Tag Archives: “Project Runway

High-flying Times for ‘Project Runway’s’ Snippy Surprise Winner Gretchen Jones

Gretchen Jones Lifetime photo

“Project Runway” winner Gretchen Jones has been having quite the high-flying time since her announcement as winner of the eighth season of the Lifetime hit last week.  First on her agenda was attending several parties near her Oregon home base, then flying to New York in time to be on hand at Heidi Klum and Seal’s elaborate Halloween shindig.  (Gretchen’s costume:  Amelia Earhart, apprpropriately enough.)

Jones, who took on a bit of the villainess role in this latest season, with her sharp tongue and controlling ways, won in an upset over Mondo Guerra.  “If I had it my way way we we would all win.  But all those people are going to have careers,” she says of the finalists.  She also says, “I’m proud of myself.”

As for what is next?  She’s focused on making a permanent move to the Big Apple by early 2011, “to gain access to the resources and mentorships I need in order to be successful.   I also feel like it’s really important to be thoughtful and take my time,” adds the budding designer.  “There’s a responsiblity with the exposure I’m getting, and I want to be dilligent and thoughtful to move forward successfully.”

She’s thinking it through now, and creating a business plan.  “Once you do your first collection, you go straight into the next one,” she points out.

So Jones is taking a little time to get rested and ready with a year-end vacation.  “We were fortunate enough to get those trips by the Hilton in Finale Part 1,” she reminds.  “My birthday is New Year’s Eve, and I want to go somewhere warm and sandy for my birthday.”

Yep, and the $100,000 in prize money won’t hurt.

HEIDI KLUM: ‘I’m Becoming My Grandmother’

Heidi Klum Lifetime photo

Heidi Klum Lifetime photo

Fans of German supermodel-mogul Heidi Klum are well aware by now that the “Project Runway” hostess doesn’t let pregnancy slow her down.  Expecting her fourth child in October, she tells us she’s feeling good.

“I have to say I got that from my grandmother.  My grandmother had a lot of children, and it’s funny, but I’m turning into my grandmother now,” she says.  “I loved my grandmother.  My daughter Leni is named after her.  She always would tell me about when she had her children — for her, the most important thing was her to have a big family.”

Not surprisingly, Heidi remembers her late grandmother “was a beautiful woman.  I’ve only seen photos of her when she was young.  I only remember her being older.   She was like this fuzzy and warm person, and she would always have great stories to tell.  I would lay in the bed with her and she would tell me things about our family, and things from the war, and …she was always great.

“Now, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God.  We have four children!’” she says, referring to her brood with husband Seal.  “I would never have thought, when I was little, that I would have such a great big family.  It’s fun.”

HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO: Spike TV is taking adrenaline to the next level in their just-launched “Surviving Disaster” show, in which dashing ex-Navy Seal Cade Courtley takes viewers through a series of simulated disasters and teaches them how to survive.  “One of the senior executives at Spike said she woke up one night thinking, ‘What would I do if this or that happened?’  She thought it would be great to do a show where we came up with the ultimate survival manual, but for situations anybody can find themselves in,” explains Courtley, who simulated an earthquake, shark attack, plane crash, nuclear attack, mall siege, and bio-terrorism attack.

Cade Courtley

Cade Courtley

Luckily Courtley’s military training turned out to be a huge asset for the show.  “After making it through Seal training and the stuff I did as a Seal, I guess you start to feel like you can make it through anything.  When you have that kind of a mindset, there’s a certain confidence that goes along with that.  The confidence is really helpful when all hell breaks loose,” he notes.  “We try to teach people, ‘Yeah, that just happened.  Take a breath.  Let’s get that brain working and we can problem solve our way through this.’  It’s nothing too advanced where you’d need 20 years experience of hand-to-hand combat.”

While he’s certainly equipped to handle disastrous situations, Courtley says he’s just glad he’s finally getting to play pretend this time around.  “Some of the stuff I’m doing on camera is a lot closer to my last line of work because it’s dealing with problems that could be potentially deadly.  But I’ll take 80 degrees in Los Angeles any day over 120 in Baghdad.”

ANOTHER GENERATION HEARD FROM:  Lou Diamond Phillips doesn’t mind admitting, “Nepotism is alive and well in the Phillips household.”  Three of Phillips’ four daughters – the elder three — and his wife Yvonne were all seen in his “Love Takes Wing” cable movie of earlier this year, and he says, “The scary thing is, the girls have been bitten by the bug.”  But he doesn’t sound that scared.  “They’re actually good at it,” he says.  “I can see they have natural talent.  It was fun to direct them and see them get it so quickly.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

‘Tara’ Absorbs Toni Collette Even When She’s Not Working

Toni Colette, Emmy nominated for her portrayal of a woman with multiple personalities on Showtime’s “United States of Tara,” admits that she finished up the first season of the dramady feeling plain exhausted.  And what’s more, “I was ready to go relax, but it took a long time to stop thinking about the show.  It took a couple of months.  I’ve never really experienced that before.”

Toni Colette in "United States of Tara"

Toni Collette in "United States of Tara" (Photo from Showtime)

The fact she couldn’t shake “Tara,” she figures, has more to do with the intensity and duration of the season’s production than the fact she’s playing five characters — Tara and her alternate personalities.

“I think of the films I’ve worked on, the longest schedule was maybe nine weeks.  This was really the longest, most involving shoot that I’ve ever worked on, so that probably had something to do with it.”

She’s not complaining.  “It is challenging, but only in the most positive way.  It’s not in any way vexing,” adds the Aussie actress, who rose to fame in such fare as “Muriel’s Wedding,” picked up an Oscar nomination for “The Sixth Sense,” and has a long string of films including “In Her Shoes” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”

The “Tara” team has just started work on Season 2, and Toni says, “I’m going to hold my breath and come up for air in three months.”

She will, however, be making time to go to the Emmys.  She doesn’t know yet what she’s going to wear.  “It may turn into a mad scramble closer to the day, but not at this point.”

VROOM WITH A VIEW:  “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam says that the series about a Northern California outlaw motorcycle club has changed his life.  But he’s not referring to being the youngest series star on FX or anything like that.  He’s referring to how “The love of motorcycles is now going to be with me forever.  It’s not something I had coming into this project,” says the handsome 29-year-old British actor.

Charlie Hunnam FZ photo

Charlie Hunnam FX photo

He knows they’re dangerous.  “I’ve already had friends who I’ve lost through motorcycle accidents.  But for me, there’s no freer feeling in the world than taking off on a bike.”  In fact, he’s planning a 10-day motorcycle trip with his girlfriend as we speak, with a custom set of wheels provided for him by the Eagles Nest Harley-Davidson dealership in Lathrop, CA.

“They’re giving myself and other cast members a bike, and they did those bikes up for us as well,” reports Hunnam.  For himself, it’s the Dyna Superglide – “the ride of every self-respecting outlaw” — with “a head pipe on it to make it louder.”

We’d love to see “Anarchy” fans’ double takes if they spot Charlie roarin’ up next to them on the highway.

With production of the second season complete, the blond hottie is looking at movie prospects for fall.  And, he reveals, he is planning to do a feature with none other than “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter.  “He’s going to make a movie the beginning of the year and has super generously offered me a role.”

MEANWHILE: Hunnam tells us that acting in Season 2 of the acclaimed FX series has been less difficult for him than Season 1 was.

Sutter originally devised “Anarchy” using the framework from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” – which it has grown out of.  That put Hunnam’s Jax character in the position of the passive prince, but he grew more and more fired up as the season went on.

“It’s difficult as an actor to play confusion,” Hunnam observes.  “This year has been much simpler.  I’ve had a very clear idea of what I was going to do.  A lot of decisions were made at the end of last season, when the character became clear in motivation.  It became a little bit easier, and more fulfilling because of that – because I was more confident of the choices I made.”

SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY: Heidi Klum tells us she hasn’t watched “The Fashion Show” – the Bravo knockoff of her “Project Runway” that was put together after “Runway” departed for its new home on Lifetime.  However, she makes clear, “I have to say, I have no hard feelings for people who are doing their own thing.  I’m not b—-ing and moaning that there is someone who wants to do what we did or anything like that.  It’s the right of anyone to do what they want to do ultimately it’s the viewer who has to decide what they want to watch.  If they want to watch ‘The Fashion Show,’ they watch ‘The Fashion Show.’  If they want to watch ‘Project Runway,’ they watch ‘Project Runway.’  I think ultimately it keeps us on our toes, wanting to be the best and be out there making it work — to keep working hard and producing a good show, and being true to our concept we started with.”

Heidi can afford to be generous.  The Isaac Mizrahi-led “The Fashion Show” hasn’t come close to pulling even half the numbers “Runway” used to get on Bravo – while “Runway” promises to be a monster hit for Lifetime.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Heidi Klum Saddened by Paparazzi Balloon Battle

Heidi Klum on "Project Runway"

Heidi Klum on "Project Runway" (Photo from Lifetime Channel)

Heidi Klum is saddened by the recent confrontation between paparazzi who were swarming her and her young children in a New York City park – and other parents on the scene who took matters into their own hands and started pelting the offending photogs with water balloons.

“It sounds like fun when you read it maybe in a newspaper somewhere, but in reality it’s not so much fun when there are children involved,” she tells us.  “My children are screaming, ‘What’s going on?!”  I don’t think that people should start fighting over it.  I don’t want people to get hurt.  You don’t know how the paparazzi are going to react when they get hit with balloons and they start yelling back and forth.  I’m always worried that something might happen.”

The “Project Runway” hostess, who is expecting her and husband Seal’s fourth child in October, says she left the scene quickly.  “I’m like, ‘Let’s just go away.’

“It’s something that you just deal with, unfortunately,” she goes on.  “I wish there was some sort of a law that maybe they have to be at a certain distance, or there can’t be more than two…I wish there could be something done.  I know people say, ‘They’re celebrities, and why shouldn’t we get photos of them all the time?’  But people forget about the person being shot all day long and their children.”

MEANWHILE:  The super-achieving supermodel cum producer-TV personality-entrepreneur and her family will be heading off on a vacation next week.  She’s just  completed shooting of her latest season of “Project Runway,” and done a round of promotional chores trumpeting the intensely popular, Peabody Award-winning show’s return to the tube.  The airing of “Runway’s” sixth season, you may recall, was delayed nine months due to the legal wrangling over its move from Bravo to its new home on Lifetime.  Festivities begin Aug. 20 with a two-hour “Project Runway:  All Star Challenge” special featuring eight favorite contestants from past “Runway” seasons competing for a $100,000 prize, followed by the new season’s first episode.  And in addition to the regular “Project Runway,” there will now be a companion series called “Models of the Runway,” showing the action from the models’ points of view.

“I appreciate all the designers that came back for the challenge because once you’ve kind of done the show and gone on with your life, to come back and then maybe not be the winner again, for example, is not so good,” Heidi observes.  “Or maybe you’re the winner and then not the winner.  There are all these possibilities for how it might end up.  You don’t want the big L for loser on your forehead, again.”

Darryl M. Bell and Tempestt Bledsoe at BET Awards (Photo by Matt Slayes AP)

Darryl M. Bell and Tempestt Bledsoe at BET Awards (Photo by Matt Slayes AP)

MAN OF THE HOUSE:  “We’ve heard from a lot of people who have said that they had no idea we were even a couple,” says Darryl M. Bell, star of “A Different World,” who is the long-time partner of “The Cosby Show’sTempest Bledsoe.  The two have opened up their lives for Fox Reality Channel’s newest show “Househusbands of Hollywood,” which follows the lives of five men and their high-powered wives or in Bell’s case, girlfriend.  “Before now, we’ve never really spoken publicly about our relationship in the media, although we haven’t been hiding it,” he notes.  “As far as our pedigree in television, there’s a certain expectation of what people think they will see from us.  There’s nothing salacious.  It’s just a sweet and comical relationship on many levels and hopefully that’s what we convey.”

Despite the show’s premise of showing men who are stay at home dads while the women are the breadwinners, Bell’s situation is different.  “In our case, Tempestt and I are not married, nor do we have kids, and she’s not the breadwinner in our relationship.  We’re both working actors so in that sense our lives are a little different.”  However, Bell thinks those men’s storylines are very important for today’s society.  “With the epidemic of single parent families in this country and the absence of mentoring for young men, I think seeing men who are raising their children and made them priorities is important and that’s what you see in this show.”

When asked if he and Tempestt have any plans for marriage and a family of their own, Bell responds, “If I could predict the future that well, I’d be at the Powerball station right now.  I generally just try to talk about where we’re at today, and where we’re at today is happy and content, so we’ll see what the future brings.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Infomercial king Kevin Harrington tells us that it’s the real deal on ABC’s Aug.        9-premiering “Shark Tank.”  In other words, he and his self-made millionaire fellow judges/potential investors on the show have actually been interested in some of the products and services contestants will be seen pitching to them.  “I have to be careful with confidentiality, I can’t disclose what projects I looked at and what are the specific deals I may have made,” he says.  “But I can say there definitely was some buying activity, some investing activity in the first rounds.”  That’s good to know, because there is clearly some funny business as well.

“If you watch the trailer, some of that is going on.  There are crazy, zany things none of us took too seriously,” says Harrington.  For instance, “a surgically implanted Blue Tooth device.”  Harrington notes that the contestant putting forth that idea told the judges (a.k.a. “sharks”) “You may be laughing now, but 10 years from now, it may be a reality.”  However, he points out that 10 years is too long to interest him.  “Some companies expect five-year waiting periods.  The pharmaceutical industry, for instance, builds time for clinical trials and FDA approval into their plans.  That’s not for me.  I’m in the business of taking a gadget and within 90 days to six months being able to bring it to market and start generating revenue.”

Harrington notes, “There are so many ideas out there, and to be honest with you,  if you look at a thousand, 950 of them are going to be very tough to bring to market.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster