Tag Archives: Nia Vardalos

Kathryn Morris: ‘Cold Case’ Heroine To Blur Legal Lines

Lilly Rush as Kathry Morris in "Cold Case" Photo: Mitchell Haddad/CBS  ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Lilly Rush as Kathry Morris in "Cold Case" Photo: Mitchell Haddad/CBS ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fans of “Cold Case” can expect detective Lily Rush to take a turn off the straight and narrow in the forthcoming seventh season of the CBS drama.  That’s the word from series star Kathryn Morris, who tells us, “There’s a lot of questionable activity for Lily this year.  All the best heroes have that fork in the road, you know.”

Morris acknowledges that last season wound amid talk of “Cold Case” being “on the bubble or whatever, but we were not.  We were cranked up 30-40 per cent in the last leg,” she says, referring to the series’ ratings.  “And we had this really explosive season finale” — with Lily’s car being forced off a bridge into 40 feet of water.

“It was really cool to be able to complete that and it really raised a whole new set of questions for everyone,” adds Morris.  “So now every character has something that they’re going to be delving into.  For Lily, well, the justice system has always worked for her, but now she’s finding out that no, it isn’t really working for her as it has for all the victims that she takes care of things for.  Now she can take things into her own hands and I think she’s going to blur the lines a little bit.”

THE INSIDE TRACK: English singer-songwriter David Gray shot to fame in the late 90s with his breakout album “White Ladder,” including such hits as “Babylon” and “This Year’s Love.” With his newest album, he’s hoping he can finally match that success.

“With your first breakthrough thing, I don’t think you can recreate it.  It was fairytale that wrote itself with me in the middle of it.  All you can do is try to create something of equal potency,” says Gray, whose album “Draw the Line” hits stores Sept. 22.

Gray has a new band, which, he says, “has given me a completely new lease on life.  There’s this sort of bulletproof feeling that I’ve got when I’m inside the music that we’ve made,” he tells us.  “‘White Ladder’ will always be something that will be there.  It’s a benchmark thing that you’ll always be pigeonholed into, but I’m trying to get out of the cage for Chrissakes.  This is certainly my best shot at it,” he adds with a laugh.

Also featured on the album are two duets with Jolie Holland and Annie Lennox, who Gray says added a breath of fresh air to the project.  “Oh, that was brilliant. We were a bunch of cynical bastards sitting there in the studio not knowing what it was going to be like.  We needed the other voice to be able to finish the song and Annie just blew us away.  She was like a gale of positive energy from the moment she came into the studio.  There was no ego or nonsense.  She just threw her heart and soul into it because she wanted it to be as good as it could be.”

Gray begins his US tour with the album starting Oct. 23 in Boston.  “The gigs are the best part of it…I’m just fanaticizing about getting out there and playing.”

NO REGRETS: Some TV stars aren’t too thrilled about constantly being associated with their most memorable character, especially years after the show has been off the air.  But “A Different World” star Darryl M. Bell tells us he takes it as a compliment.

“With six years in primetime as one of highest-rated shows on television and 17 years of syndication, we still get recognized pretty frequently.  Not only am I flattered by it, but I embrace it,” says Bell, who is currently starring on Fox Reality Channel’s “Househusbands of Hollywood” with his longtime girlfriend Tempest Bledsoe of  “The Cosby Show.”

“We’ve all taken great pride in the legacy that ‘A Different World’ left, which was doubling the enrollment in historically black colleges and universities.  That’s always been amazing,” notes Bell.  “I can’t tell you how many young men come up to me and tell me the show is the reason they went to college or went to a black college.  It’s been one of the most gratifying things about the work that we’ve done.”

It also helped pave the way for many other African American shows of its time.  “It was a precursor to ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,’ ‘In Living Color,’ ‘Martin,’ ‘Living Single,’ and all the other shows that opened the door for more African American shows on television,” he says.  “The late 80’s was a magical time for African American shows in television.  For whatever reason, the fact that that door hasn’t stayed as opened in today’s environment as we would have liked is unfortunate.  Hopefully that will come back.”

NOTE WORTHY: Nia Vardalos, who collaborated with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson to make “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “My Life In Ruins,” wants us to know, “They are very normal people.  They are so down to earth.  They have managed to achieve a very humble existence in this cesspool of a town, so I admire them for that.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Elisabeth Moss, Fred Armisen Having Fun Planning Wedding

Elisabeth Moss  (Photo: Justin Stephens)

Elisabeth Moss (Photo: Justin Stephens)

Elisabeth Moss, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy honors for her work in “Mad Men,” has a lot to celebrate in her personal life as well as her professional one.  She tells us she and fiancé Fred Armisem of “Saturday Night Live” are busy planning their wedding and ”it’s really fun.  I love wedding planning.  It’s a great experience for us.”

She notes, “We’re not saying when, but it’s not too far.  We’re pretty
much not talking about any of the details, but all of our close friends and family are going to be there.  It’s going to be a really special day.”

Fred – who is in the Emmy running as well, as part of the “SNL” team – “woke me up and told me the news.  It was the best person I could possibly hear from,” notes the actress, who’s brilliant as the naïve-yet-ambitious young career girl, Peggy Olson, on the show set in the 1960s world of advertising in Manhattan.

Moss tells us that they’ve finished the first eight episodes of “Mad Men’s” third season so far.  When the AMC series (up for a total of 16 Emmys, the most of any drama) returns to the tube Aug. 16, viewers will finally get answers to the cliffhangers they’ve been left with since October.  In Moss’ case, her character confessed to ex-lover Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) that she’d had their baby and given it up for adoption – and that she had loved him but now didn’t care anymore.  And Pete was last seen sitting alone in his office with a rifle in his lap. So what’s next?  Moss is mum.

“For sure, people definitely want to know what’s going to happen in Season 3,” she notes with a laugh.  “I know some, but not all.  But I do know enough to believe this season is even better than last season.”

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT:  “Regardless of what people think of things getting handed to us, we work really, really hard,” says Vanessa Simmons — whose dad is Run-D.M.C.‘s Rev Run and uncle is music mogul
Russell Simmons.  She, along with her sister Angela, have ventured out
onto their own to star in the MTV reality series “Daddy’s Girls,” whose second season premieres Aug. 11.  “Your parents can’t hand you success.
You have to work for it.  They can hand you connections, and we’re thankful they were able to do that, but me and Angela have worked so hard for the things we are accomplishing that right now.  We just hope people respect us for that.”

Not only have they become reality TV stars, but they also created the popular fashion line, Pastry.  Luckily for them, they were able to pick up a few pointers from their uncle who created the hugely successful clothing line Phat Farm.  “We’ve had the best examples in life.  We got to see them building their business our whole life and the choices they made,” says Angela of her entrepreneurial family.  “Even with Kimora [Lee-Simmons], I got to watch her start Baby Phat from the beginning. Just from watching all of that, I’ve learned so much.”

While parts of their business will be shown, Vanessa says fans can
expect more laughs than anything.  “We have so much fun and we have a lot of new friends on board,” she reveals.  “I actually for once have my boyfriend on the show,” adds Vanessa.  The personality, who’s been linked to recording star Bow Wow in the past, chooses to not officially reveal his name.  “I’ve just never been the kind of person who’s wanted to put my relationship out there and finally I was like, ‘Ok, you guys can meet him.  He did a good job and he’s really funny so people will like him.”

GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS Nia Vardalos has had some big success in Hollywood, but she tells us she’s most proud of the kind of friends she’s accumulated over the years.  They are the people who keep her grounded, and she is certain she wouldn’t have survived this cutthroat business without them.

“My husband and I have managed to stay sane here because we have the same friends as we did before any success.  I have the same friends since kindergarten.  I tend to collect people who I continue to work with,” says Vardalos who recently worked with her “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” co-star John Corbett and longtime pal Rachel Dratch.  “I am where I am because my friends have stayed with me.”  In fact, Vardalos tells us despite the competitive nature of the business, she and her friends continue to root each other on.  “There wasn’t any jealousy or any pettiness from when things hit for me before they hit for them.  I have friends who are still handing out flyers for their own one-woman shows, but we’re all in this together.”

WE’VE HEARD OF PRECOCIOUS. BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS:  Interesting casting notice for the feature “Life As We Know It.”  They’ve been looking for a 10-14 month old to play the role of Sophie, described as “a cute toddler with an engaging personality.”  The producers specify, “on-set experience preferred.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Nia Vardalos’ Life Changed by Adoption

John Corbett, Nia Vardalos

John Corbett, Nia Vardalos

Nia Vardalos tells us she’s the happiest she’s ever been since adopting her four-year-old daughter from American Foster Care last year.  Still, this might be the only one for her and her husband Ian Gomez.

“Every day is so much fun around our house.  I’ll wake up in the morning and I’ll hear her voice from her room.  She’ll sing a song and I’ll think, ‘Wow, she’s really here!’  It’s made our house so much louder and happier,” says Vardalos, who definitely feels like a different person since becoming a mom.

“I’m more content in just everyday life.  I don’t really think about anything other than, ‘Is she happy?  Is she getting what she needs?'”

When asked if they plan to adopt again, she responds, “I’m very satisfied with it, and I’ve learned, with how long it took to get matched with our daughter, that you just cannot plan life.  I’m open to it, but I’m also extremely satisfied so I would not ask for more.”

Acting-wise, Vardalos has been very busy after a long hiatus, and after projects that didn’t match the level of success she attained with her runaway hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

“It was more difficult to find the next little thing. I was offered a lot of big things but they were kind of soulless.  I chose to just write and wait,” says Vardalos of the break.

She’s now back onscreen with the recently-released “My Life in Ruins” – and with her July 3-opening, “I Hate Valentine’s Day,” which she wrote and directed.   Nia reunites with her “Greek Wedding” leading man, John Corbett, in the romantic comedy that bears the tagline, “She had him at ‘Get Lost.'”  Also in the cast is her good pal Rachel Dratch. “80 percent of the cast were friends that I asked to fly out to New York and they all slept on Rachel Dratch’s couch.  We didn’t have trailers or catering or anything on this thing.  It was really, really low budget.”

While she’s definitely happy with the end result, Vardalos admits she can be hard on herself.  “I heard from other directors that you always think — ‘If only I had four more weeks or this much more money.’  Of course I watch it and wish we had piles of money to spend, but the other part of me smiles and remembers how much fun we had.”

Emily-Fortune Feimster