episode. They met doing the show, and, she says, “It was nice to go back to the roots of how we sparked creatively. Working with him is like going home. It’s just home. We just understand what the other one expects from the scenes. I knew I was safe in his hands.”
Barrett’s five-year-old daughter, Makenna, plays Lily Rush as a child in flashback scenes. Her casting, says Morris, “happened organically. She’s used to visiting her dad on sets, and coming to visit me.” As far as coaching, “She and her mom were prepared. They’d worked on lines together. I stayed out of it. Nobody pushed. Everybody wanted her to just be as pure as possible without the pressure a lot of child stars are under. I told her that it was an honor to have her play my character as a little girl.”
SIGN OF THE TIMES: Mark Feuerstein’s newest show, “Royal Pains,” has the actor playing a hunky doctor in the Hamptons, but considering the state of the economy, he tells us it’s not going to portray wall to wall wealth.
“Originally it was conceived as a doctor to the rich in the Hamptons, but notes came down from the executives of NBC Universal that we can’t just tell stories about rich people right now. Our country is not in a place where showing a world where everyone’s rich reflects what’s going on,” notes Feuerstein of the show premiering June 4 on the USA network. “In a brilliant move to reflect current times, in every episode we show a story about someone of means and someone not of means because I don’t think people want to sit back and go, ‘Oh, they have everything! I have nothing.'”
However, considering the Hamptons is known for being one of the more affluent places in the United States, Feuerstein points out you can’t just ignore that either. “The houses we’re shooting in are sick. They’re these incredible beachfront mansions so you do get a taste of the life. But the beauty is not that you see the way the rich live in our show. The beauty of it is that you see the characters that exist in the world where everyone is supposed to be really happy and life is supposed to be really great, but death and illness hit everyone, no matter how much money you have. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”
IN THE SWING: Tom Malloy, who wrote, helped produce, and stars with Amy Smart and Billy Zane in the big screen “Love N’ Dancing” flick that’s opening in limited release tomorrow (5/8), says that without a doubt the hardest part of making the movie was getting the financing
“We were scammed, screwed over, left hanging. There were times we were literally on the brink of collapse and money came in a day before we would have gone under. In fact, there was an actual judgment against us. The problem started when we had this financial entity that backed out during the filming. We were going to be foreclosed on if we didn’t come up with the money by Dec. 31st. We’d been trying everything we could think of since April. And finally, on Dec. 4th, financing came through. No matter what happened, we just focused on the goal…I do have gray hairs from it. I hope I don’t have ulcers,” he says.
Malloy’s hair-graying adventure was packed with such tension and drama, he could have written a book about it. In f act, he did . Or at least, large swaths of his new industry book coming out in June, “Bankroll: A New Approach to Financing Feature Films,” cover what he learned to do, and not to do, thanks to the “Love N’ Dancing” film that showcases West Coast Swing dancing.
Not all surprises connected with the movie were bad ones. Malloy notes, “Amy Smart had ballet training for about 10 years as a kid, and we didn’t know that. She was exactly the kind of actress I saw for the role.”
TRIBUTE FROM THE HEART: There’ve been a lot of stories about celebs who reach out to give happy times to ailing children, but it’s not that often celebs talk about the lasting impact such children have made on their lives. “iCarly” actress Jenette McCurdy has written and recorded three songs in honor of a boy she befriended named Cody, who died of brain cancer recently. “I did three to insure that at least one of them makes it onto my album,” she tells us. “It’s part of the grieving process for me. I took it really hard when he died. I’d cry myself to sleep,” she admits. “My family met him through a mutual friend who found out he really liked ‘iCarly,’ and my character was his favorite. They asked if I’d take this little boy to dinner and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ I’ve never encountered anyone so brave in my life, or anyone more optimistic, or with a stronger spirit. He was the most well-mannered child – person – I’ve ever met. A real inspiration.” One of her songs, “Homeless Heart,” is being released as a single May 19, with 20 per cent of all proceeds from the sales of the song reportedly earmarked for the newly formed Cody Waters Foundation.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster.