Tag Archives: Lance Bass

Brooke Elliott: ‘Drop Dead Diva’ Gay Prom Episode Includes Prom Controversy Teen Constance McMillen

Brooke Elliott Lifetime photo

Constance McMillen — who was all over the news last year as the central figure in a firestorm of controversy, when her high school in the Itawamba County, Mississippi refused to allow her to bring her girlfriend to the school prom — will appear in a forthcoming episode of “Drop Dead Diva” that’s been dubbed the gay prom episode.

That is the word from “DDD” star Brooke Elliott, who tells us McMillen pops up as a bailiff in the July-airing episode, in which Brooke’s crusading attorney character is representing a “client who wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend.  They’re in a committed relationship, but the school won’t allow same sex couples to go together.”

Constance McMillen on Ellen Degeneres' show

Out stars Wanda Sykes, Lance Bass and Clay Aiken all appear in the segment as well.

“I think it’s great,” says Brooke.  “I think we do it in a way that, hopefully, is not preaching to people but is a reflection back of what is happening in our society right now, and what we as a group are going through.”

MEANWHILE:  Season 3 of “Drop Dead Diva” launches June19 with an armada of interesting guest star names including Paula Abdul returning as Brooke’s voice of reason (that’s right), LeAnn Rimes,  Kathy Griffin, Wendy Williams, Mario Lopez, Amanda Bearse, Tony Goldwyn, Howard Hesseman, Sharon Lawrence, Faith Prince, Jennifer Tilly and Louis Van Amstel.  The latter, you may recall, was “Drop Dead Diva” costar Margaret Cho’s dance partner on “Dancing With the Stars” — and Brooke says the two had a great time reuniting to perform together again.

The season opens with an episode that includes a musical dream sequence choreographed by “So You Think You Can Dance’s” Keith “Tyce” Diorio.  It also that gave Broadway veteran Brooke (Taboo, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast) a chance to exercise her pipes.  “The voice you’ll hear is mine.  It was a complicated song.  I hope people will like it,” she says.

Of course, Brooke has more than enough to do playing the character of a
shallow model who died and then, in an accident of cosmic cross-wiring,
wound up sharing the plus-sized body of a brilliant, socially conscious lawyer.

The role “is a challenge every day.  That’s why I like it,” she says.  With it all, “Drop Dead Diva” continues to be a show widely praised by critics — particularly for Brooke’s seamless performance — yet undiscovered by many viewers.  Brook observes, “You can drive yourself crazy spending too much time thinking about things that you can’t control.   I’m focused on my job and doing a good job with this character.”   Naturally, she is hoping that “Diva” will draw bigger viewership this coming season — and points out that people can catch up by watching the Season 2 DVD that just came out.  Of course.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE:  The L.A. Jewish Film Festival’s sixth year got off to an auspicious start in Beverly Hills with an eclectic group of luminaries — ranging from Buzz and Lois Aldrin to Miss India Préity Üupala, to “American Idol’s” Tim Urban — turning out for the opening night film, “An Article of Hope.”  The fest itself is eclectic as well, celebrating the Jewish experience from intense dramas like France’s “La Rafle” (The Roundup) to comedies, “Shalom Sesame” to the “Article of Hope” film about Israel’s first astronaut.  Thursday’s (5/12) closing night film is “Who Do You Love,” the story of rock ‘n’ roll’s fabled Chess Records.  Songwriter Diane Warren is among the musicos expected.

TRY, TRY AGAIN:  With the Disney Channel’s “Lemonade Mouth” movie attaining the distniction of being the No. 1 original television movie of the year among kids and tweens, it looks like the hoped-for sequel is a shoo-in.  “We hope so, we really want to do it,” says producer Debra Martin Chase.

Nick Roux

That’s also good news for the new collection of young stars in the movie.

Interestingly, Chase tells us that Nick Roux, who does a memorable turn as a rival band member in the flick, almost didn’t make it in.  “We brought Nick in give times.  There was a feeling in some circles that he might be too old” to play a high schooler.  But the handsome twentysomething actor, who is managed by none other than Blake Lively’s mom, changed his look to try again.  “I said, ‘Have him come in with his hair down like Justin Bieber,’ and he did, and he wore baggy pants and sneakers.”  And he got away with acting younger.

Besides her new Disney Channel franchise, Chase is the long-time producing partner of Whitney Houston, and she tells us they have another project in the pipeline.  “I can’t talk about it yet, but Whitney and I are planning something, hopefully for later this year.”

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:  A Sept. 7 start date has been set for the Adam Arkin-Ethan Embry feature “Insecurity,” about a pair of security experts who decide to beef up business by robbing houses themselves — but run into major complications when they find a duffel bag full of money.

Scottish star Robert Carlyle (“Trainspotting,” “The Full Monty,”  “Angela’s Ashes,” etc.) will be tapping into his inner rock star for “California Solo,” in which he’ll play an aging rocker who lives in Los Angeles, but faces deportation back to Scotland after he’s stopped for DUI.  The movie’s described as being full of Brit pop and L.A. cultural references and pathos.  We’ll see.

Bass Says Britney ‘Family’ – ‘She’s Always Been There For Me’

st/bass27Britney Spears ended on bad terms with Lance Bass’s “N’SYNC” band mate Justin Timberlake a number of years ago, but that hasn’t kept Bass from maintaining a close friendship with the pop star. In fact, he got up close and personal with Spears when she gave him a lap dance during the last show of her recent U.S. tour. 
“I’ve been trying to catch her show for the last six months and my schedule has been crazy. I promised I’d go see the last show so I flew out to Vegas and she didn’t even know I was coming to the show so we surprised her on stage. It was priceless when she realized it was me,” recalls Bass. “I grew up with her. I knew her when she was 13 years old. I’m always there for her. She’s always there for me. She’s someone I consider family and will always be family.” 

Coming back from her very public meltdown, Spears is feeling better than ever and is mainly focused on motherhood, according to Bass. “Yeah, she’s fine. She’s loving those babies and loving being a mom. Being back on the road is great for her. She’s definitely doing amazing right now. She’s got great people around her. I think her main goal is to just take care of those kids.” 

As for his own career, Bass is busy producing various film and television projects, and will also be hosting the red carpet show at the 2009 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards tomorrow night (10/17). “I’m a huge reality freak-fan so I’m going be having a lot of fun on that red carpet, meeting a lot of the people I’ve been watching this season,” says Bass. “I’m sure there will be some dramatic moments on the red carpet with people trying to get their 15 minutes. But that’s one of the exciting things about this show – you don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes class gets thrown out the window when it comes to certain reality stars, but that’s the reason we watch.” 

MAGICALLY DELICIOUS: Jamie Ray Newman of ABC’s sexy, witchy “Eastwick” is gratified to see such Twitter users as Jessica Alba and Paula Abdul “tweeting that ‘Eastwick’ is their new favorite show.” And she’s happy that “Eastwick” has garnered tens of thousands of Facebook fans. So why aren’t the ratings better? 

“Oh, God, we have such a really special show. We’ve all been a little frustrated,” she admits, referring to her cast mates and new best friends Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price. “We beg of the network to put more advertising behind us. 

“The scripts get better and better – they’re brilliant. We haven’t seen anything like it on TV. Women love our show. We have all these procedural shows, cop shows, manly shows – there need to be more female-centric shows,” opines the red-haired beauty, who’s familiar to fans of Syfy’s “Eureka” as Dr. Tess Fontana. 

(“Eureka” has a 22-episode pickup for its next season, by the way, but Newman’s future involvement will depend on “Eastwick.”) 

Newman is also familiar to L.A. club goers as a singer who performs with various local jazz bands, including as part of the ad hoc group School Boy Crush. The latter includes musicians the caliber of Jane’s Addiction pianist Kristopher Pooley, with whom she played the ESPN Awards after-party. “Eastwick” watchers will get to see her do her singing thing in an upcoming episode of the show in which “we’re doing a ‘Fabulous Baker Boys’ homage. Honestly, it was so much fun. I got to wear an amazing red dress and sing on top of a piano,” the Newman, whose “Eastwick” role corresponds to Michelle Pfeiffer’s in the 1987 movie. “We wrapped at four in the morning. What a dream.” 

FAMILY MAN: Father of five Chris O’Donnell tells us he’s happy to report that things have been running smoothly at home while he’s been busy working on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” 

“It’s been fine. The kids are busy all day with school. I have my time with them in the morning or at night. Because I don’t get to see them all day every day, they’re more excited at night and on the weekends,” says O’Donnell, who’s happy to be getting a resurgence in his career. “It just changes your focus. Your weekends become all about your family. I like to go to their football games or watch them ride or do whatever they do.” 

LETTING BABY GO: Retired pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan is known for being quite protective of his young pop star daughter, Brooke. Now that she’s become more independent as a singer/song-writer and star of her own VH1 reality show, she tells us her dad has been lightening up. “He really worries about me. It’s for good reasons, though. He wants to protect me,” says Brooke. “Even though it’s a little overbearing, it’s not bad. He’s definitely gotten better.” 
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster