So, it was a Friday night and I'm asked by Extra to cover a set-visit at CBS's hit show "Two and a Half Men." I've had the pleasure of interviewing Charlie Sheen more than several times over the years, through some very tough times in his life, along with many of the high points.
I was told, however, that this night, Charlie would probably not be talking. My show decided to send me anyway, because of the relationship I've had with him. Honest. Integrous. Always warm and friendly. But never sugar-coated, on either side.
When I arrived at Stage 26 at Warner Bros. at around 8pm, I was greeted by the CBS publicity team, who, very nicely said: "Charlie will probably not be talking, but you'll get everyone else." No sooner had those words been uttered, when Charlie, who was about to tape his first scene of the night in front of a studio audience, locked eyes with me. He gave me a very friendly salute and a smile. I turned to my producer Lilli and said, "Ok, at least we've made eye contact... let's see what happens next."
So if you've ever wondered what a 'day in the life of' an entertainment reporter guy is REALLY like, read on... We have busy days and eventful days, but yesterday (Wed. April 16) was chock full of both 'busy' and 'eventful'.
7:30 AM: The day started by battling an hour and a half of LA traffic to get to the set of "Boston Legal" -- now, the show rarely shoots on-location, and this day their location was north of Los Angeles in horse country: the beautiful Ventura Farms -- a gorgeous location where (and the more mature will remember this show) "The Big Valley" was shot... the newbies will be interested in knowing it's where "Heroes" shoots alot. But, I digress...
9:00 AM Shooting on the set... There's an upcoming storyline between William Shatner's character and a horse farmer (played by Broadway star Christine Ebersol), and it was a cool opportunity to capture Shatner on horseback, and interview him -- and, trust me, he's always in rare form.
Due to popular demand, here's a slightly belated, but still fun-filled behind-the-scenes blog from my visit to the Vancouver set of Stargate Atlantis. For those who don't know the show, it's a wildly popular SciFi channel show produced by MGM up in Vancouver. The fans are rabid, and with good reason. The show is really good!
Fun, and funny -- good acting, writing and directing. I've had friends who tuned in for the first time to check out my episode "Harmony" -- and they tell me they've been hooked ever since. When I was asked to guest star, I held my breath because I wasn't sure if I was going to be asked to be an alien, or something freakish -- which, every actor will tell you -- it just doesn't matter, as long as your scene(s) remain. Well, I was asked to be a Genii warrior -- cool costume, great attitude, some lines --- AND I get zapped by a laser in the end... So much for a recurring role...
About the actors: Joe Flanigan, Jason Mamoa, David Hewlett, Jewel Staite, Amanda Tapping -- each and every one of them are gracious, and don't take any of what they do too seriously, yet are very serious about their roles and pleasing the fans. We had a ball, playing in what looked like an 'enchanted forest' outside of Vancouver... and then Jason, Jewel and Amanda took me on a killer tour of their interior sets on the sound stages... quite an elaborate set-up!
Just got in from a 5 day whirlwind trip to Chile. Extra was the only American television show invited on the top secret set of the newest James Bond thriller "Quantum of Solace" -- and what a trip it was.
Coming soon you'll see my video blog on the adventure it took just getting there, and what it's like travelling to a remote location for a TV show, and getting the story.
In the meantime, let it suffice that half a world away doesn't always mean exotic! The location for the film, however, was amazing. The Paranal Observatory in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth! Nothing lives, not a mosquito, not a blade of grass, and the scientists who have to live and work there do so in a very BOND-like Biosphere structure, which is why director Marc Forster chose this location. It will feature prominently in the end of the movie, as the lair of Dominic Greene, played by French actor Mathieu Amalric (Diving Bell and the Butterfly).
Fans of Bette Midler will not, I repeat, NOT be disappointed by her new Vegas show at Caeser's! I had a rare opportunity to see the VERY FIRST run-through performance Sunday night, and without giving anything away, it's sassy, salty, and sexy!! Miss M's still got it, and looks better than ever...
Get ready for the feathers and sequins to fly. Being that it was a dress rehearsal, there were still some glitches to work out, but honestly, only Bette knows how to make even those so entertaining. At one point, her top actually caught on fire -- crisis was averted, though. You just can't help but stand up and cheer for this consummate performer!
Every song you WANT her to sing, she does. She makes you ask "Celine, who?" -- considering she's technically taking over for Ms. Dion on the same Vegas theatre she inhabited for years.
After the show, I had a rare and very personal sit-down with the legend, where she got extraordinarily personal about her past (as one of the original bad girls of show biz) -- speaking of, she's got lots to say about Britney... and about Bette's own future after this Vegas run (will she retire???) -- get all the scoop straight from her lips on Wednesday's (Feb. 20) Extra.
OK, so finally an awards show happened in Hollywood, without fear of a picket line from the writers... and the feeling on the red carpet was jubilant -- seriously, everyone was in such a great mood... I love the SAG awards, in particular, because I'm a card-carrying member of the Screen Actor's Guild, and it's nice to share the evening with other actors...
When Brad and Angelina took to the carpet, though, the entire place stopped in its tracks. Poor Kyra Sedgewick was about to step onto the Extra platform, and had to wait -- so gracious of her -- while I tried to chase Angie and Brad down the red carpet... They had made up their mind they weren't talking to anyone... what with the persistent twin baby rumors, and all that... I got within a few feet of them and yelled out "Congratulations" -- which could have meant congrats for the SAG nomination, or congrats on the alleged pregnancy -- either way, Brad was nice enough to turn around and say "thank you" -- Angie, well, she just kept to herself... made time for the fans, and signed autographs for about 10 minutes (which is always classy) and then they were rushed inside.