Linda Gray tells us she had a blast making the big-screen “Expecting Mary,” which has an anticipated fall release. The indie film has a pregnant teen – Oleysa Rulin of “High School Musical” fame – running away and winding up in a trailer park, the denizens of which are a colorful assortment of crazies in their AARP years. Linda Stars with Elliott Gould, Lanie Kazan, Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Della Reese, Fred Willard and Gene Simmons.
“We shot it in 18 days. Because everybody loved their role, we all came together quickly. It was like going to party you can’t wait to go to,” says the actress who reigned over the TV scene as Sue Ellen Ewing on “Dallas” back in the 80s. Gray plays a former Vegas showgirl “whose last gig was in New Mexico. She’s funny and pathetic – and still can be glamorous.”
Linda was also instrumental in getting “Expecting Mary” made. She’d gotten to know screenwriter Dan Gordon when “we both bought the rights to ‘Terms of Endearment’ as a play, which I did in London about eight years ago. During that time we talked about what fun it would be to come up with something more comedic than Sue Ellen or Aurora, the part I played in ‘Terms,’ and we started throwing out ideas.”
Gordon eventually wrote “this miraculous screenplay” for “Expecting Mary” as a result. The fact that the movie put so many talents of a certain age to work is, of course, one of Gray’s favorite parts of the enterprise, since all of her cast mates – save Olesya, of course – have had to face unapologetic Hollywood ageism. “We approached it with a lot of humor. We made a pact: Nobody under 50 allowed.:”
MEANWHILE: Asked about the chances of any more on-camera “Dallas” reunions, Gray is quick to respond, “Oh, God no. Unless something very classy came along, we’re through.”
That’s not to say, however, that the “Dallas” cast is through getting together on their own. Linda says that she and Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy got together just a matter of weeks ago when Duffy was in town from his Oregon home for a “Bold and the Beautiful” appearance, and it’s not unusual that they and other former cast mates meet for “long lunches or dinners. One of the joys of doing ‘Dallas’ was the enduring friendships. We’ve known each other 33 years. We text each other now. Our kids have us all using iPhones.”
MAKING ADJUSTMENTS: Terry Crews admits that having his and his family’s lives opened for the world to see on their “The Family Crews” reality show has been an adjustment for everyone. With Season 2 of the BET show now in production, he recalls that when the first season began to air, “We got off Facebook and all that stuff. We retreated. We felt like, ‘Hey, if you want to know something about us, watch the show.’ There has to be a boundary, a limit. You start to feel like you don’t have any privacy at all.”
According to him, they have bumped into “a couple of people” who’ve been negative. “And you’re like, ‘Eh! They don’t like me.’ But the thing is, most of the people we encounter are fans and they’re nice. It’s fun to talk to them.”
Crews, who’s also starring in the series version of TNT’s “Are We There Yet?” says “We’re pretty excited about Season 2” of the reality skein. “On our show, the drama doesn’t come from me versus my wife, or us versus the kids. We’ve decided we’re going to stick together, to have each other’s back. When my daughter announced she was pregnant, that was a really big family issue.” Obviously, baby on board will be a theme this coming season.