Tag Archives: Don Taffner

Chlumsky Enjoys Playing Politics

Anna Chlumsky "In the Loop"

Anna Chlumsky "In the Loop"

Well after other stars of TV pilots for this coming season have either started ramping up for production and promotion — or folded their tents and gone home – Anna Chlumsky is still awaiting word on the fate of her “House Rules” pilot for CBS.  With its cast options extended last week, the series that follows the freshman class of Congress as they begin their careers in Washington, D.C., might become a midseason replacement show.  Or not.

“I would love to hear that it has a future,” she tells us.  But either way, the 28-year-old actress, who rose to fame in the “My Girl” movies is going to be busy.  She has a movie for Lifetime with Kristin Chenoweth shooting this summer.  She’s talking theater projects – “It’s been a year since I’ve done a play” – and she has the U.S. release of the BBC Films-IFC Films political satire, “In the Loop.”

Chlumsky costars with Simon Foster, James Gandolfini, David Rasche, Mimi Kennedy and others in Armando Iannucci’s farcical flick in which a slip of the lip by a British official has the country hurtling toward war.

“I LOVE this kind of humor.  I’m so grateful and blessed to be part of this awesome British comedic tradition.  I’ve long been a fan of it.  Monty Python is mother’s milk to me,” she declares.

Having back-to-back projects that have her politically involved, albeit on two sides of the Atlantic, works for Chlumsky.  “I actually studied international relations in school,” notes the University of Chicago grad.

Chlumsky is aware that political satire is a tough genre to pull off in films, but believes “In the Loop” – beginning its limited release July 24 – has an advantage in its roots.  “I think in the grand scheme of things, Europeans have been around so much longer than we have – they’ve gone through more revolutions, civil wars, regime changes and paradigm shifts — they’re in a cultural position of not taking themselves as seriously as we do,” she opines.  “They’re not terribly precious about themselves and the world at large.  You have to take a step back and not take yourselves too seriously.”

ON THE OTHER HAND: England’s top-rated sitcom, “My Family” – which is seen here via BBC America – is the only TV show in the U.K. that uses an American-style writing team concept.  Not only is the show a ratings winner.  It’s also a finalist in the Best Comedy category for the third time in England’s upcoming “TVQuick & TVChoice” Awards, having already won twice.  The awards are voted on by viewers.  “My Family,” produced by Don Taffner, Jr., is about a dentist (Robert Lindsay), husband and father in a bit of a mid-life crisis.  It’s from DLT Entertainment, an American company, which also produced Dame Judi Dench’s delightful “As Time Goes By” series, seen here on PBS, in addition to having been responsible for “Three’s Company” and “Too Close for Comfort.”

TOO BAD:  Disappointing, the comments KISS frontman Gene Simmons made to AOL’s Katy Kroll, saying that “American Idol’s” Adam Lambert had “killed his career” by coming out as gay, that now the focus would be on Adam’s sexuality rather than his music — this coming from a man who wears makeup and platform shoes.  We’ve always liked Gene, but such running off at the mouth seems more about self-promotion via being provocative than anything else.  Like the bisexuality stuff killed Mick Jagger’s and David Bowie’s careers, right, Gene?  And we forgot all about Freddie Mercury’s music because he was gay?  Time to shut it, Gene.  Just shut it.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster