Tag Archives: Julie Benz

Julie Benz Proud of Michael C. Hall Candor

Julie Benz, Michael C. Hall

Julie Benz, Michael C. Hall

Julie Benz sounds delighted and very proud when talking about her former “Dexter” leading man, Michael C. Hall, and the way he’s handled his battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma.”He’s fantastic, doing just fantastic. His cancer is definitely in remission, and you know, they caught it very early,” she points out. And, Hall’s decision to go public, she feels, will inspire countless fans and others “to go and get checked out, because if you catch cancer early, you can kick its a–. Sorry to swear, but really, if you’re not feeling good or if you feel a lump in your gland, go to your doctor, no matter what. No matter how busy you are.”

Beautiful Benz debuted this past Sunday in her new recurring role on “Desperate Housewives” as Robin, the highly-educated stripper.

“It’s offered me the chance to do some comedy. It’s a very fun character, and very different from Rita,” she says, referring to her “Dexter” role. “I’m always looking for where I can go next and how I can do something different,” notes the actress. She plays a business executive who finds love among the vineyards in the Hallmark Channel romantic comedy, “Uncorked,” airing March 6.

Her schedule has been so grueling, between shooting the series, doing promotion and attending the Golden Globes and SAG Awards, she wound up getting sick with laryngitis last month. However, “I’m a workaholic and I thrive when I have to work hard,” she says.

And, it’s helped move her beyond the trauma of getting killed off “Dexter.” So did the fact, “I’m very close to a lot of the cast — Jennifer (Carpenter) and I are close friends, and Michael, James Remar and his wife, David Zayas and his wife — and I had the pleasure of going through awards season and being reunited with everyone.”

She doesn’t mind the fact that people are still approaching her and exclaiming about what happened to Rita. “I love that it was that impactful. It would really suck if they killed off Rita and nobody responded.”

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: It’s not often that a celebrity begs to differ with Dr. Oz, but such is the case with Carnie Wilson, who turns up on Oz’s show today (2/4), ready to make a fresh start in her weight battle.

“He and I sort of have a conflicted diagnosis about something. He called me pre-diabetic, but that’s not right, according to my doctor and my numbers. I am in the very normal range. Maybe it was something he said for the show,” says the singer-cum-reality show star — “Carnie Wilson: Unstapled” on GSN — baker, and “Newlywed Game” host.

Carnie admits she was startled by some of what Dr. Oz told her, including that “at 65 pounds overweight, I fall into the morbidly obese category. When I weighed 300 pounds, I knew that I was in that category, but not now, at 218. I looked into that, and he’s right. My BMI is 39 and that’s too high,” adds Carnie, who has been trying to get rid of the weight she put on while pregnant with daughter Lucy, 7 1/2 months.

“The great thing about Dr. Oz is, he looked me in the eye and gave me big hugs and said, ‘I don’t see you as a celebrity. I see you as a wife and mom, and someone who has the opportunity to help millions of people.’ That’s the kind of man he is.”

She’s now going on the diet regime Dr. Oz lays out in his books, but admits that fitting in his prescribed daily workouts is a challenge for her. “When I’m filming and promoting the show, it’s not possible, but I’ll do as much as I can,” says Carnie.

STRUNG OUT: “CSI’s” Robert David Hall says he enjoys the occasional curve ball thrown his way by the show’s writers. For instance, a bit on the upcoming installment featuring Rascal Flatts required him to “autopsy a guitar that electrocuted some musician.

“I like it when odd things happen,” says Hall, who is a musician and singer himself. “I try to prepare for anything I do, so I went down to my guitar repairman, Norick Renson, and said, ‘I have to do an autopsy on a guitar,’ and he and his sidekick, Bret, told me exactly how to take apart a Fender bass guitar.” That’s going the extra mile for verisimilitude, all right.

COURSE OF DISCOURSE: Naomi Judd has a great gift of gab, but according to her, she had to sharpen her debate skills once she started appearing on TV all the time.

“Bill Bennett always calls me ‘the common sense’ celebrity,” notes the singer and talk show favorite, who’s exchanged words with hosts from Chris Matthews to Bill O’Reilly, in addition to having her own shows. “I’m pretty known for telling it straight.

“I learned to be more assertive on Bill Maher’s show. He said, ‘You are a Southern belle. You are too nice. If you’re going to be on this show, you can’t wait ’til Ann Coulter finishes saying something to jump in and try to negate her.'”

Still, Judd maintains a respectful attitude and fully intends to keep it that way.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Nick Zano: Sexy Scenes With Courteney Cox Arquette All in a Day’s Work

Nick Zano Photo Element Films

Nick Zano Photo Element Films

Ssssssssss.  That’s the sound of steam coming from the set of “Cougar Town” while filming was underway on episodes with Courteney Cox Arquette getting it on with her first “cub,” Nick Zano

The actor of “What I Like About You” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” fame describes his average day:  “You read what they put in there for you.  Usually, it involves being wet, a bathtub scene, or a bed scene.  So, I’d go into my trailer, open up my closet, see five pairs of boxers and a terrycloth robe.  So it would be, put on the boxers, put on my robe, walk over to the set, talk to the camera guys – ‘How was your weekend?’  The AD pulls back the sheet.  Courteney comes in.  Talk about her family.  ‘How’s David doing?  How’s Coco?’  She gets into the bed, I get on top of her and we start making out.”

And there you have it.  But wait.  Zano adds the mandatory advisory, “As much fun as it sounds, it’s also pressuring.  We can see maybe 14 people standing around, a group of big Teamsters text messaging while we’re fake making out.  And it’s very, very choreographed.  You have to remember how far up your shoulder goes, how high you can bring your head up.”   

 Zano’s storyline runs over six episodes, the funniest being next Wednesday’s (10/28), according to him, and in a couple more weeks, “There’s my last one.  It’s a big one.  It’s a doozey,” he says.

As for what he thinks of the whole “cougar” trend?  “As a former young man, I applaud it,” he says.  “I think guys could use a mature woman.  It’s truth. The woman teaching a younger man thing – that woman basically takes that young man to school.  He carries that with him when he dates younger women.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  Funny lady Julie Bowen, who with Ty Burrell heads the traditional nuclear family of ABC’s “Modern Family,” admits, “I’m always thinking everybody else has the great job.”  Referring to the comedy’s older man-younger woman match of Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara, and the couple played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet., she notes, “Theirs seem like bigger characters than ours in a lot of ways.  There’s such a rich mine of jokes for the gay couple and for Ed and Sofia.  And then, you know, Sofia has that body and that accent, and she says to me, ‘Don’t be jealous.’  I am jealous,” Bowen claims.

“But on the other hand, anyone who has a life filled with kids knows they’re the weirdest people,” she adds.  For instance, her own three sons – Oliver, 2 1/2, and six-month-old twins John and Gus.  “Right now, the older one is into a thing of making me stop the car and back up every time he sees certain Halloween decorations.  ‘Back up!  Back up!  Back up!’  That’s huge.  There’s a bloody dismembered arm.  Where is the other arm?  He’s two.  I can only imagine how it’s going to be in the years to come.”

 Bowen agrees with a critic who wrote that for all of its snap, “Modern Family” has a soft, sweet center.  “I didn’t want to say that at first, because I didn’t want people to think of it as sickeningly sweet.  But that’s what resonates.  The writers gave the show and the characters in it heart.  When we read our Christmas episode, Ty Burrell was weeping,” she says.  “I was choking up.  At the end of 22 minutes, it’s not just funny, it’s satisfying.”

 BACK TO THE BOARDS:  Kathleen Turner has been enjoying her time on television with a recurring guest spot on “Californication,” but she tells us that the stage is her first love and she plans to get back to it very soon.  “To be on Broadway was always my first dream.  When we finished the three-year run of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,’ that’s what I had been dreaming of for the 30 years I’ve been doing this work,” says Turner.  “Now I’ve been offered a new Broadway piece for next year, which I’m looking forward to.  I can’t talk about it, though, until we sign.” And so we wait!

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD:  Hollywood’s leading actresses are expected to keep fit in order to look great on camera, but “Dexter” star Julie Benz says it’s one part of the job she doesn’t mind. “I do keep myself in the best shape as possible, but fitness has been a huge part of my life ever since I was a child.  I was a competitive figure skater growing up,” she tells us.  “It’s my stress reliever to go to the gym and work out.”  

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Julie Benz Branches Out Beyond ‘Dexter’

Julie Benz

Julie Benz

Julie Benz has been branching out beyond her “Dexter” role – and how!

In “The Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day,” due in September, “I get to play a badass.  I’ve always been the damsel in distress.  In this I play this really, really phenomenal FBI agent who’s smart and sexy and feminine.  She can shoot a gun better than the guys.  She wears pink rubber gloves and stiletto heels to a crime scene, but she can hold her own with the fellas, no problem.

“It’s a highly-anticipated sequel.  They’ve done an amazing job,” she adds.  “I can’t give anything away, but it’s such a cool movie.  There’s one stunt in it that is so amazing and we only had one take to do it.  It’s probably the coolest thing I’ve ever gotten to do.”

Benz notes, “I didn’t have any time to train for it because I was wrapping for the last season of ‘Dexter.’  They put a gun in my hand on the first day and I had to break into a room and start firing away like a pro.  That’s when your acting technique and sheer will kicks in.”

Benz has also branched out to star in the Lifetime Movie Network’s TV movie “Held Hostage,” airing July 19, in which she plays real-life kidnapping victim Michelle Renee.

“Michelle and her daughter both came on set for a couple of days so I got to meet them.  I was so overwhelmed when I met Michelle I started to cry,” Benz tells this column.   “Her story of being kidnapped and having a bomb attached to her and her daughter and having to rob a bank — it so deeply touched me and moved me that I was at a loss for words when I met her.  She complemented me on my work and what was I supposed to say, ‘Thanks for going through such an awful thing so I could have a great role to play.’  No,” she notes.

“The whole thing was just very intense.  There was a lot of sensitivity in developing this project and really being as true as possible to what happened, and I’m really proud of the movie.”

Emily-Fortune Feimster