“Bye Bye Birdie’s” star Gina Gershon would like to say bye bye critics after the Broadway revival was met with some pretty scathing reviews. One critic went as far as to describe the show as “boneheaded.”
“I’m so against critics right now. When you think about it, it’s just disgusting that these critics, with a wave of a hand, just dismiss something. I couldn’t believe how harsh they were,” says Gershon, who stars alongside John Stamos. “I have to be honest; there are a couple of things they said that I couldn’t argue with because I had a few issues with certain elements of the production, but they kind of took everyone in the review down with it. The kids were great in this and Bill Irwin is a genius to me.”
She continues, “This show is the first one of mine since ‘Showgirls’ that has gotten really bad reviews. I kind of came out OK from that, but it’s a bummer when you’re in a project and they take it down. It made me realize that reviews don’t really matter — people are either going to enjoy it or not,” notes Gershon. “Luckily, I don’t think it affects ticket sales. It’s not like the old days where a bad review can shut down a show. We had to extend it to April because it started to (sell) out, and here these guys are pulling it apart. I’m like, ‘It’s “Bye Bye Birdie.” Get over it.’ People are trying to downsize papers in today’s world — get rid of the critics.”
Luckily for Gershon, she has till January to win over audiences, and in the meantime, she’s looking forward to her two-night miniseries, “Everything She Ever Wanted,” premiering Nov. 14 and 15 on the Lifetime Movie Network.
“I remember getting the part and then I started filming it four days later. I had unfortunately just dealt with a sociopath in my own life so a lot of the research had been done,” she says of playing the greedy and violent Pat Allanson in the film adaptation of Ann Rule’s popular novel. “I was really fascinated by the character. She’s so complicated, but there’s a freedom playing a sociopath because they believe everything they’re saying in the moment and they just have a different set of emotional rules.”
ALWAYS THE BRIDE: The folks at Hallmark Channel are loving the fact that Marla Sokoloff is getting married in real life — to Deadsy drummer Alec Puro — two weeks before she’ll be seen as the bride in their “Flower Girl” original movie, Nov. 14. Sokoloff is getting a kick out of it as well. “I got engaged a week before I got this job,” she tells us. “It was all very close. The funny thing is, I have already been a bride five times,” she adds.
Her bridal roles were in “Big Day,” “Crazylove,” “Drop Dead Divas,” “Sugar & Spice” and “Maneater.” “I don’t know what it is about me that has a bridal look or something. How is this possible? I guess if I were asked to play a stripper seven times, that would bum me out,” says the former “The Practice” actress.
Sokoloff says that as far as picking up pointers from all those faux nuptials, “the main thing would be the dress. I’ve been to so many bridal dress fittings, I knew what was flattering.”
She and Puro, who met via mutual friends Jessica Capshaw and her husband, Christopher Gavigan, “knew we had so much in common when we first started talking … Love kind of comes when you don’t expect it,” notes Sokoloff.
They expect about 115 guests to be on hand when they make their vows. As far as the style of their wedding, well, “mine could not be further from the fantasy wedding in the movie,” she says, referring to the fairy-tale-worthy affair in “Flower Girl.” “I love my character. She’s a complete romantic, yet sensible, too.”
And then there’s her movie grandmother, Marion Ross. “I’ve always been such a huge fan of hers, since ‘Happy Days.’ She has a wicked sense of humor, kind of dirty at times. I loved that about her.” Mrs. C.? Goodness.
THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: Elisabeth Moss, who plays career girl Peggy in “Mad Men,” tells us that her character in the Dec. 11 release “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” is “actually quite similar, which is funny. But it’s a more blatantly comedic character than Peggy. I think Peggy has funny comedic moments, but this is more straight comedy. I play Sarah Jessica Parker’s assistant,” she says of the comedy in which Parker and Hugh Grant play an estranged couple of New Yorkers who see a murder, and then are relocated to a small town in Wyoming under the witness protection program. “I’ve been a fan of hers for so many years, she’s one of my idols,” adds Moss. “‘Sex and the City’ is one of my favorite shows. So to be in a movie with her is literally a dream come true.”
CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?: Hollywood and environs certainly have no shortage of classes for acting, writing and directing — but as far as actor Martin Landau, filmmaker Mark Rydell and playwright/screenwriter Lyle Kessler are concerned, what’s been sorely missing is training for creative types in how to interact with other creative types across disciplines. That’s why they’re conducting an intensive seminar together that Landau describes as a two-day immersion course in the inter-relationship between writers and directors. “It will teach the communication skill, which will improve projects and careers,” he says. The Nov. 14 and 15 Total Picture Seminar is being held at UCLA.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster