Funny lady Margaret Cho tells us she’s found a new social life in between shooting scenes of her July 12-debuting “Drop Dead Diva” series.
“We’re about a third of the way through the first season, shooting in Peachtree, Ga. It’s fine. It’s a very small town. I go to Atlanta, which is about 45 minutes away, a lot. I actually fit in very well there. I’m getting to be a wild child again, getting to go out to the clubs. I’m hanging out with a lot of Atlanta musicians and doing sort of the rock thing,” says Cho, who is getting ready to record a music album of her own. Make that a funny music album. A funny music album with song titles unfit for repetition in a family-friendly column.
In Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva,” Cho plays the wise friend and colleague of Brooke Elliott‘s character. It’s about a shallow model who dies, then finds her spirit inhabiting the plus-sized body of a crusading attorney. (Oh, another one of those.) She tells us she and her husband, performance artist Al Ridenour, “are hanging out when we can” — but as far as collaborating anytime soon, “We’re not even, like, living in the same state.”
MEANWHILE: Cho, who for years has been an activist on behalf of equal rights regardless of sexual orientation and of same-sex marriage, found herself inundated with calls this week after the announcement of California Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Prop. 8. She feels it’s a temporary setback.
Cho has been remarkably open about her life — her bisexuality, as well as her past problems with drugs and with being overweight. Has she ever been sorry for baring herself in such a way?
“I’ve found that it’s been very gratifying to talk about personal issues,” she replies. “My talking about weight issues and body image, for example I felt could help women — help people — talk about their own body issues. I feel like that’s been a good contribution. Talking about my personal issues in my work doesn’t feel invasive.”
THE VIDEOLAND TWO: AMC’s Emmy-winning “Breaking Bad” has its season finale Sunday (5/31), and the show’s Aaron Paul — meth seller Jesse to “Breaking Bad” fans — is turning his attention to his other hit series, “Big Love,” which gets back into production June 4, for Season 4.
“I love that my character in ‘Big Love’ is completely opposite from ‘Breaking Bad’ — it’s like zipping on different skins,” says the actor, who plays Scott, the fiancé of Amanda Seyfried‘s character, in the HBO series set in a community of rogue Mormon polygamists. It’s especially gratifying to Paul since his “Breaking Bad” character has led to interest in his playing other drug-related roles — and “I don’t want to be the type of actor who does the same character with different names,” he makes clear.
Paul’s been doing “a little bit of traveling” and getting in some relaxation between “Breaking Bad” and “Big Love” this year. “It’s worked out for me. It didn’t overlap like it did last season, when I had to fly back and forth.”
A GOOD TURN: Jamie Lee Curtis, who was honored with the 2009 Entertainment Industry’s Courage to Care Award at the recent Noche de Ninos Gala, just learned that more than $1.8 million was raised at the star-studded evening benefiting Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Jamie Lee’s friend and former co-star California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger presented her with the award. She rewarded him with a big kiss on the lips, which delighted the crowd of close to 1,000 in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Jamie Lee has been a tireless activist when it comes to the kids. She even wore a bright pink wig that night in honor of a 14-year-old cancer patient she had met while touring Children’s Hospital in Pittsburg several years ago. After the young girl died, Jamie Lee asked her mother if she could have the wig to remember her courageous spirit.
The celebrity-filled room included host Mary Hart, Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Ed Begley Jr., Noah Wyle, Kevin Sorbo, Jewel, Monique Coleman, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony. Jennifer received the same honor by the hospital in 2004.
THE INDUSTRY EYE: “True Blood” will soon be adding fresh blood — the character of Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) cousin Hadley, described as a “fresh-faced twentysomething country girl,” who’ll wind up, according to casting sources, “seduced into a whole other world …” and “locked in a steamy kiss with vampire queen Evan Rachel Wood.”
Casting notices have gone out for outgoing, strong, socially active and community-involved housewives, who love to live the good life in Beverly Hills for — can you guess? — Bravo’s next “Real Housewives” series. “They’re coming?” responded one such local lady on hearing the news. “How they lived without us for so long, we don’t know.”
— With reports by Emily Fortune Feimster