Tag Archives: Mary-Louise Parker

Alanis Morissette Enjoying Freedom, ‘Weeds’

alanisAlanis Morissette, who is currently appearing on “Weeds” as Mary-Louise Parker’s obstetrician, tells us she’s excited about doing more acting — but music isn’t far from her mind. 

However, things will be different now that she’s no longer attached to her label Maverick/Warner Bros.  “There were certain contractual things that were required in order to keep our relationship going that weren’t able to be met,” says Morissette of the split. 

“The parting was as amicable as it could possibly be and as undramatic as possible, which I always like because I’ve had my share of dramatic things,” notes the singer whose ex-fiance Ryan Reynolds married Scarlett Johansson last year.  “I’ve been signed to a label since I was 14 years old so I feel very free and very inspired.  This is probably my favorite place I’ve ever been. My whole theme of life right now is what artistically or otherwise will come from the context of feeling free.” 

She adds, “I really love this new climate in the music industry that is almost unrecognizable to what it was five or 10 years ago.  But I want to take a step away from it for a hot minute until I’m dying to come back.  Right now acting is my current love affair.  I will always be in music.  I’ll do music until I’m 108.”

As for “Weeds,” she says, “I feel really blessed and honored because I’m such a huge fan of the show.  It’s totally out of my wheelhouse in a lot of ways, but at the same time, I do have experience being on set,” she notes.  That didn’t keep her from getting nervous.  “I’m always nervous but it never stops me from doing anything.  My first scene was with Mary-Louise Parker, who is an unbelievable actress, and Justin Kirk, whose work in ‘Angels in America’ was one of the most jaw dropping performances I’ve seen.  It was definitely intimidating but I was in great hands.” 

GETTING SILLY:  Jack Black had a blast, it seems, trying to get to Matthew Willig during shooting of the June 19-opening “Year One.”  “It was great, I’m telling you,” enthuses the NFL veteran of 14 years and two Super Bowls.  “Jack Black is such an improvisational type guy, you never know what to expect from him.  He’d try to make me laugh in every scene we did together – to get me to break out of character.  He looked me straight in the eyes and gave me one of those looks, you know, like ‘I’m going to make you laugh.'”  One day, “We were shooting a scene where he runs from my character and hides in the bushes.  Then he started making bird noises, and went on doing every animal known to man – all coming from the bushes.  He had me rolling throughout the shoot.”

Willig does his thing in the prehistoric/kind of Biblical comedy that also stars Matthew Cera, and features Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the Biblical Isaac and Hank Azaria as the Biblical patriarch Abraham.  Harold Ramis directed, and moviegoers have been forewarned that it’s more Monty Python style than “Knocked Up.”  We’ll see. 
“I’m trying to be a sponge around all of them, really, and pick up every little bit of knowledge I can…I was so excited to work with Harold Ramis – God, I really wanted to be a part of this,” the personable Willig recalls.  He says his happiest moment came when Ramis told him he was glad to have found someone not only physically right for the role, but “someone who could really act and have the chops.”

Actually, considering that Willig says his biggest challenge is finding parts suitable for his 6’7″ frame, he’s done pretty well so far, with a string of assignments including guestings on “My Name is Earl” and “Dexter.”

A NEW DAY:  Former “Jackass” star, Steve-O, who sobered up this past year and recently appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” tells us he’s getting his career back on track.  “Last year was a little bit rough, but now I’m working on a new MTV series.  It’s going to be about me being wild and crazy while I’m sober,” Steve-O tells us.  Luckily he’ll have some new fans thanks to the exposure he got from the popular ABC dance competition.  “The demographic of fans has widened a little bit, for sure.”  However, while the show was good for his fan base, it was not so good for his back, which he hurt on several occasions during rehearsal.

“My back is feeling good right now.  When I go out skateboarding and the next morning it doesn’t hurt, that’s a good sign.”

VERRRY INTERESTING:  Joe Jonas’ video, dancing around in a black leotard, tights and high heels(!) to the tune of Beyonce‘s “Single Ladies” (!) went super-viral about as soon as it appeared on the internet – and you know it’s not just teenage girls watching that thing, Joe.  Interesting choice to help hype their June 16 release “Lines, Vines and Trying Times.”  Would other teen idols have done it?  Justin?  NKOTB?  Hanson? Bobby Sherman?  Frankie Avalon?  The mind reels.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Hollywood’s putting anti-Prop. 8 feelings on display

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

Their state may have voted against same-sex marriages, and their state supreme court may have ruled to uphold California’s Prop. 8 ban, but Hollywood very clearly does not agree — and you can expect to be seeing many more illustrations of that fact.

Kathy Griffin‘s “My Life on the D List,” which begins its fifth season on Bravo June 8, has already filmed “a Prop. 8 episode,” Griffin recently told us. “We went to Iraq a couple of years ago. We went to Walter Reed (Army Hospital) last season. This is our serious episode for this season. We’re really proud of it.” Besides filming at an anti-Prop 8 rally, “D List” has “Rev. Al Sharpton, who “laid out the greatest civil rights argument for gay marriage,” according to Griffin.

Griffin wasted no time responding to the court’s decision, issuing a statement that she would not only be protesting, but that “My 89-year-old mother has asked me to get her a wheelchair to take her to a protest … She is neither gay, nor the parent of a gay person, but she is as passionate about this decision as I am.”

The cast and creative team on Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ “New Adventures of Old Christine” have been anxiously awaiting this week’s decision by the California Supreme Court — “a decision that’s an issue to us both behind the scenes and in front of the camera on our show,” as costar Clark Gregg pointed out.

Wanda Sykes, who came out as a lesbian and got married to her partner last year, is among the 18,000 gay Californians whose same-sex unions have been ruled valid (along with such show business notables as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and George Takei and Brad Altman.)

The state Supreme Court also just handed the “New Adventures of Old Christine” writers a twist to the ongoing storyline that has Louis-Dreyfus’s and Sykes’ characters on the show in a green card marriage. Since the characters are both straight, this can’t help but underscore the farcical aspect of the court’s decision — a subtlety that fits the series’ style. Clark stressed that “Old Christine” has never gone the rout of “becoming a public service announcement,” and added, “What I admire about (creator) Kari Lizer and the writing staff is that they wade into uncomfortable waters — going back to Julia’s effort to get a black family into her son’s school, only to have the father turn out to be a raging homophobe.”

And you can be sure that lines and scenes dealing with Prop. 8, if not full story lines, are being scripted even as you read this. “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, who is not married to the man with whom he shares his life, David Burtka, but is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage, summed up the feelings of many when he told this column, “It’s wrong to try and squelch love. It’s pure and simple discrimination.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: “It was great the way Season 4 ended because there are a lot of things we’re going to have to sort out and clarify,” says Mexican actor Demián Bichir, who will return June 8 in the fifth season of “Weeds” as the corrupt mayor of Tijuana. He is also the onscreen love interest of the show’s star Mary-Louise Parker, and when things ended last season, Parker’s character Nancy had informed him that she is pregnant with his child.

“Whatever is in Nancy’s mind, that’s going to have to be proven first,” says Bichir of the story line, but before we know for sure if she’s having his baby, he tells us we will definitely see a change in his ruthless character. “Now that there’s a possibility of a child on the way, that’s going to change a lot of things and maybe bring Esteban to a different state of mind. Hopefully he will be able to show not only his more sensitive side, but also many other sides without killing anyone.” Hopefully.

One good part of the pending pregnancy is that music superstar Alanis Morissette has signed on for seven episodes to play Nancy’s obstetrician, and Bichir admits the cast couldn’t be more excited. “I haven’t had a chance to meet her, but I think it’s fantastic to have her on board. I’m not sure if there will be some interaction with our two characters, but, regardless, it will be interesting to meet someone whose music you admire so much.”

TOGETHER AGAIN: A July 6 production start has been set for “Going the Distance,” which might just end up being an appropriate description of stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. You may recall the couple were quite into each other while making “He’s Just Not That Into You,” then split up last summer after a year, then seemed to be on again (hand-holding, acting affectionate and telling reporters they adored each other at the “Grey Gardens” premiere in April, for instance).

In “Going the Distance” they play a couple who decide to try making a go of a long-distance relationship, with both their characters having dream careers at stake on opposite coasts of the country — a familiar show business situation. It’s a comedy. Drew says that Justin makes her laugh.

JUMPING IN: Sarah Chalke, who stars in Lifetime’s two-night adaptation of Gigi Levangie Grazer‘s “Maneater” this Saturday and Sunday (5/30 and 5/31), says that the biggest challenge in making the miniseries was “how dense it was in terms of production and just being in every scene. It was a really fast turn-around.” The tale of a gold digger determined to marry a rich and successful Hollywood power player before she hits Botox age has the “Scrubs” actress in scenes ranging from zany physical humor (as in a dance sequence in which her very pregnant character is onstage with a group of seniors) to drama (when her character gives birth).

What helped was that the production — which also stars Gregory Harrison, Maria Conchita Alonso, Judy Greer, Philip Winchester, Marla Sokoloff and Paul Leyden — shot on location. “It was so intense, hours-wise, it was nice to be somewhere else and not have to deal with everyday stuff in your life,” she says.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster