We caught up with the blond dynamo, who’s enjoying the kudos that have been heaped on her “Parks and Recreation” series in this, its second season — and the fact that the zany show has been given a full-season pickup by NBC.
As much as “Parks” is occupying her attention, however, she does have other projects going, not to mention her and husband Will Arnett’s one-year-old son at home.
“We are working on ‘Lunch Lady,'” she says of the big-screen movie in which she’s to play a hairnet-wearing cafeteria worker who doubles as a heroic crime fighter. “Lots of good things are happening. We are expanding my web series ‘Smart Girls At the Party’ and continuing work on ‘The Mighty B” — the Nickelodeon show she co-created and produces, and for which she provides the title voice.
And, as if all that weren’t enough, she adds, none-too-seriously, “And I’m writing, starring, directing and producing the next in the ‘Oceans’ series, ‘Oceans 14.'”
How about return visits to “Saturday Night Live?” When might she pop up in her old stomping grounds?
“I hope soon. I can’t wait to sit under the bleachers with Lorne and watch the show,” she responds, referring, of course, to producer Lorne Michaels.
And, one more thing. Outside of when the Secretary of State appeared on “SNL,” has Amy communicated with the political icon she’s often imitated, Hillary Rodham Clinton?
WHAT’S IMPORTANT: News last week that Dennis Hopper is battling prostate cancer made his comments to this column a few weeks ago — about being grateful for his health — particularly poignant.
“I’ve got a wonderful life — and that’s a miracle,” said the actor and 60’s icon. “After so many years of drug and alcohol abuse, I should be dead.”
Hopper is being treated through a program at USC.
BIG HAIRY DEAL: If you think Gordon Ramsay is a tough cookie in the kitchen, then you haven’t seen Tabatha Coffey’s sassy style in a salon. The outspoken Aussie has hairdressers running for cover as she’s back for a second season of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” premiering tonight (11/3) on Bravo.
Tabatha tells us despite what people think of her less-than-friendly tactics, it all comes from a place of wanting to help.
“I understand that it’s really hard for them because I guess I am outspoken. I like to think that I’m just really honest,” she notes. “I really want to help them and it doesn’t do any good to pussyfoot around and not tell them the truth. I’ve got to tell them what needs to change to make their business better.
“To some people, that’s really hard to hear. It takes time over the week that I’m with them for them to kind of realize where I’m coming from, and it is actually coming from a good place. It’s coming from a place of trying to help them.”
While getting these salons to change their bad habits isn’t easy, Tabatha claims the rewards are far greater than the stress.
“That’s probably the thing that gets me going more than anything. They really do need help and sometimes, the people in the salon don’t want to change or the owner does. It becomes really, really frustrating,” she says. “With this season, there are some really interesting stories, but as always, there’s drama.
“For me, though, the most rewarding part is when I can see that people get it and they are working hard to change their business. It’s nice when I get e-mails from the salons or the stylists who will reach out to me and tell me that I’ve really made a difference.”
ALL FIGURED OUT: Eleven-year-old “Zeke and Luther” co-star Ryan Newman is a math-loving girl — who’s in an advanced math program she manages to fit in daily in addition to her regular on-the-set schooling and camera calls. “I’m transitioning from pre-algebra to algebra,” reports Ryan. She loves working with numbers, she says, “because there’s a right answer.”
Ryan Newman Disney XD photo Jaimie Trueblood
Newman is also into fashion and music and has other interests. She’s hoping that she can inspire young female fans to not hesitate to use their brains.
“My advice is to be as smart as you can be, to try your hardest in whatever you’re doing. Yeah, I’m kind of a nerd, but I’m not nerdy,” notes the very hip young lady, who also got her gal pal next door to join the math program. “I feel that being smart and well spoken is a very important thing — well, besides being a good person.”
Newman wants to continue her acting career (it started when she was three) when she grows up. For now, she loves “Zeke and Luther” and goofing around with her cast mates, Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks. They had a Silly String fight shortly before our chat, in fact.
Ahead for her on the skateboard-centric show, her character Ginger is going to do some skateboarding. “I’m very excited about that happening,” she says. “I’m not that great at it. I can push and balance, but I can’t do any tricks.”
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster