Tag Archives: Katerina Graham

Sexy Gilles Marini Pours it on for ‘Brothers & Sisters’

 Gilles Marini returns to “Brothers & Sisters” Feb. 21 as Luc Laurent, the — be-still-our-beating-hearts — French lover of Rachel Griffiths’ Sarah Walker character on the show. To say he’s happy about that is an understatement.

“To think, when I came here, I did not speak English,” says the 34-year-old Frenchman, who hails from Cannes. “And now, I’m living the perfect American dream, with my wife and our little American kids we had here.”

In fact, Gilles’ and wife Carole’s young son and daughter are two of the reasons he says “Brothers & Sisters” is just right for him, offering a schedule that “makes it possible for me to see my kids off to school in the morning, or tuck them into bed every night.”

He admits, “You always worry. I thought, ‘I’m going to be playing the boyfriend. Where can the story take me?'” However, “I come in with a twist in my character’s background,” he reveals. “It’s the jackpot for me.”

If you saw the “Sex in the City” movie, you saw Gilles — all of him, in the shower — as Kim Cattrall’s neighbor and lust object. And, if you saw him on “Dancing With the Stars,” no doubt you recall he came close to victory in the season ultimately won by Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson.

Now, working alongside Rachel, Sally Field and the rest of the “Brothers & Sisters” troupe, he says he’s overwhelmed to be in the presence of “that many actors with that much talent all at the same time.

“(Co-Executive Producer) Michael Morris told me, ‘You’re working so hard, Gilles. You always come in prepared every day, every second.’ But, it’s not work to me. I think this is the chance of a lifetime to be on this show, and to hopefully show American audiences that I deserve to be here.”

Cliff Curtis

Cliff Curtis

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  NBC’s freshman “Trauma” series was considered such a sure-shot for early extinction that members of the crew gave up their apartments on San Francisco location. But not Cliff Curtis, the New Zealand star who plays a cocky helicopter pilot in the drama about daring, first-response paramedics.

“Trauma” got off to such a rough start that, a month after its debut in September, NBC announced it wouldn’t renew it. Then, in November, the network called for three more episodes. And then last month, as the cancellation of “The Jay Leno Show” left NBC with mucho hours of prime time to fill, they added four more episodes of “Trauma.”

Still, “I never had any doubts,” says Curtis. “From the beginning, I had confidence that if we did the best work we could, if we kept trying to raise the bar, the audience would grow to appreciate the show. And, it has.”

With a pedigree including Executive Producer/director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights,” “Hancock”), the show did take some time to find its footing creatively. Curtis concedes, “The characters weren’t developed properly at first. We took a lot of creative license, but learned from it. We listened to the audience and to critics, and were able to satisfy a lot of complaints about the characters. We improved the humor and the action on the front line.

“When things were their worst, I watched with a wry smile and was quietly confident,” he says. “And now, I wouldn’t be surprised that after we return to the lineup following the Winter Olympics, we’ll do so well that we’ll be renewed for another season.”

In fact, the “Whale Rider” big-screen star is so confident that he’s involved with a long-range hit, he’s saying, after 15 years of commuting from New Zealand to the U.S. for film work, that he’d be ready to move his wife and their two children to these shores, “To settle down for at least a few years in San Francisco. I love it there.”

 

Brenda Song

Brenda Song

THE BIG-SCREEN SCENE:

It’s a b-i-i-g difference, going from the Disney Channel to a David Fincher film with Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, but that’s what beautiful 21-year-old Brenda Song has done.

She’s now back at work in her best-known role — as kooky heiress London Tipton on “The Suite Life on Deck” — after wrapping the big-screen “Social Network.” It’s the story of the founders of Facebook — Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and Eduardo Saverin.

Shooting the film, Brenda says, “has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It’s such an honor to work with David. ‘Fight Club’ is one of my favorite movies. He’s absolutely brilliant.”

She adds, “Mix that with Aaron Sorkin’s writing and I’m lost for words. It’s like watching geniuses at work. The cast has been soooo amazing. I’m in love with Andrew and Jesse. We had so much fun.”

Her character, Christy “kind of set her sights on Eduardo (Garfield) and will do everything in her power to be with him. It was quite a change from London — ha ha,” she adds in an online interview.

Fear not, London fans. Brenda is not forsaking the ditzy character she’s been playing since 2005. “Suite Life on Deck” has new episodes coming up, including the March 5-debuting installment that has London, Zack and Cody (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) in fairytale fantasies. Hers is “Snow White” — as the evil queen.

WITCHY WOMAN: Katerina Graham, who plays witch Bonnie on the CW’s “Vampire Diaries,” tells us “I hope she stays a good witch. I think she’s such a great role model for a lot of girls.”

Yes, and it’s very hard to find good teen role models in today’s TV landscape. For instance, Bonnie sure beats Grace (Megan Park), the Christian girl in Brenda Hampton’s “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” who believes that her having had sex with her boyfriend caused her father’s death in a plane crash — divine retribution? — and has gone on to advocate masturbation.

And then of course there’s Quinn Fabray (Donna Agron) of “Glee,” the Christian former head of the Celibacy Club, pregnant by one guy and girlfriend of another.

The fact is, as framed by the majority of Hollywood creative types, you’re bound to do better, role model-wise, with witches and vampires than religious types.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: ‘Douche’ is Fine With Her

Julia Louis-Dreyfus CBS Photo Warwick Saint

Julia Louis-Dreyfus CBS Photo Warwick Saint

“Douche” is just fine with Julia Louis-Dreyfus — and she doesn’t care who knows it.

The comedienne’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine” sitcom was cited in a recent New York Times page one article for its usage, 26 times this season, of the word that is unarguably offensive to some people.

Dreyfus is not one of those people. “I have to be honest. It makes me laugh,” she says of the word that, according to the Parents Television Council, has been used some 76 times this year on prime-time series. “I guess I’m crass. I don’t know, there’s something about the combination of vowels and consonants in the word I find inherently funny.” (As, apparently, does David Letterman, who mocked the Times’ story on his show this week.)

Julia, the mother of sons Henry and Charles, ages 17 and 12, respectively, adds, “I’m afraid I must admit I’ve heard the word in my house. I’ve tried to be stern about it, but just couldn’t keep a straight face.”

Julia says that, like her television alter ego who babies her son, she is finding it hard “to let go of my babies. It’s obvious they must grow up, but the whole separation thing is a bit of a bear.”

She refers to husband Brad Hall as “a wonderful man as involved in our children’s lives as I am. I’m fortunate that way. Also, being on a show with many working mothers makes everyone keenly aware that work is a juggling act, to get the job done and go home. The show is very well organized as a result.”

She can see the terrific “Christine” going on for some seasons yet, “but nothing lasts forever.” She does foresee Christine finally finding a love life, but says “There will definitely not be a happily-ever-after for her.” Why not? “Because it’s not funny,” says the very funny lady.

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE…: “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Kevin McKidd admits to a certain degree of personal turmoil over the testing of his character, Owen’s, relationship with his beloved Cristina (Sandra Oh) — as Kim Raver’s heart surgeon character, Teddy, has appeared on the scene out of Owen’s past.

“I love Owen so much; he’s a really great character. And, I love Cristina very much. I find it hard, playing a character like this, I’m very attached to Owen’s happiness and contentment. I don’t want anything that disturbs that to happen, but the truth is, for it to be a drama, things have to happen,” acknowledges the actor. Expect the situation to intensify on tonight’s (11/19) episode.

MEANWHILE: The red-haired, Elgin, Scotland born and bred actor, who rose to fame in films including “Trainspotting,” addresses those internet reports that have him taking on the title character in a remake of the cult fave big-screen “The Highlander.”

“My agents are looking into this,” he says of the stories that have been cropping up for over a year. “There are a lot of rumors with my name being bandied around about it. It was a great film, it would be great if they’re remaking it.”

He can, for sure, be seen as the god Poseidon in “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” “Chris Columbus’ next big movie. It’s about a teenage boy in modern-day New York who discovers his actual father is the Greek god of the sea. It’s so different — a huge fantasy movie with big budget special effects — it was really a blast,” he says of the feature, scheduled for February 2010 release.

READY FOR HER CLOSEUP: Beautiful 20-year-old Katerina Graham, known to fans of the CW’s hit “Vampire Diaries” as the psychic novice witch Bonnie Bennett, certainly takes the responsibility of her role seriously.

“I’m constantly working on her, doing her back story,” says Graham, whose own back story is intriguing stuff (more on that later). “During the week, we were shooting the episode where she’s possessed, I was researching possession and people who’ve been said to be possessed — monks, gurus, priests — looking for any sort of religious findings to give myself a better perspective on how to go about playing it.”

She goes on, “Since my character’s ancestors were in the Salem witch trials, I read about those. I watched ‘The Crucible’ and ‘The Craft.’ I also watched ‘Dawson’s Creek’ to see how Kevin Williamson’s stories evolved, and ‘Kyle XY’ to see Julie Plec’s,” she says, referring to the “Vampire Diaries” co-creators’ past credits.

And, she’s viewed the previous work of “Vampire Diaries” director Marcos Siega, to understand him better, too. “There’s a lot of work that goes into playing a character,” she says.

Graham, whose grandfather was a UN Ambassador from Liberia, is the daughter of a Liberian father and a Russian Jewish mother. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and speaks four languages. With her father a music executive, Katerina has been around show business all her life and has been acting professionally since the age of six.

She has a long list of episodic credits including such shows as “The O.C.” and “Hannah Montana.” She’s also performed as a background dancer for names ranging from Lil’ Bow Wow to Missy Elliott and Jamie Foxx. Now, however, she’s focused completely on “Vampire Diaries,” which has a full 22-episode order from the network.

“I haven’t had a break in about two or three weeks. Thanksgiving I ‘m going to be with my family, cook, and have four days off. I’m definitely ready,” she says.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster