Tag Archives: Sarah Chalke

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

Chalke Would ‘Love to’ Go On With ‘Scrubs’


Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke is awaiting word on the possible renewal of “Scrubs” with an open mind. If the show does go on, “I would love to be a part of it,” says the funny lady who has played Dr. Elliot Reid for eight seasons.

Word last week was that ABC really is in talks to continue the show — as long speculated — without departing star Zach Braff. “Nothing has been decided yet. From my perspective, we had a blast, such a blast. I loved it. To work on a show where I still feel challenged after eight seasons? And, I love the whole cast. That’s a pretty rare combo,” says Chalke.

In fact, she notes, the cast went out to dinner together the other night, and among the topics discussed was their mutual amazement that the show — challenged by timeslot and network changes, and more — has lasted eight years.

“I think that was really cool. It kept everyone grateful. We were always asking, ‘Is this the last season?’ We never took it for granted, and I think that worked in our favor,” she says. “I loved the whole experience.”

As far as the future? “We just have to wait to see what happens,” she says.

Meanwhile, the actress, who turned up as a recurring character on “How I Met Your Mother” last year, has been busy elsewhere. She has a four-hour miniseries coming up on Lifetime, “Maneater,” from the darkly comedic book by Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of “The Starter Wife.”

“I actually got the script before I read the book, and just devoured it in one sitting,” Sarah says. “It was so well-written and fun, I loved it. And, I loved having opportunity to play a character who starts out as this gold digger — who stalks this guy she’s never even met and decides she’s going to marry him — and then over time discovers what’s really important in life.”

The miniseries “was a challenge in terms of how dense it was to shoot. We’d have a 16-hour day, then I’d go home and have to learn eight pages for the next day.” “Maneater” airs May 30 and 31.

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: Regina King has logged numerous big-screen credits in the last 15 years or so — from “Jerry Maguire” to “Ray” to “This Christmas” — but as a single mom (her divorce was finalized in ’07), she admits that series work has its own appeal. It was part of what drew her to her role in the sixth season of “24,” and to her current NBC “Southland.” King is playing Detective Lydia Adams in the police drama due to wrap its first seven episodes this week.

“I wanted to do something where I was going to be in L.A. and something where I was not the star, which would require me to work 16 hours every single day. I read this script and it answered all of those things and then more because it came from people who have done great TV and film,” she says of the John Wells series.

“If I didn’t have a child, you could put me anywhere in the world. When you become a mom, that becomes your number one responsibility. It would do my heart disservice if I didn’t follow through with trying to be the best mom. Am I saying that I’m the best mom? No, I’m not, but I try to be,” she notes. “My son is 13, so it’s those teenage years. He’s way beyond taking him out of school and flying wherever I’m working. We definitely do that during the summer, but I’ve found myself turning down things because I’d be away for more than a week and it’s just too long.”

King is also keeping busy behind the camera as she is about to direct her first film. “It’s called, ‘Let the Church Say Amen.’ Right now, we’re in pre-production. I’m hiring the crew and the talent. I just locked in Vivica Fox as one of the leads. It’s a lot of work right, though, because I’m shooting the show and doing this, but I’m really excited.”

ALSO: Speaking of motherhood, ABC’s “In The Motherhood” may have died a quick death — the Cheryl Hines-Megan Mullally-Jessica St. Clair show was pulled after four episodes with two episodes left unaired last month — but at least it produced some fun for Cheryl Hines’ four-year-old daughter.

Hines tells us that little Catherine Rose came to the set quite a bit, enjoyed hanging out in her trailer and watching certain age-appropriate bits being shot. “The scene where I had my face in a doggy door and got licked by a dog — she had a blast watching that,” says Cheryl.

AND: Speaking of juggling motherhood and a hectic professional life, you’ve got to give props to model cum businesswoman/author Kathy Ireland, who has built her lifestyle design firm to more than $1.5 billion in annual sales in a little over a decade. She’s been busy promoting her “Real Solutions For Busy Moms” book in recent weeks, during which she was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange — and guest-hosted CBS’s “The Early Show.”

And, at age 47 she landed back in the People Magazine most beautiful people issue. The designation was particularly significant since Kathy worked hard to restore her famous bod after having gained weight. As you may have seen, she was on the cover of the previous People issue because she wanted to have published the worst photo ever taken of her — one taken by her 14-year-old son Erik, who took it to show his mom that she was letting herself go. Ireland chose to make the “tummy” shot public to demonstrate that she’s as human as anyone, and that women help women by sharing their truth. Elizabeth Taylor was among the women who wrote to thank her.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster