Tag Archives: Californication

‘Californication’ Nudity ‘Surprisingly Comfortable’ for Camilla Luddington

Evan Handler, Camilla Luddington Showtime photo by Jordin Althaus

Talk about switching gears!  Camilla Luddington has gone from portraying the future Queen of England, Kate Middleton — to being the latest fair damsel to bare all on David Duchovny’s racy Showtime “Californication.”

“It was the first time I’d ever done nudity,” says the Ascot, Berkshire-born actress, who did a smashing job as Kate in Lifetime’s surprisingly not-terrible “William & Kate” Lifetime movie last year.  “Of course it’s written into the contract that I signed that I’m okay to do it.  I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll be the one character, like a nun, who doesn’t sleep with anyone all season.  Of course that doesn’t happen.  I was so naive.  But it turned out I was surprisingly comfortable with it.  At the end of the day, you just kind of have to let go of all your inhibitions and all your hang-ups and be free with it and have fun with it,” she says. 

 Besides, “Everyone on the set has seen it a thousand times.” 

 Luddington also credits Duchovny, who told her, ‘Anything you’re uncomfortable with, call me or the director and we’ll work around it.’  A camera angle, a shot, anything whatever.” 

 The 28-year-old is equally adept at British or American accents, but says she chose to go into “Californication” meetings carrying on in the English way, “to stand out a little bit.  The lines sounded almost more ridiculous that way, talking about sexually explicit things with a proper British accent.”  Of course, the “Californication” team was well aware of her Kate Middleton performance, too.  She’s often been called Your Highness around the set.  “There’s even a part at one point where I do a little curtsey and say, ‘Thank-you my lord.’  I think they wrote it in as a playful little wink.”

Luddington is portraying the new nanny for Charlie and Marcy (Evan Handler and Pamela Adlon), who seems innocent at first, but turns out to be a manipulative little schemer. Yes, it’s a long, long way from our favorite royal bride — just as the actress hoped.  “From January to April last year it was all about Kate Middleton, and then I got the part in ‘Californication’ the day after doing press inEngland.  I thought it was really fun, and the sides for the audition were really funny.”

With this season’s episodes already in the can, what’s next?

“You know what — this sounds so funny — I would love to do a horror movie.  I’ve been a massive horror movie fan since I was a kid, and I would love to do a great horror movie with a cult following.”

Callie Thorne Compares TV Lovers Denis Leary, David Duchovny

Callie Thorne FX photo

What a job – going from Denis Leary’s bed to David Duchovny’s in just a couple of weeks’ time.  Those are the breaks for Callie Thorne, whose first post-“Rescue Me” gig is on “Californication.”

Thorne is part of a “Californication” story in which Duchovny’s sex addicted writer, Hank Moody, gets involved with an actress who is playing his daughter in a movie, and with the actress’ mother.  “We went right into a steamy scene – of course,” she notes, recalling her first day on “Californication” production.  “To suddenly be intimate with David Duchovny, someone I’ve consistently been in awe of – it could have been disastrous, but instead we had an enormous amount of fun.  The credit for that goes to David.  Even though it’s a sexual thing going on, there’s such a magnitude of comedy, any nerves I was feeling went away.”

Thorne, best-known as Sheila, Leary’s crazy extra-marital paramour, on “Rescue Me,” adds, “It was also great for my psyche, the perfect timing after wrapping the series.”

So how do Leary and Duchovny compare?  “They are similar in that they are both forces to be reckoned with.  They also share this great magnetism in terms of talent and humor, and they’re incredibly handsome and sexy,” she gushes.  “In some ways their characters are alike in that they’re troubled sort of reluctant heroes, men who’ve done some really abhorrent things and yet, if you’re a guy you want to hang out with them, and if you’re a girl you want to date them.”  If they met, “They would be besties,” she opines.

According to Callie, Leary and the rest of his “Rescue Me” cohorts managed to stave off getting emotional about the end of production on the series until the very last day of shooting.  “I think that everybody was in denial a little bit.  We had really big things going on in the last two episodes we were shooting,” she says.  “But certainly that final day, when they started calling ‘That’s a series wrap!’ on each actor… The words were just too much to take.”  The award-winning FX series returns for its sixth season Tuesday (6/29) .  Season 7 is already in the can, planned for airing next year.

Natascha McElhone Staying Strong After Husband’s Death

“Californication” star Natascha McElhone suffered a great tragedy last year when her 43-year-old husband was found dead in their house in England from dilated cardiomyopathy, but the English actress tells us she’s picked herself up and is staying strong, thanks to friends, family and coworkers.

Natascha McElhone Showtime photo

Natascha McElhone Showtime photo

“Everyone’s been really wonderful.  It’s been tough but we’re all very close on the show so it’s good to have something that is sort of contrary to what you see on TV.  The backdrop on our set is a very familiar one. I have a lot of support and a lot of friends on this show,” says McElhone, who has three young sons with her late husband.  “We’ve just all carried on with life, as I should and will continue to do.  You’ve just got to be strong.  It’s the only way to be, really.” 

Luckily McElhone, who plays David Duchovny’s long-time, on-and-off girlfriend on “Californicatin,” has had the show to serve as a nice distraction.  “I think this season has upped the game.  The show always did have its own voice, which was quite different from other things on TV, but now I suppose it has that confidence of being on for two seasons.  It’s really allowed to be its own animal,” she notes of the Showtime series.  “We had some great story lines that went off on strange and wondrous tangents. You never know what’s going to happen. That’s what I love about it,” she adds.  “I just think a strange environment like a college campus is so ripe for turning the show on its head.  I thought it was a very good idea.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  “Amazing Race” host  Phil Keogan is not surprised his seven-time Emmy- honored show  is now in its 15th season, and firmly expects it to remain on the air for years and years.  And years.

 He credits the program’s longevity to the fact, “We’ve never had a malignant element to our show.”  And he compares it to other series of its genre, which, he says, “have had ratings erosion because they’ve indulged in shock treatment. For instance, have a contestant eat the grossest thing you can imagine…do stunts that humiliate someone so badly the person is embarrassed to go out on the street.”

 He goes on, “For awhile, reality shows seemed to specialize in who could come up with the most insane train wreck.  By that I mean, if you drive by a train wreck you slow down and look, but the next day, if you see the same sight, you don’t slow down as much, and by the third day, well, you’ve become numb to it. ”

 He says an object of “Amazing Race” is to give the impression of danger, while the production team works overtime to be sure contestants are safe.  The most dangerous moments, he notes, don’t come when contestants are engaged in seemingly dangerous tricks, but when they’re driving a car or are in a taxi — and the production team has no control.  When someone is driving recklessly, a member of the crew will call the person on it — and I’ll give the contestant a penalty when they reach the mat.”

A LOVELY WAY TO SPEND AN EVENING:  The descendants of Jimmy McHugh are planning to turn out Wednesday night (10/7) for Michael Feinstein’s Carnegie Hall tribute to the American songwriting great, creator of such immortal tunes as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”  The event also coincides with the launch of “I Feel a Song Coming On,” Alyn Shipton’s new biography of McHugh, and there’ll be “a very elaborate book signing at the Barnes & Noble store at Lincoln Center on the Friday (1/9) reports McHugh’s grandson, noted photographer Jim McHugh.

While the tunesmith certainly is worthy of such fanfare, the McHugh family deserves lots of credit for keeping his name and work in the spotlight. 

As Jim sees it, publicizing his grandfather now has a lot of similarities to the late McHugh’s own efforts toward “song plugging” back in the day.  “When coast-to-coast radio came in and NBC broadcast across the United States, it was just as revolutionary in his time as the internet is now.  For the first time, you could do something in New York and people in California could hear it.  The difference now is that the individual can be quite effective,” he says.  “Now we do Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and all that.  We’re using YouTube and in New York, we’re going to be doing a podcast.  And it’s not something that ends, either.  You have to keep rolling forward.  The family has been very aggressive in grasping new technologies.”

According to Jim, his grandfather’s estate – the family – “holds one of the largest archives of standard music ephemera in the world.  My grandfather kept everything. Every note of correspondence, memos, extensive interviews.”  Around 10 years ago, “Because I’m a photographer, and was very aware of the digital revolution, we started photographing and scanning everything, so we don’t have to go into those fragile old paper files, and Alyn Shipton was able to do his work at home in England.”

CELEB SEEN:  What a tete-a-tete — Lakers star Ron Artest, still remembered for that big brawl with a fan in the stands during a game, was seen the other day offering Village Pourhouse owner Michael Sinensky some fatherly advice while in New York’s swank SLS Hotel.  Also listening in were Lindsay Lohan’s dad Michael and poker star Phil Ivey.  Sounds almost like a reality show in the making.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster