Tag Archives: Mario Lopez

Dean Cain Talks Slapstick, Humor, and Paris Hilton as a Dog

Dean Can with Real Rich Bitch ABC Family Photo

Dean Cain, who showed off his slapstick capabilities as a bumbling burglar in last year’s “The Dog Who Saved Christmas,” says he wasn’t surprised when ABC Family decided to make a sequel to the comedy that features the voice of Dean’s buddy, Mario Lopez, as a yellow Labrador.

“It’s such a simple concept and so much fun to shoot, why not make another?” he says of this Sunday’s (11/28) “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation” — which also features the voice of Paris Hilton as a French poodle.

Dean’s 10-year-old son Christopher was on hand for both shoots, he lets us know.  “He’s a big reason I wanted to do this.  He and his schoolmates can watch it….Very few things get bigger laughs in my household than me falling on my tail.”

Dean says he didn’t learn about Paris Hilton’s involvement in the movie until after wrapping his role.  The fact she chose to play a poodle, he feels, shows “her sense of humor.  That’s the whole thing.  It kind of tells you she understands the whole deal.  Like when I played Superman — you have to be in on the joke.”

Jeff Schenk, the executive producer of “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation” chalks up Hilton’s casting to fast work and some serendipity.  “She travels nonstop, and we happened to catch her at a time she had just gotten back to L.A..  With her you get the feeling there are a lot of people coordinating things for her.  We said, ‘Any time in July’ and her agent — her agent is really the one who pushed it through — said, ‘Next week.’  So we had to be ready for her in just five days.”

Paris Hilton

As for why she said yes, well, Paris talks about her beloved grandmother’s French poodle being her inspiration.  Schenk also believes, “People see this fun-loving blond, they don’t realize that she is an incredibly astute businesswoman.  She certainly knows all about branding herself. We have this family brand.  We had the track record with the first movie; you can see it and see user reviews of people who enjoyed it.  She took all that into account.”  Then, “She came in prepared and did her work.  I wish I could say that about everyone I work with.”

Corbin Bleu: More Biracial Families Should Be On Screen

Corbin Bleu Samuel Goldwyn photo

Corbin Bleu Samuel Goldwyn photo

Twenty-year-old “High School Musical” cutie Corbin Bleu is more than glad that his character’s family in his new “Free Style” movie is biracial, just like his own family.  He made a point of seeing to it that casting was done that way.  

He tells us that, with himself and his father two of the producers on the feature, opening tomorrow (10/9), “It was one thing we definitely wanted to play to.  So many times in films, you’ll have interracial kids, but they’ll still have two black parents.  At this time, right now, where we are now, you’re seeing many more interracial families.  So many people are mixing and it’s wonderful and that needs to be portrayed more in our films.”

Corbin notes that, being a producer, “This is the first time I got to take hold of some of the reins and I’d like to do more.  I was involved in locations and casting and wardrobe and all that.” 

He has other projects in development, including “a cool horror flick we’re working on.  It’s going to be fun.  You have to expand yourself out as much as you can. You can’t be stifled in any genre, any one thing.”

Hence, “Free Style,” in which he plays a gung-ho motocross racer.  For Corbin, it meant lots of training in motorcycle riding, which he’s come to love.  “Luckily, it was my dad who came out with me the first day on the course and not my mom, ‘cause if it was my mom, the first fall it would have been, ‘This movie’s not happening,’” he says with a laugh.

He also gets a romance with the “stunning” (his word) Sandra Echeverria.  He got to “have the chance to cast my leading lady and it was great,” he says, beaming.  And the presence of the Latina actress, “ended up bringing in another whole thing culturally.” 

SIBLING REVELRY:  Laura Silverman, the real life sister of comedienne Sarah Silverman, also plays her sister on the Comedy Central series “The Sarah Silverman Program.”  While Sarah is certainly the more known of the two, Laura tells us they couldn’t be more encouraging of each other in life and on the show.  “At first I was very hesitant during the first season.  I was very conscious of not trying to upstage Sarah in any way – to try to be completely supportive of her being the funny one.  It turns out we are equally supportive and we both have our moments to be funny on the show.  We are always in such awe of each other.  We watch each other at work with big smiles on our faces.  Unless she’s faking it, she seems to like what I do,” adds Laura with a smile. 

Laura Silverman

Laura Silverman

 While Sarah plays a chaotic, out there, fictionalized version of herself, Laura plays the responsible younger sister, which lends itself to a different kind of humor.  “I studied at first how to be the ‘straight’ person.  It’s something that has actually always interested me,” she tells us.  “There’s a little bit of theory behind it. You are responsible for setting the baseline of what’s normal in that world so that the main character can exist being the way she is instead of looking like she’s crazy or just a total a-hole.  The way I react to her allows her to exist in that way.  It’s been really fun exploring that world with Sarah and the rest of the cast.”  

MAGICALLY SPEAKING : When it comes to adolescent stars, “Wizards of Waverly Place” creator Todd J. Greenwald is an expert – having such shows as “Saved by the Bell” and “Hannah Montana” on his credit sheet.  So when he says he’s confident the “Wizards” teen trio won’t be ruined by the perils of fame, it’s worth asking why.  “It all starts with family, and everyone’s family from our cast is solid,” he says. “I love what I’m seeing with them.”  For instance, of Selena Gomez, he says, “She went to Africa as a speaker for UNICEF this past summer.  She’s really taking responsibility and trying to give a good example and I’m so proud of her for that.”

All this month – “Wiztober” – the Disney Channel series is featuring episodes that tie into Halloween themes.  The Oct. 16 show has family eldest brother Justin (David Henrie) bringing a real ghost into a neighborhood spooky house.  Now, there’s a prank. 

Peter Murietta, David Henrie, Maria Canals Barrera, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Stone, Jake T. Austin, Todd J. Greenwald

Peter Murietta, David Henrie, Maria Canals Barrera, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Stone, Jake T. Austin, Todd J. Greenwald

Greenwald tells us he’s savoring the moments with “Wizards,” which garnered Emmy honors last month.  They’re in production on their 35-episode third season, and, given that the cast is growing up fast, ‘Season 4 could be the last season.  It goes so quickly,” he notes.  “You’re doing a show and then suddenly it’s a memory.” 

Like “Saved By the Bell.”  Greenwald is still friendly with “Saved” cast members.  “I just saw Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley a couple of months ago,” he notes.  “That show was like a sitcom camp, and a bunch of them have gone on to do great things, like Mark Paul” – Gosselaar, that is.

WHO SAYS TV IS OUT OF IDEAS?:  Casting forces have been interviewing actors to reenact real-life drama for a forthcoming show called “Injured and Pregnant” – from the makers of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”  Honestly!  It’s for Discovery Health. 

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Slater Looks Back on Life of Turmoil, Wiser

Christian Slater "The Forgotten" ABC photo

Christian Slater "The Forgotten" ABC photo

There was a time when Christian Slater was quoted as saying “Work is my hobby, staying sober  is my job.”

That’s not true any more, says the star of ABC’s new “The Forgotten” series.  Christian, who plays a detective haunted by the disappearance of his daughter in the crime drama, wants us to know he has been sober for over four years.  Now, he says, “Work is my job, and having adventures with my kids.  My kids are all-important.”

His son Jaden is 10, his daughter Eliana is eight, and he hopes they’ll profit from his mistakes.

 Christian, who was a Generation X heartthrob on a fast track in the 80s, says he wouldn’t change anything about his past because, “You pull on one thread of tapestry and the whole thing can unravel.”

However, he points out freely that drugs and drink “can create the illusion of being very cool, that drinking is the hip thing to do and that you’ll seem like Clark Gable. You go to a party and have a drink and feel like a super hero when the truth is you’re looking rather foolish.  Showing up for life 24/7 straight and sober can be tough if you’re riddled with insecurities.  Actually, the fastest way of knowing who you are is to know who you’re not.”

Christian notes that his offspring “will be going into high school in the next couple of years, and  that will be the time to have some serious discussions with them about his own experiences,” to give them an awareness of what’s the right and wrong thing to do.”  In other words, do as dad says not as dad did.

MEANWHILE: Christian Slater reveals he had little time to prepare for  his new ABC “The Forgotten” crime thriller.  He admits that his role of a detective haunted by the disappearance of his daughter was offered to him at the last minute, “after producer Jerry Bruckheimer had another guy set for the part.  I don’t remember the fellow’s name, but when they changed the casting and offered the role to me it was a little bit like diving into  a pool without having learned how to swim. It all turned out great, though.  As soon as I read the pilot, I knew I wanted to do the show.”

DOG DAYS:  Mario Lopez is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after bachelors but before he gets a good woman, he tells us, “I’ve got to get a dog first.”

That’s one of the reason the actor/host is currently on a puppy hunt on his show “Extra.”  For the next five months, “Extra” will follow Mario’s journey as he meets with pet organizations, companies, experts, and shelters in the weekly segment “Mario’s Great Puppy Hunt.”  “I thought it was a good time to have responsibility for something other than myself.  It’s a big jump because I don’t even have real plants in my house,” he admits.  “It’s been a good way to raise awareness for all of these dogs that need homes.  Everybody’s really getting into it.  When I was at the Emmys at the red carpet, people were asking if I had found a dog.  They were like, ‘I think you should get a bulldog or a German Shepherd.’  There are a couple of breeds I like, but I’m taking my time so I make the right choice.”

When not working on “Extra,” Lopez has plenty of other things on his plate.  He recently wrapped season four of his hosting duties on “America’s Best Dance Crew.”  “We got picked up for another season so I’m excited about that,” he says of the MTV show.  “I’ve been doing some broadcasting for HBO’s boxing fights.  I did a triathlon recently.  I can see how it can be addicting.  It’s tough to train properly with the schedule I have but I hope to do it again next year.  I’ve got a healthy diet book and a kid’s book coming out.  The new season of ‘Nip/Tuck’ is coming out in October, I believe.  Of course it makes for long days so it throws a little bit of a wrench in the social life, but that’s all right.  I love what I do.”

 NO SMALL PARTS: No sooner was it announced that Robert Zemeckis would be turning his motion capturing ways to a remake of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” last summer than a cacophony of complaints, dire predictions and rebuttals over the idea began.  But proceeding he is.  With plans to begin shooting still nearly a year away, casting forces are already looking at candidates to play John, Paul, George and Ringo.  Kind of.  What’s required are actors in their mid-to-late twenties with resemblances to the Fab Four.  Their voices and performances will be captured – and then, of course, altered via Zemeckis’ computer wizardry into final fab 3D form.  The process will be “very non-technical and liberating” for the performers, promise casting notices.

With the Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis “Dinner for Schmucks” going before the cameras this fall, the call went out for a child actor to play a cocky, eight-year-old boy named Kyle who will be seen shrieking in terror as a vulture sweeps down on him at a bird show in Griffith Park.  What a movie this is bound to be.  It’s the remake of a French comedy about an incredibly stupid man who has the power to ruin the lives of those with whom he comes in contact.

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster