Archive for January, 2007

Baby talk with Alexandra Pelosi

Bay Area native Alexandra Pelosi did a whirlwind trip from New York to Pasadena to meet with TV critics about her documentary on evangelical Christians, “Friends of God,” which debuts on Jan. 25 on HBO.

“Am I a bad mother?” Pelosi asks after she finished her session, clearly conflicted about leaving her 8-week old baby at home. “This is the first time I’ve ever left him.”

We don’t really think he’ll remember.

Pelosi’s the daughter of California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who became the first woman Speaker of the House, and therefore second second in line to be President of the United States if anything happens to President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

It’s the closest any woman has ever come to the office of president of the United States.

Pelosi says the spotlight has clearly been on her mom, so she decided to do something nice for her dad and named her son Paul after him.

“He deserved a little recognition too,” Pelosi, who looks way too trim for a woman who recently gave birth, says.

In her session earlier, Pelosi told TV writers that it may be hard to believe, but when she gets together with her family they don’t end up talking politics or documentaries.

It’s all baby talk these days.

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Tim Gunn’s New Gig

As dear Heidi Klum would say, in fashion one day you are in and the next, you’re out!

Over at Bravo, that translates to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’’ getting the boot, while fashion guru Tim “Make it Work’’ Gunn from “Project Runway’’ getting his own series.

“Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” chronicles chronicle one person’s fashion dilemmas and introduce the answer to all their troubles – our Mr. Gunn. Several deserving folks will get the makeover of a lifetime.

“I’m practically delirious that Bravo has given me this incredible opportunity and together, we vow to redefine ‘makeovers’,” said Gunn. “This series aims to be one-part education with two-parts fun, and you’ll see me being a fashion therapist, not a svengali.”

Using the book Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style by Tim Gunn and Kate Moloney as a manual, each episode will capture Gunn using his unmatched counseling skills in transforming the fashion weary into polished and dapper-looking individuals.

Tim’s quest to help the world understand his philosophy of “quality, taste and style” will cover many areas in the “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” series such as, choosing an appropriate style, finding the right fit, revamping closets, selecting fashion role models, proper grooming, carrying yourself well, selecting the right accessories and unexpected fashion challenges, such as shopping for vacations and special events.

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Jennifer Lopez is in the House

“We are only going to take the questions related to the series `DanceLife’ “ says the misguided president of MTV Entertainment as he introduces Jennifer Lopez to the room full of TV critics gathered for the winter press tour.

Lopez showed up to garner some exposure for her new reality series, which premieres at 10:30 Monday (Jan. 15) on MTV. Of course, we wanted more from the recently reclusive Lopez.

Like, how has she successfully avoided the tabloid tango for the last couple of years?

“My life for me had become uncomfortable in the way it was affecting my personal life and the people in it, and so I decided that I needed to take a look at that and my own
responsibility in that,’’ Lopez says. And I realize there was a way to pull back from it in the way I lived. It was an adjustment and a compromise, but I found a way to do it.’’

And, she says, it wasn’t really that difficult to become a more private person with her husband, singer Marc Anthony.

“You don’t go out as much. You choose different places to go.’’ Lopez says. “You know, if you want to be in those magazines, you can. And if you don’t, you don’t have to be.’’

She says she decided to pull back a little, to go underground and work on some passion projects like her two new albums and her two new movies being released this year.

“This year, I’ll be out there a little bit more since I have that stuff coming out,’’ Lopez says.

She’s particularly proud of “DanceLife’’ because she started her career as a dancer. The eight-episode series follows the lives of six dancers tring to break into the world of professional dance.

So does she ever go dancing with her husband?

“You know, we don’t. We are homebodies. We love music, obviously, and it’s a huge part of our lives, and I love to dance,’’ Lopez says. “We are not big club people, you know, not anymore. I had my days. “

Lopez says it was hard starting out as a dancer, and the best advice she was ever given was from her mom who told her “Don’t ever let me catch you crying.’’

“I remember calling her on my very first job I had. I went to Europe for a revue show
about Broadway, and it went overseas. And I didn’t get a solo in the show, and I was devastated. And I was the only one who didn’t. And my mom was like, “Hey, you want
to be in that business? Don’t you ever call me crying again. Good luck. ‘ ”

Tough love, Lopez says.

After her session, Lopez took off leaving her gi-nourmous Ritz Carlton Tournament of Roses suite all alone. But not for long. It was time to have a little party, MTV and Comedy Central style. The “Drawn Together,’’ “Reno 911’’ and others, including a handful of critics, made themselves at home.

Turned out to be much more fun than the too-crowded MTV party downstairs that included entertainment by the Naked Trucker. He did have a sort of jock-strap type device attached, but the damage was already done by anyone gazing on his pasty bod.

Anyway, back to J. Lo’s place.

The suite has a spiral staircase leading up to several balconies, two bedrooms with huge marble bathtubs. Downstairs was a huge living area and in each room was a plasma set. But all that was left of J. Lo was the steamer used to get the wrinkles out of the empire-waist two-tone dress (gold top, brown bottom, touched off by bronze shoes) that she wore for the session.

She was only in the suite for about a half hour, but the non-home bodies were still partying well after midnight.

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Locklear Locks and Unloads

Here’s a lesson for all tabloid-fodder stars: Make the first strike.

Heather Locklear stepped up on the stage in front of a roomful of critics gathered for the winter press tour in Pasadena knowing that no one really cared about her starring role in a Lifetime film based on a Nora Roberts’ bestseller.

“Give women what they want, we’ll all be happy,’’ she quipped with a grin. “On Lifetime.’’
Locklear knows that no one who has been in a grocery store line or hanging around an airport has missed the covers showing how her next-door neighbor and friend Denise Richards hooked up with Locklear’s husband Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi fame. The timing was shortly after the divorce – or perhaps a bit earlier.

Her first marriage to rocker Tommy Lee of Motley Crue also ended in divorce, but she says she still likes the bad boys of rock.

“Well, let me just tell you. I’m single. I still like rock stars and any man is good for me,’’ Locklear says in a pre-emptive strike. “Not married men.’’

When it was revealed that fellow panelist John Corbett was a country rock star, Locklear was asked if that was close enough.

“Let me tell you, Bon Jovi has crossed over to country, so at that time it was good,’’ Locklear says, obviously on a roll. “I did a Toby Keith video and that was good…just the video.’’
A reporter asked her about her memories of a movie she made in 1990, which was about midway through her marriage to Tommy Lee.

“That falls into when I cut my hair, when I was married to a rock star and I was mad at him, so I rebelled. I cut my hair and I did that movie,’’ Locklear says. “This is how I remember (that movie).’’

Fair enough.

Locklear was hustled out the back, and when she raced quickly past two reporters, she just said she was really cold and had to get to her car.

No excuses necessary.

Of course, that meant that no one could ask her about that rumor of her new romance with the rather unlikely David Spade.

The good news is that this is press tour and everyone walks through at some point. That point came a couple of hours later at the MTV Networks party.

“We’re just good friends,’’ Spade assures.

So there you have it boys. Locklear is available.

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Seacrest talks Jennifer Hudson, American Idol tryouts

Ryan Seacrest fully expected that the “American Idol’’ tryouts this season would yield fewer delusional people.

Oh, Ry. Come on now.

“We saw William Hung. We’ve seen people who think they can sing and clearly can not, and this is the most-viewed show in America, but I have never seen so many people who actually thought they had talent try out this time,’’ Seacrest, the host of “Idol,’’ says. “There were times when I didn’t know what to say. I mean, not a word or a thought came to mind.’’

Secrest, who was at the winter press tour promoting his new reality series “Paradise City,’’ chatted with a few reporters after the session about this season of “American Idol.’’

“I just couldn’t tell these people that they had done a good job, or anything encouraging at all,’’ Secrest says. “They were just embarrassing.’’

So what did he say to them?

“I just stared and that pretty much said it all,’’ Seacrest says. “With these people, it was all best left unsaid.’’

So what’s the best part about former “A.I.’’ hopeful Jennifer Hudson’s new success in Dreamgirls?

“I love that Simon didn’t like her, and although the people voted her off, I think what the judges say has a big influence on the voting and he just didn’t like her,’’ Seacrest says. “I think I might mention how wrong he was about Jennifer a few times this season.’’
Seacrest says there’s no doubt that Hudson is a diva.

“She has attitude, the same attitude (her character in Dreamgirls) has. But that’s great attitude,’’ Seacrest says. “She’s a diva, but she’s a lovable diva.’’
And her chances for an Oscar?

“I believe she’ll have no problem getting a nomination,’’ Seacrest says. “And her (personal) story is so great, I think she’s going to walk away with the Oscar.’’

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More Tori tales

Poor Tori Spelling.

The daughter of the late Hollywood heavyweight producer Aaron Spelling had to have a yard sale to make a few bucks after mom Candy tried to rein in her pocketbook.

So with a mere $800,000 from the estate she and her new husband Dean McDermott, the two are purchasing an bed-and-breakfast in Temecula — sort of the Tracy/Lodi of Southern California and putting on a reality show about their experiences.

It’s so Jessica Simpson-Nick Lachey, and we all know how that turned out.

Anyway, the dollar amount came out of a press release that was handed out right before Tori hit the stage for a panel promoting her new spring reality series “Tori & Dean: Inn Love’’ on Oxygen. Tori says that number “isn’t even close’’ after you take out taxes and such, but it did make for a tidy down payment on the place, which apparently is still in escrow.

“My life is a reality show,’’ Tori told members of the press. “I’m out in the media every day.’’
And whose fault is that anyway, Tori? You’re having a public battle with your mom over money, playing the poor little former rich girl who had to hold a much-hyped garage sale to make a few bucks.

So how are things standing with mom at the moment?

“Well, you’d probably know as best as I do,” Tori says. “Unfortunately, I wish things were different, but they are pretty much what they are at the moment.”

We suspect she got most of her money in a trust fund and mom doesn’t want her to do something foolish — like open a bed-and-breakfast right before delivering her first child, a boy, in late March in front of a film crew.

But we might be wrong.

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Who Cares About Girls?

Lisa Ling.

But what critics wanted to know was if she regretted leaving “The View’’ in 2002 to toil on documentaries like the obscure cable network Oxygen’s new series “Who Cares About Girls?”

“Not these days,’’ she quipped about her decision to leave before the Rosie O’Donnell days of sparring matches between Rosie and, well, a lot of people.

Instead, the Sacramento native has been kept busy with more serious pursuits. In the first two documentaries in this new series – which begins airing in March with a look at young girls whose mothers are behind bars and is followed by “Hidden Away: Slave Girls of India’’ in late spring.

So does it bother her that a session about such serious subjects elicits questions about “The View’’?

“I’m as much a pop culture junkie as anyone,’’ Ling says. “It’s unfortunate that a little more attention can’t be focused on these issues. I sometimes get a little annoyed when I want to talk about work I’m doing and (journalists) want to talk about `The View.’’’

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Danny DeVito and the story that just won’t die…

First, we’ll tell you that the saucy, cheeky Fx comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’’ will be back for a third season with 15 new episodes airing this summer.

And now we’ll have a little chat about co-star Danny DeVito, who discovered the wonderful world of YouTube after he appeared on “The View’’ a few weeks ago. He joked about still being drunk after hanging out with George Clooney and imbibing a few lemoncellos.

The next thing he knew, his appearance was slapped on YouTube and he became the toast of the water cooler crowd.

“You know, you could really see the reach of the Internet. I got congratulatory calls from all over the world,’’ DeVito says, explaining that he wasn’t drunk, just tired and jet lagged. “It’s a real great thing what we’re doing, putting our every breath out there for everyone to see.’’

Of course, that’s all yesterday’s news.

The latest “View’’ scandal is the spat between co-host Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump – with host Barbara Walters getting dragged along for the ride.

So, Danny. Rosie or Donald?

“I know both of them. They’re really very nice people actually. I think if I had to choose between Donald and Rosie, it would (depend) on what I was planning on doing with either of them in the future,’’ DeVito says. “I know there’s a lot of back-and-forth stuff going on between the two of them, so I guess it’s good publicity. But they should chill, work it out.’’

Which leads us to “Philadelphia’’ co-star and producer Charlie Day to voice what we all really want to say:

“I don’t care about either of those people, so let’s get past it.’’

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Burnin’ Down the House

Just how do you get the attention of your rock star dad Rod Stewart?

Sean Stewart, 25, has just finished filming the reality series “Sons of Hollywood’’ for A&E. The series, which airs in April, puts Sean in a house with best buddies David Weintraub and Randy Spelling, son of the late TV producer Aaron Spelling and brother of Tori.

Sean’s an aspiring musician who has had several brushes with the law, including serving a 90-day sentence about four years ago for assault. He’s also had problems with substance abuse.

He says his dad plays both sides of being a father.

“He’s your friend and when there was discipline, he gave me discipline,’’ Sean says.

So, he didn’t let you get away with everything?

“Just a little bit, maybe,’’ Sean says, adding casually, “I set the house on fire once and he said, `Don’t ever do that again.’

Um, you didn’t even get a time-out for setting the house on fire?

“Where am I going to have a time-out in? ‘’ he says matter-of-factly. “I don’t have a house.’’


Anyway, his pal Randy got put on the spot about his relationship between his mom and sister, who have been having a very public tabloid battle after the death of Aaron Spelling.

“All I want to say about the riff is Tori makes an appearance on my show an couple of times and so does my mom,’’ Randy says. “In terms of all the family drama, I would rather not discuss it. Tori will be here tomorrow , so you can ask her.’’

Will do.

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Glenn Beck goes hybrid

Despite hosting a CNN special titled “The Myths of Global Warming,’’ Glenn Beck of “Headline News’’ says he actually believes.

“I believe global warming is happening. I went to the Al Gore movie and my producers are like, oh dear god Glenn, if you come back from that Al Gore movie and you say he was right, you’re flushing your career on (Clear Channel) radio down the tubes,’’ Beck told critics at the winter press tour in Pasadena. “And I’m like, well, he might be right.’’

Lest you think Beck has gone soft, he still isn’t buying the idea that global warming is man-made.

“What kind of insane person doesn’t want to look at global warming and fix it?’’ Beck says. “If we can fix it, I’ll drive a Prius no matter how ugly they are. And boy are they ugly,’’ Beck says. “I’ll drive one if it really makes a difference.’’

Beck didn’t know that the next panel coming up included environmentalist Laurie David, one of the producers of Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.’’

She says she’d love to give Beck the proof he wants, and we’ll bet she can even get him a deal on that Prius hybrid car.

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