Tag Archives: Elliott Gould

With ‘Mulaney,’ Elliott Gould Busy 2 Series Star

Elliott GouldA month shy of turning 76, Elliott Gould is quite pleased with himself for having two — count ’em, two — high-profile television series gigs simultaneously. Showtime’s excellent “Ray Donovan” has been using the one-time counterculture icon to great effect as the aging Hollywood power lawyer who is Ray’s (Liev Schreiber) mentor and boss. And, come October, he’ll be seen as Oscar, the flamboyant, advice-giving neighbor of John Mulaney in that “Saturday Night Live” alumnus’ new Fox sitcom, “Mulaney” — along with Nasim Pedrad, Zack Pearlman, Seaton Smith, and Martin Short.

The two shows have been cooperating on Gould’s schedule “so I get to play different characters in two different series,” explained Gould the other day, following the “Mulaney” panel at the Television Critics’ Association summer press tour.

What accounts for his being so busy at this stage of the game? “My answer to that question is, my mother never gave up, and I have to be the way I am,” replies Gould in one of his trademark convoluted answers.

He adds, “And as far as my own ignorance and lack of perspective and judgment through a good deal of my career, it’s taken me forever to attain this character. And therefore, to have this opportunity to have the nature and the strength and the health to work in these productions.”

That makes sense if you recall Gould’s roller coaster career trajectory. He spent 20 years attaining the status of top in-demand film star with “M*A*S*H” and “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” only to become a pariah overnight after the shut-down of his big-budget “Glimpse of Tiger” amid rumors of a breakdown or drug problem. “It had been a week rife with reports that…he was behaving strangely…walking around with a pacifier in his mouth, blowing whistles during camera takes, flying into screaming rages at director Tony Harvey,” wrote Marilyn Beck. He did, of course, eventually work again, logging dozens of film and TV roles, but it was never the same. Decades of forgettable roles and near-misses followed before Steven Soderbergh cast him as one-time casino owner Reuben Tishkoff in his 2001 “Ocean’s Eleven,” and its follow-ups.

Now Gould is enjoying playing two series characters that are nothing alike. According to him, his “Ray Donovan” character will be more prominent in the future. “Ezra is a very serious character, a rather pios character. He’s a highly successful, deeply-connected person. We haven’t seen too much of Ezra, but we will see more of him since his brain tumor is corrected,” he says. As far as “Mulaney,” “With Oscar, you see all of Oscar’s inside. Oscar expresses what he’s feeling. This character is a highly original character for me to do.”

Another difference: “Mulaney” is being shot before an audience with multiple cameras. It’s a challenge. However, says Gould, “I enjoy working and a challenge for me to work with these young people. I enjoy the opportunity and I work at it.”

As for how he maintains his vigor, Gould says, “What do I do – I have a family, I have grown children, and I have a very good relationship with nature. To me, it’s all about the family and mostly about chemistry and being honest and true.”

Of course.

Linda Gray Has a Blast With Fellow Stars of a Certain Age in Big Screen ‘Expecting Mary’

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 Gray

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.