Tag Archives: Lisa Kudrow

Lisa Kudrow Talks ‘Web Therapy’s’ Prescient Presentations

Lisa Kudrow’s “Web Therapy” returns to the Showtime lineup July 2 for its second season — with a story arc in which Kip (Victor Garber), the closeted gay Republican husband of Lisa’s self-absorbed therapist character, Fiona, is running for congress.  Kip has gone through “reparative” therapy via a consultant — Meryl Streep — brought in by his political handlers.  If it all sounds particularly pointed in this election year, well, part of that is a coincidence, according to Lisa.
“We shot this so long ago, we didn’t know when Showtime was going to put it on,” she tells us.  “We didn’t know about Michelle Bachmann’s husband when we shot this,” she adds, referring to the congresswoman who formerly had a bid in for the Republican nomination — and whose therapist husband, Marcus, last year denied media reports that his clinic practiced the controversial “reparative” therapy meant to turn gay people straight. 
Streep shot her prescient episodes in 2010, in fact.  As Lisa acknowledges, “The timing is remarkable.” 
This coming season of the decidedly offbeat, mostly improvised show — in which Fiona conducts three-minute therapy sessions online via iChat — also features names including Conan O’Brien, Selma Blair, Minnie Driver, Molly Shannon, Alan Cumming, Lily Tomlin, and Lisa’s former “Friends” cast mate, David Schwimmer
His “Web Therapy” character might stun “Friends” fans, since he is different from the lovable Ross Geller — “very different,” stresses Lisa.  “He got so dark.  When Schwimmer makes a choice and a commitment, he goes all the way.”
She hopes “we’ll meet Fiona’s father.”  That would be the previously mentioned Christopher Walken?  Is he going to do that show?  “No,” she replies.  Then adds, “I’ll ask again.  Doing the Meryl Streep [episodes], I said I’d look more like Christopher Walken if he was my father.  It just came out.”  But her on-camera dad doesn’t have to be Walken.  As Lisa points out, “We have a long list of people who want to do the show that would really be fun.”
But first, Lisa is busy prepping the Season 2 episodes — which began life on the web — for their Showtime showing.  The first season of “Web Therapy” is just out on DVD. 
She has other projects in the works — a possible role in a big screen ensemble comedy, another film she might produce.  On the personal side, her son is now getting pretty grown up. 
“Yeah, that’s working out well,” she says lightly.  “He’s 14 and fantastic.” 
Any chance he’ll go into show business?      
“There’s a chance, yeah.  He does acting and improv and all that stuff.  But he might become a filmmaker.  He has a weird gift.  He knows how to shoot for exactly how he plans to edit.”

Josephina Lopez

THE PLAY’S THE THING:  Renowned playwright Josefina Lopez has been fielding inquiries about her Trio Los Machos comedic play with music that’s been winning kudos in its premiere engagement at East L.A.’s Casa 0101 Theater. 

“We’re considering making it into a film,” she tells us.  Her “Real Women Have Curves” certainly became a success onscreen, and helped launch America Ferrara into stardom. 
Trio Los Machos has to do with three old Latino musicians, together for 50-some years, who first came to the U.S. as braceros, then made it big with their hit songs.  Lopez tells us she happened to be receiving an award at Los Angeles’ City Hall one day when 100 former braceros were there as part of a class action suit against the U.S. government for promised wages never paid them.  Their stories captured her interest, especially since her own father was a bracero – a “guest worker” brought from Mexico to work in the United States during World War II.  Though he never spoke of his experience during her youth, when she talked to him about it later, it was heartbreaking “to hear the sadness in his voice as he talked about the humiliation he went through, being taken in the nude to be disinfected, being mistreated.”
Interestingly, Lopez chose to tell that story within the context of a comedy.  “I don’t like to write tragic drama,” she explains.  “People don’t come.”  Amid the humor, she says, she strives “to give characters dignity and show them trying their best.” 
Making plans for a “Trio Los Machos’ movie will have to wait.  Lopez has actually just started work on another movie – “Detained in the Desert” – that tackles “anti-immigrant laws.  Talk about being extremely timely!  It’s another project I’m passionate about,” she says.  Trio Los Machos runs ‘til July 8.
HELL-O:  Just in time for summer travel fun, Fox has decided to foist Gordon Ramsay’s “Hotel Hell” upon viewers with a two-night series premiere Aug. 13 and 14.  You may recall Ramsay talking about the disgusting things found in hotels — the icky realities of substances left behind that are revealed in black light searches of honeymoon suites, etc.  Here is a man used to the most luxurious of places, showing us bed bugs.  Does he feel like a split personality between his five star lifestyle and…this?  “Oh, I never get carried away,” he replies.  “I’m from a very humble background and a normal upbringing, so I’m very appreciative of everything I’ve worked for.”  That, he adds, makes him especially “frustrated to see what hotels charge and what they don’t offer.”

Megan Mullally Hopes ‘Party’ Goes On and On at Starz, Lisa Kudrow Talks Playing it Straight

Megan Mullally NBC photo

Megan Mullally is delighted with her latest show, “Party Down,” and considers her character one of her favorite roles.  Now she just hopes more people find the network.

“We’re just trying to get everybody to get Starz.  The show has gotten so much critical acclaim, but so many people don’t have Starz,” notes Mullally of the cable network.  “The guy who ran HBO for 17 years just took over so they have a chance now to really turn it into something. They also just released season one on DVD so that helps.”

In the second season, launching tomorrow night (4/23), Mullally makes her debut as a middle-aged refugee from a lousy marriage who moves to Hollywood in hopes that her 13-year-old daughter will make it big.  The show takes us into the crazy world of wannabe actors, writers and others who work as caterers for fancy Hollywood events while awaiting their big breaks.  “My husband and I happened to stumble upon the show the first season. We were like, ‘This show is so good.  What is the deal?’” she recalls.  “Then when Jane [Lynch] left to go do ‘Glee’ it left this space that they needed to fill and they wrote a new character.  When they called, I instantly said yes.  I think it’s the best half hour show on cable, hands down.”

MEANWHILE:  Fear not, “Will & Grace” fans.  When she’s not busy partying down, Megan’s continues working on her planned “Karen: the Musical” that promises to bring back to life her self-centered Karen Walker character from the classic sitcom. “It will be a touring show where Karen and Beverley Leslie will have a big throw down,” she says of her and Leslie Jordan’s infamous “Will & Grace” characters.  “I think it will be a lot of fun.  Leslie has done so much theater that I thought it was perfect.”  It will certainly make those “Will & Grace” fans happy, who still can’t get enough of Karen’s wicked ways. “I think it’s nice to be associated with that show and I’m sure I always will be,” says Mullally.  “I still keep in close contact with everybody and we’re proud to have been a part of such a great show.”

Lisa Kudrow, Damian Dovarganes photo

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:  Funny woman Lisa Kudrow got the chance to show off her serious acting chops in the movie “Paper Man,” hitting theaters tomorrow (4/23), and she admits it was quite different from what she’s used to doing.  “It’s strange to be in something where there is comedy and you don’t have anything to do with it.  Sometimes I would have a moment of like, ‘Wait.  Did I miss something all along?  Was I supposed to turn the funny switch on?  No?  Ok,’” says Kudrow with a laugh.

In the flick, Kudrow plays the wife of Jeff Daniels, who is a washed-up writer with an imaginary superhero friend portrayed by Ryan Reynolds.  “I really liked the script.  I was anxious to see how they were going to pull it off, especially with the imaginary friend.  I also liked the complicated relationship between the husband and wife – that commitment to the one you love,” she explains. “This guy has been a burden for a long time.  Somebody goes through a rough patch and that’s no big deal but this has been going on for years and she’s tried to help him.  It deals with personal disappointment because he didn’t turn out to be the successful novelist she thought she was marrying.”

Kudrow also recently got the chance to team up with her former “Friends” co-star Courteney Cox on “Cougar Town,” which Kudrow tells us it was a real treat.  “That was great fun.  It was like we didn’t skip a beat.  It was such a nice surprise.  Even though they were different characters, I was sitting there across from her and it was so comfortable and familiar,” she says.  “Other than that, we try to keep in touch but it’s hard because we’re so busy.”

SPECIALTY ACTS:  With the late May production start of “Water for Elephants” fast approaching, casting forces on the period circus film starring Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz are busy filling out their big top family.   Among the colorful performers to be added to the cast, jugglers, stilt walkers, a 400-lb. white woman, burlesque girls, sword swallowers, an escape artist, a tattooed man and a woman whose entire body is tattooed (Jesse James and mistress No. 1 perhaps?), a bald man, fire-breathers, contortionists and…a woman with a really long neck.

And while we’re at it, they’re already on the lookout for specialty acts to fill out the roster of Jerry Lewis’ MDA Labor Day telethon.  Maybe they should just go over to the “Water for Elephants” set and see who they can recruit.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster