Hamilton’s Mom Wouldn’t Get Zellweger Casting

Debonair actor George Hamilton says he’s amazed at how well the movie “My One and Only” turned out — but

Renee Zellweger and Chris Noth  in

admits he’s not so sure his mother would have felt the same.

In fact, says George of the feature, which is loosely based on his colorful mom’s adventures during his childhood, “I don’t know if my mother would agree with the movie at all.  I think in some strange way she probably wouldn’t have gotten the casting.”  That’s Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger as Anne Deveraux, a.k.a. George’s mother.

“I think she would have loved the fanfare but she’d say, ‘I wouldn’t wear that hat and why is she wearing that dress?’  My mother was much to do about the exterior.  She divorced one husband because he wore brown shoes after 6:00,” he tells us, adding that Zellweger of course has the good looks — she just doesn’t look like his mother.  “If I had been left to it, I might have gotten someone with more similarities to my mother, but at the end of the day, they wouldn’t have had the talent that she has.  What’s amazing about this picture is Renee gave a performance that really told the truth about my mother and made my mother come alive – whereas my mother would have played it externally.”

The movie, which also stars Kevin Bacon, Chris Noth, and Nick Stahl, has a national release in select theaters starting Sept. 4.

“I’m not in it and maybe that’s one of the best things that could have happened to it,” says Hamilton with a laugh, but he and his late, longtime pal Merv Griffin produced it.

“Years ago Merv and I were talking about doing something and I told him this story about my mother deciding that she was going to find every boyfriend she ever had in order to find a father for us and a husband for her.  She was going back 30 years of her life in this odyssey across the United States trying desperately to keep our family together.  She would talk about this guy being the most attractive man at Yale and we’d go to a restaurant to meet him, and my brother and I would stay in the car, and she’d come out and say, ‘Oh, he let himself go.’  It happened one after the other.  We finally realized all we had was each other.”

WHEN HUMILIATION IS A GOOD THING: Kelsey Grammer is back with a new ABC sitcom after a short-lived stint on Fox last year, but can he get past his extremely popular Frasier Crane character?  “When you play a character for as long as he did and it’s such a beloved character, of course people have that in the back of their minds, but I think a lot of the reason that character is so beloved is Kelsey himself,” says his new “Hank” co-star Melinda McGraw.  McGraw plays Grammer’s his wife in the comedy about a Wall Street executive who loses his job and reconnects with his small-town family.  “He’s so good at playing that guy who is having to overcome humiliation, which is a lot of what comedy is.  I have no doubts people are going to be able to look beyond that and enjoy him in this character.”

Meanwhile, “Mad Men” fans, who have eagerly awaited the show’s second season, want to know if McGraw will be reprising her role as John Hamm’s steamy mistress Bobbie Barrett.  “That’s a revolving door over there so that door is always open.  They’re very secretive and we’re never allowed to talk about it, but we don’t mind because no one wants to ruin it for the fans.  It’s a show where people look forward to finding out what happens,” notes McGraw.  “I loved playing that woman.  She was unique for that time.  It wasn’t until I was playing her that I realized this was the character I’d been waiting my whole life to play.”  Hopefully that won’t be the last of her!

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Robert David Hall s grateful to be back to work on the 10th season of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” yet is aware “It’s a tough time.  All my brother and sister actors are struggling.  I love working on the show, but I’d like to see other people working as well.”  At the forefront of his concerns are actors with disabilities, for whom Hall has advocated tirelessly, having served in positions including that of chairman of the Performers with Disabilities Committee of the Screen Actors Guild

Hall, a double amputee himself, was in Washington, D.C. during hiatus at the invitation of President Barack Obama., “to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.   And I was asked to speak to some disabled artists at the Kennedy Center.  I worked the night before, caught the redeye — my wife went with me – and we had the day of our lives in Washington.”

Hall reports that before the Prez gave his 20-minute speech at the anniversary event, “when he came up to the podium, he looked down at me and mouthed the words ‘C.S.I..’  I don’t know that he watches the show, but it was nice,” says Hall, who’ll see Obama again this fall when he’s honored for his civic contributions.  Hall adds that “We were seated in the first row and there were all these senators and cabinet people and it really was overwhelming and awe inspiring.”

Especially for Hall, who grew up in D.C. and remembers lots of  “mandatory field trips.”

NOT RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: When Lifetime’s “The Honeymoon” movie turns up on the cable channel, chances are people will be reminded of the July case of murder on the high seas involving Robert McGill, who’s accused of doing away with wife Shirley while cruising off the coast of Mexico.  However, the planned telepic – which has the husband disappearing from a ship and the grieving bride eventually coming under suspicion – was in the works before the McGills set off on their ill-fated voyage.

With reports by Emiliy-Fortune Feimster

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

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