Tag Archives: “Desperate Housewives

Nicollette Sheridan: Bad Enough to Make Use of Day in Court?

Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt

There was a time when Nicollette Sheridan’s court battle against “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry and ABC would have meant career suicide.  The blond bombshell has branded herself as a troublemaker.  She’s shown an edgy, prickly side on the witness stand.  She’s invited scrutiny from the public and the media — the kind of scrutiny that involves repeated references to her 48 years of age and to her career having faded before being revitalized in 2004 by her “Desperate Housewives” role of Edie Britt.

Yes, there was a time we would have expected her to be expelled by the industry over this fight — relegated to the dinner theater circuit like Suzanne Somers when she fell from network grace after tiffing with “Three’s Company” over her demand for a 500 per cent pay raise and a piece of the show decades ago.  There would be no win for Sheridan’s career, whether or not she wins some or all of the $20 million she’s aiming to get following her claims of assault against Cherry and subsequent wrongful termination.  (Cherry’s jovial quips eliciting laughter from the jury this week — not a good sign.)

However, this is 2012, when good things happen to bad boys and girls.  Charlie Sheen’s wanton carryings on, his beating up of women, his drug use, his arrests, his widely-booed Violent Torpedo of Truth stage show and all his internet strangeness got him a much-anticipated new FX TV series, “Anger Management.”  Recent morgue worker Lindsay Lohan’s “Saturday Night Live” guest-hosting stint last weekend garnered the show its second highest ratings of the season.  Also in the news is “Jersey Shore” low-life Snooki, famous for stumbling around intoxicated in public and so forth; as reports of her pregnancy swirl through the media, she sports a half-million-dollar engagement ring.

Nicollette, in fact, might not be bad enough.  She’s going to need to step up her game and do more than show exasperation.  She did slap her attorney, but only as a demonstration of what she says Cherry did to her.  Maybe she should slap him for real, and get rid of those sedate dark courtroom clothes.  Show cleavage.  Show disrespect.  Show up drunk.  Have a wardrobe malfunction on the courthouse  steps.  Take a tip from Lindsay, who cleverly painted “f— you” on one of her fingernails knowing the cameras followed her every move as a defendant.  It might not be too late for a “Mark Cherry Sucks” tattoo in an eye-catching spot, for example.

If Nicollette and/or her handlers are clever enough to use all this attention to burnish her brand as a still-hot-looking diva cougar, maybe it could actually help her career.  Maybe there will be a new show in it for her.  At the very least, surely Donald Trump would save a seat for her in his “Celebrity Apprentice” board room.

A Different Kind of Twist for ‘Desperate Housewives’

Kathryn Joosten

Eva Longoria, Teri Hatcher,  Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross and Vanessa Williams may be in for a wild  ride as they finish out their final season of “Desperate Housewives” — in fact,  creator Marc Cherry promised as much when he and the stars met with press  recently to talk about the end of the eight-year-old phenomenon.  However,  there’s one storyline in this crazy last season that’s being handled straight:  Mrs. McCluskey will be dealing with lung cancer.  The arc has everything to  do with actress Kathryn Joosten, who plays the character, and is a two-time  survivor of the disease.

“The show knows what my medical condition is.  They’re aware of it; it hasn’t interfered with anything,” says Joosten, who won Emmys in ’05 and ’08 for her work on the series.  “They came to me and said, ‘What would you think if we did this storyline?’  And I said, ‘Wow, I think it’s a great idea.’ So lung cancer is going to be prominent, and it’s a terrific way to give [the cause] a voice.”

According to her, they’ve already shot some of the scenes, and the
production people and crew “were very supportive.  They knew it was a
personal statement for me as well.  I was kidding around saying it was practice sessions.”  She adds that she and the team “collaborated to some extent on how this might go.  The show was eager to get it right.  We didn’t want a soap opera-y, non-realistic situation.”

Joosten expects the story to play out over “several episodes near the end, but I don’t know.  They don’t tell us anything,” notes the feisty 72-year-old.  A long-time activist against lung cancer — which she believes has failed to get the attention it deserves from the public and medical community compared to other forms of the disease — she plans to “play up” this “Desperate Housewives” arc.  She’s already involved in a Pfizer campaign to draw attention to new developments in testing for tumor bio-markers that she reports can make enormous differences in lung cancer treatment.

And after “Desperate Housewives” bids farewell?  Joosten is already working on a whole new thing.  She’s ratcheting up her equestrian know-how by learning how to train a horse, and documenting the whole thing as a TV show, or maybe webisodes.  She says she knew that buying her two-year-old mare, Sprite, was the right thing to do when she found out “the lady who was taking care of her in Montana is named Mrs. McCluskey.  Can you believe it?  That proves the horse is mine.”

Brenda Strong Ready to Go From One Prime Time Soap to Another — Or Both

Brenda Strong

“Desperate Housewives” Emmy nominee Brenda Strong is thrilled with her nod from the Television Academy, but hard-pressed to come up with a reason why she’s been singled out for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance honors this year and not the other six years the series has been on the air.  “I have no idea.  Did somebody on ‘Family Guy’ not submit?” she asks wryly.  It could be just an accumulation of appreciation, friends have suggested to  her, or it just might be her turn.

Strong, who narrates the show as deceased housewife Mary Alice Young, will be appearing in front of the cameras more often as flashbacks begin to reveal more “Desperate” secrets come fall.  “Mary Alice is book-ending the season.  We have to act like it’s the last season, because we don’t  know if it is or not,” she says.  As for herself, “I would be happy to be Mary Alice Young ’til somebody sent the cows home and turned out the lights.”

If by chance “Desperate Housewives” did continue beyond what’s expected tobe its final year, Strong would be doing double duty — because she’s heading for Dallas this October to begin playing Mrs. Bobby Ewing in TNT’s 2012 “Dallas” reboot.  But that wouldn’t be a problem.  As she points out, “Technology is such now that as long as you have an ISDN line, you can record voiceovers from Timbukutu if you want to.”

If she does have any concern about work, it’s that audiences that still fondly remember Victoria Principal’s (late) Pam Ewing will accept her as Ann Ewing.  Comments Brenda, “The people on ‘Dallas’ were bigger than life when I was an up and coming actress.  I think it’s a great idea that we get to reshape it for another generation.  I love that we get to explore these real Shakespearean themes with our tongues in our cheeks.  Really, it’s family drama of Biblical proportions.”

Meanwhile, there are the Emmys.  Strong is being escorted by her 16-year-old son, Zakery, who is now also an actor.  Asked about feeling like her fellow nominees in the category are strange bedfellows, she quips, “Yes, but I won’t be sleeping with Porky Pig anytime soon.”  Porky Pig actor Bob Bergen is among the nominees in her category, as is Seth Green for multiple voices on his “Robot Chicken,” Maurice LaMarche for “Futurama,” Dan Castellaneta for “The Simpsons,” and Christopher Plummer for narrating “Moguls & Movie Stars – The Birth Of Hollywood.”

“In a weird way, it takes the pressure off, because they’re not doing what I do,” she says.  “But I’m honored to be in a category with these seasoned pros — and to be in the same sentence as Christopher Plummer, who I have so much respect for, that’s really a great place to be.”

From ‘Desperate’ to ‘Donuts’ for Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

“Desperate Housewives” actress Kathryn Joosten is making quite a busman’s holiday out of summer this year.  She’s currently in previews of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play Superior Donuts at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse, starring Gary Cole and “Twilight’s” Edi Gathegi.  The play, a humorous and heartwarming look at unlikely relationships in an ethnically diverse Chicago neighborhood, opens Wednesday (6/8) and runs through July 10.  After that, she’ll go on to a role in the big screen comedy “The Escort Service” before getting back to the “Housewives” set.

 In Superior Donuts, she plays “a crazy bag lady who has some unusual insights now and then. When I told one of my sons I was playing that, he said, ‘And yet another part she doesn’t have to act in,” relates the septuagenarian character actress with a chuckle.  “It’s not a huge part, but it’s great fun for me.  I’m having a ball.  We’ve had standing ovations.” 

 Joosten’s sons are rightfully proud of her.  A former psychiatric nurse, she didn’t even begin her acting career until she was 40, after her divorce.  “I said to the boys, ‘I want to try to be an actor.  Here’s the deal: I want to try to do this as a living.  It will mean crazy times.  I don’t know how it will go.  I’ll keep mywall papering and advertising businesses going.  Or, I’ll put it all aside and get a 9-5 job, but I really want to do this.  I need a year.’  They said, ‘Go for it.’  But what do they know?  They’re 10 and 12 at the time.”  After a year, “I asked for another year” she admits with a laugh.  But by then she’d made inroads, landing work at Chicago’s Goodman Theater and other stage jobs, and getting her first commercial.

Chris Kattan: ‘When You Fall on Your A–You Really Learn’

Chris Kattan has been on and off the radar since leaving “Saturday Night Live” in 2003, but he tells us it’s all good — he’s learned so much since his departure.

“It was a great experience, but it really ages you and you’ve got to move on.  When I moved on, there was a little bit of a lull in my life because to do that for eight years is a real high and then it just stops,” he recalls.  “You’ve got to go to the next thing.  If there’s nothing to catch you, it’s hard.  You fall on your ass sometimes

Chris Kattan (Photograph courtesy of Kerry Monteen/IFC)

Chris Kattan (Photograph courtesy of Kerry Monteen/IFC)

but when you fall on your ass, you really learn.”

While he does miss the show at times, Kattan finally seems to be finding his footing in Hollywood.  Not only will he be starring in the new ABC sitcom “The Middle” alongside Patricia Heaton, but he’s also got the much-anticipated mini-series “Bollywood Hero,” premiering Aug. 6, 7, and 8 on IFC.  He explains of the dramatic comedy adventure, which was filmed by the “Slumdog Millionaire” crew in India, “I try to make it as a leading man in Hollywood and that doesn’t work out so I go to Bollywood to see if it will work out there.”  Some people in the Indian community were afraid the actor would be spoofing their culture, but not so is the case says Kattan.  “It was a concern of mine to make sure it wasn’t a spoof.  This is not ‘Saturday Night Live.’  This is more ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ meets ‘Lost in Translation.’ I think it’s going to be remembered for a while.”

Still, Kattan does have some fun with the Bollywood dance numbers.  In fact, the show’s executive producers and original concept creators, Belisa Balaban and Ted Skillman, tell us they have a hunch Kattan’s been waiting a long time to get his chance to be a proper song and dance man.  They say it was fun to see him get his chance

Eva Longoria’s newest rival on “Desperate Housewives,” Maiara Walsh, is holding out hopes that the changes and additions coming up in the new season will get people “excited about the show all over again.  They’re introducing a lot of younger characters so I think that will definitely pull in new viewers.  The writing for this season is really great so far – it’s very funny and quick.  I’m impressed by how much new life they can give to this show, which is now in its sixth season,” says the up and coming actress, who’s playing Eva’s manipulative niece.  Their relationship off-camera is much nicer than on.  Notes Walsh, “Most of my scenes are with Eva and she’s a sweetheart so I feel very lucky in that regard.  Her comedic timing is ridiculous.”

Maiara Walsh in "Corey in the House" (photo from Disney Channel/BOB D'AMICO

Maiara Walsh in "Corey in the House" (photo from Disney Channel/BOB D'AMICO


The beautiful 21-year-old is certainly no stranger to comedy as she is most known for playing Meena on the Disney show “Corey in the House.” She notes that making the transition from tween projects to adult roles is not an easy one and she just hopes her young fans continue to appreciate her work.

“I loved working on the Disney show, I really did.  I never saw it as my last stop, though,” she says.  “This is letting me branch out and try different characters.  Younger fans from the Disney Channel will have to understand I’m a young woman and as an actress I like to play different roles.  It really is a great opportunity.”

CASTING CORNER: A September start in Iowa has been set for Gil Cates, Jr.’s “Lucky” dark comedy – and what a tale the indie is bound to be.  Casting is underway now for the leading lady, a young independent spirit of a gal who finds herself fired and dumped by her boyfriend (also her boss) the same day.  Luckily, her childhood friend who has always been infatuated with her has won a lot of money, so she turns her attention to him, makes him over, marries him, discovers on their honeymoon that she has true feelings for him except, unluckily, he turns out to be…a serial killer.  Well, it’s definitely a plot we haven’t seen before.

With Queen Latifah and Common set to play a physical therapist and the pro basketball player with whom she gets involved, casting forces on “Just Wright” are looking to fill subsidiary roles.  Among those are some of Latifah’s character’s unlucky in love guys, such as a blind date who’s an attractive, snappy dresser.  They seem to hit it off until he starts talking about his recently-ended relationship and she realizes she’s being confronted with a guy on the rebound.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster