Angie Dickinson has been following with interest developments on Martin Scorsese’s planned big screen biography of Frank Sinatra. She was, after all, an honorary member of the fabled Rat Pack as well as Sinatra’s leading lady in “Ocean’s Eleven” and beyond.
“Wouldn’t that be great if he could really pull that off?” she asks. She’s hoping for a biopic the quality of the Joaquin Phoenix “Walk the Line.”
“I thought that was one of the great movies made in recent years and a great depiction of the character. They even improved Johnny Cash’s image,” notes the septuagenarian Hollywood icon.
With Leonardo DiCaprio being talked for Ol’ Blue Eyes, who should play Angie Dickinson? “Robin Wright Penn or Jessica Biel could play me, and a couple of others.
I’m not that hard to figure out,” she answers with a laugh. “There have been times when I’ve seen Drew Barrymore in something and thought, ‘If I were young, I could be in that part.'”
Angie has no problem with latter day emulators of the Rat Pack – originally comprised, you’ll recall, of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. “I absolutely love it. Listen, I’ve been dining out on that for 59 years. I get a great kick out of it.”
MEANWHILE: The one-time “Police Woman” returns to the tube July 18 in the Hallmark Channel movie, “Mending Fences,” a title that tells of her relationship with onscreen daughter Laura Leighton – as well as the movie’s tale of small town citizens banding together to save their water supply from developers.
Of the former “Melrose Place” star, Dickinson says, “She’s terrific. The script was too long and she was working on it every day, making it more succinct and understandable to the audience.” She adds, “She’s absolutely beautiful — skinny as a rail. I’d look at her every day and say, ‘Oh, my God!’ … I’ve gained 20 pounds since my prime.”
As far as future acting desires, “I’d like to play Meryl Streep’s mother when they do ‘Prada’ 2,” Angie tells us. However, she’s aware good parts for older people are few. “It is a young people’s medium. It always will be and should be,” Angie says. “We don’t go to movies about old people, except once in a while. Basically, and rightly so, we want to watch young people. They’re fun to watch.”
A NEW KIND OF PARTNER: Robert Gossett has been knee deep in police work on the popular TNT series “The Closer,” but the veteran actor reveals he may be temporarily turning in his police badge for some dance shoes. According to Gossett, he has been approached by “Dancing With the Stars” to possibly compete when the show returns in September, but no decisions have been made.
“They’re in the process of talking to my agent about it. Yeah, I would very much like to do it,” Gossett tells us. “I went to a performing arts high school in New York. I was a music major there, but I was involved with dancing a little bit. Later on I did musicals so it involved a lot more dance,” he recalls. “I think it would be fun. My kids would get a kick out of it. They don’t think I can dance anyway. I always embarrass them, especially the 13-year-old.”
For now, Gossett is busy at work on “The Closer,” which is currently in its fifth season. “We’ve got an endless supply of great ideas and the writing hasn’t diminished. It’s been my experience that after a few years the writers run out of gas, but that hasn’t happened here,” he claims. “A lot of us are veterans. That’s a nice way of saying older, but what’s great is that we all bring it. The caliber of acting is definitely very high on this show.” Luckily they’re a tight knit group too with Kyra Sedgwick, who was just awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as their ringleader. “We were all so happy for her. She certainly deserves it. We all came and supported her, which is very indicative of how we are as a cast.”
THE HIGH SEAS: John Cleese already knows where he’ll be enjoying special time next year. The cut up of Monty Python fame will be aboard The Silver Spirit, the newest ship of Silver Sea‘s ultra-luxury cruise line. He’ll combine leisure with work, sharing insights and anecdotes from his long career with guests as the Spirit glides from Buenos Aires to Santiago as part of a 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage.
GETTING ON BOARD: “Southland” star Michael Cudlitz gives NBC props for striving to stay on top of the new media tsunami, by “pushing things in a large way on the internet — on Hulu and iTunes. They’ve done a really good job as far as pushing people in that direction. They’re trying out a whole new business model as opposed to fighting it. Thirty million people are not watching on Thursday night any more – they have so many more choices — but they’re still out there,” he points out. Cudlitz is, of course, particularly interested in seeing how the network’s restructured programming works out this Fall, when “Jay Leno takes over the 10 o’clock hour and they go down from the typical 15 hours of prime time programming to 10 plus Leno. It’s more like the European markets and England, a shorter season, and rotating stuff around.” And edgy, action-filled fare like “Southland” will be tried on the 9 o’clock, rather than 10 o’clock audience.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster