Tag Archives: “Hawthorne”

Jada Sacks Series Tech Team After Mom’s Critique

Jada Pinkett Smith TNT photo

If real-life nurses and doctors find more to like on “HawthoRNe” this season in terms of verisimilitude, they’ll have Jada Pinkett Smith’s mother to thank.

“She enjoyed the first season, but she wrote me a long email about the technical things we weren’t doing properly,” reports Jada, whose mom, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, worked as a head nurse at a women’s clinic in inner-city Baltimore.  “I brought a new technical team in.  That literally was a result of mom’s letter.  I got a lot of constructive criticism from her and other nurses.”

Adds Jada, “She had really good suggestions, more of the perspective of the employees in the hospital, that are helping us expand and extend it on beyond the nursing staff,” for the TNT show.

Jada’s character gets a romance this year, as we noted the other day, with Michael Vartan’s Dr. Wakefield.  “That’s very, very interesting on a lot of levels,” she says.

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:  Jerry Stiller is getting ready to film a low-budget feature called “Let Go.”  It’s not about getting downsized.  Stiller’s character has been recently let go from prison and facing challenges of life on the outside – while others around him are facing their own issues of letting go.

Michael Madsen and Lisa Pelikan have joined the cast of Tom Sizemore’s “Visible Scars” as the sheriff and as Sizemore’s wife.

Michael Vartan Talks Taking Romantic Plunge

Michael Vartan TNT photo

Ooh la la! “HawthoRNe” is doing a full court press with l’amour in the season of the TNT show launching Tuesday (6/22). According to Michael Vartan,the romance soon to break out between his and Jada Pinkett Smith’s characters”feels like deep, intense love and passion — messy, dark and powerful.

“There are a lot of emotions running very deep between these characters. There is the obvious workplace conflict. There is all the history they have,” he continues, speaking of his Dr. Tom Wakefield being chief of surgery and Smith’s Christina Hawthorne being head of nursing at the fictional Virginia hospitalwhere the show takes place. Tom, as viewers know, was also the physician whotried in vain to save her late husband’s life.

“You can either go the ‘Moonlighting’ route and keep the characters apart for 17 years until the audience can’t take anymore, which people have come to expect,” Vartan observes, “or you can take a risk and just do it right away. The writers felt that getting these two together romantically would cause so much conflict it would be interesting and good for the show. It really feels like adifferent show this season.”

Will Smith hangs out on the “HawthoRNe” set a lot. What’s it like doing those sexy scenes with Mrs. Smith in that regard? And how about Vartan’s fiancee, Lauren Skaar?

“Oh, she and Jada are totally cool with one another,” he says. “They’ve had their powwow, I guess. It’s part of the business. It’s also television — a lot tamer than features.”

As far as Will, Vartan gushes to such a degree it sounds like bromance time. “I’d like to say we’re best friends, but that would be me exaggerating. He’s a great guy and one of the nicest guys I know — so much nicer than he needs to be, if you know what I mean. I see him around fans, he truly extends himself …I always like to spend time talking to him because I know he’ll say something ridiculous that will make me laugh.”

Vartan tells us that he and his beautiful blond bride-to-be, who works in real estate, have picked April 2, 2011 as their wedding date — even as his legions of female fans are adjusting to the news that the one-time “Alias” hunk is taken. “We’re still looking around for the place,” he says, “but it will definitely be in the Southern California area.”

Jada Pinkett Smith Not Worried About Impact of Stardom on Her Kids

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t worried about the impact movie stardom is having on her 11-year-old son Jaden, now that he’s the title star of “The Karate Kid,” opening tomorrow (6/11).  Fame, she notes, “has always been a part of his life.  For him, it’s not anything different.  Yes, the focus and attention is on him now, but he’s just like, ‘Okay.’  He’s a very mellow, introverted cat who takes everything in stride.”

Daughter Willow, on the other hand, “is explosive.  She’s all energy.  She’s like her father in that way – very, very extroverted.  They’re both kind of layered with both of our personalities,” she says of herself and husband Will.  “My son is more like me in how he deals with fame, but he’s very much driving with his career, like his father.  Our daughter I would say deals with the public like Will does, but her creative sensibilities are very much like mine, very unconventional.”

The nine-year-old – who has a music project of her own coming out in late summer – latched on to China in a big way when the Smith family was in that land for three months last year while Jaden was shooting “Karate Kid” with Jackie Chan.

“I didn’t expect my daughter wanting to learn Mandarin.  She has continued to learn the language here.  When we go back to China for the premiere there, she asked if her Mandarin teacher could come along, to help her keep up with her new language skills.  We said ‘Absolutely.’  She has so much love for the culture.  That was surprising.”

The Smiths have the Tony Awards to attend Sunday (6/13) – they, along with Beyonce and Jay-Z – are producers on the musical “Fela!” that’s up for 11 awards.  The next day, they head for China and the film’s premiere there.  After that, they’ll be traveling to other points ‘round the globe to help launch the movie.  Jada’s TNT “Hawthorne” series gets its second season premiere June 22.

Jada posed nude for the cover of Essence that’s just coming out.  What does Will think about that?  “Oh, he loves that stuff.  He loved the photos,” she says.