Launching its fall season in eco-friendly style, Fox threw its sixth annual Eco-Casino Party at West Hollywood’s Boa steakhouse, an event that was green from its electronic invitations to the post-party recycled and composted trash. Celebs arrived in hybrid cars and feasted on a menu of organic dairy, meat and poultry, wild-caught fish, and locally grown produce, and the list of eco-elements included LED lighting powered by a biodiesel generator, biodegradable-material signage, and recycled-material casino chips and cocktail napkins. Sponsor Lincoln, which showcased its 2011 MKZ Hybrid sedan beside the red carpet, designated $25,000 to benefit three charities: The Nature Conservancy, Global Green and Habitat For Humanity, the split determined by guests’ choice and a spin of the money wheel.
“I’m glad that they’re trying to do this and make these parties green,” said Emily Deschanel, a Prius-driving longtime vegan who’s always taking new steps toward being greener herself. “I don’t have solar because I’m in a place I’ll only be in for a while, and I’m still trying to figure out how to do compost,” she said. Having spent her summer hiatus making “The Perfect Family,” playing Kathleen Turner’s pregnant lesbian daughter who has never come out to her mother, Deschanel is back on the “Bones” set, where the Jeffersonian crew has reunited after going their separate ways in last season’s finale. Booth (David Boreanaz) has returned from Afghanistan with a journalist girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick), “which brings a new dynamic,” said Deschanel. “There’s jealousy there, and it’s breaking Brennan’s heart a little bit.”
Deschanel’s co-star Tamara Taylor confessed she’s “not as green as Emily but I’m attempting” by trading plastic water bottles for a water service that delivers in glass jugs, which she uses to fill a thermos. “It’s better for your health and the planet,” she said. “Bones” returns with new episodes Sept. 23.
“I’m a green guy. I have a Lexus hybrid,” said Jon Voight, who plays a Texas oil mogul in “Lone Star,” premiering Sept. 20. “What I like about him is he can be dangerous, especially if he’s crossed in some way or any of his children are endangered. At any moment you don’t know what he’s going to do.”
In the series, newcomer James Wolk plays a con man who’s juggling two women and separate lives in Houston and Midland. “He’s calculated, at times manipulative and always on it. The great challenge with this role is finding a way to make him empathetic,” said Wolk, who also plays Kristen Bell’s brother, about to marry Bell’s high school nemesis, in the comedy “You Again,” due in theaters Sept 24. Wolk gives props to his “green monitor” cousin Julie for teaching him to be more eco-conscious. “I always turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth,” he said.
Eloise Mumford, who plays one of Wolk’s women, considers herself “super-green. I’m obsessed with recycling,” said the daughter of a seaweed scientist. “And on the set we all have “Lone Star” metal water bottles. It’s so important. The planet needs all the help it can get.” She’s relishing her big-break role in a buzzed-about show. “I love that Lindsay is this awesome mix of vulnerability, strength, and innocence,” she said. “She has moxie and intelligence.”
“I’m looking into buying some rain forest land in Costa Rica. You buy it and preserve it so they can’t build on it,” “Glee”’s Matthew Morrison told us. “I heard about it and thought that was something I could get behind.” “Glee” returns Sept. 21 with Will Schuester recruiting new members for the glee club, and the first few episodes focus on Britney Spears’ music, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” faith, and duets.
“I don’t think I’m going to get a gold star but I try to be as conscious as possible,” said Jessalyn Gilsig (pictured right with Morrison), who plays Will’s estranged wife, Terri. “I’m thinking about my consumption and wanting to use less — less paper, less paper towels. Less trash.” With the help of her daughter, she grows vegetables in her yard, “everything from seed. We just finished the corn. The pumpkins are coming in. She loves it. She says, ‘Mama, we don’t have to go to the store now.’”
Living in Vancouver, where waste is recycled and reusable water bottles are the norm on the “Fringe” set, “I don’t own a car at present, but the next car I buy will not be a gas-guzzler,” said John Noble. “These are small steps, but they’re no-brainers to me.” “Fringe,” which returns Sept. 23, “finished pretty big last year, which means we’ve got to take that big explosion and go further with it,” he said. “Now instead of having one universe we’ve got two and they’re both in danger of destruction. We’ll either die or find a way to live in harmony.”
If you spot a bright orange Mercedes on the road that smells like French fries, it’s Kelli Williams behind the wheel. “It runs on recycled vegetable oil,” said the “Lie to Me” star, who has dubbed the diesel vehicle La Señora. “I still have a gas-guzzler truck and I feel the need to balance it out.” She also bikes to the grocery store, eats less meat — “‘Food, Inc.’ has a lot to do with that” — and packs no-waste lunches for her kids, which means no plastic bags. “I use those Indian lunch tins that stack.”
Having just aired its season finale, “Lie to Me”will be on hiatus till Nov. 10, but Williams offered a hint of what to expect. “It’s a little edgier this year; we have a bunch of new writers who are writing a lot of character stuff. The science of the show doesn’t feel like it’s so science-y.” The conflict between her character Gillian Foster and Tim Roth’s Cal Lightman will escalate “at the beginning of the season and then we work through it. It’s like a marriage,” she said, “and like any marriage there are fights.”
“In our restaurants, green is front and center in everything we do, from local sourcing to sustainable local proteins to a biodiesel program. We’re recycling all of our bio grease to use in our trucks. Of course some ingredients still have to be imported but we try to promote the local concept as much as possible for produce and dairy,” said “MasterChef” judge Joe Bastianich (pictured left), who owns eateries in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and will soon expand to San Diego and Orange County. So impressed with the home cook contestants that he’s planning to hire “one or two of them,” Bastianich was admittedly surprised by their skills, particularly “when people brought Mom’s and Grandma’s recipes. That was when it really translated, when they brought the spirit of who they are, their family and their culture to the show.” The finale, which airs Sept. 15, “has a lot to offer,” he said. “It’s very cathartic, very emotional.”
“I’m turning my house solar. It’s not done yet; we’re in the middle of it,” “House”’s Lisa Edelstein, a vegetarian for 28 years, told us. In the Sept. 20 seventh season premiere of "House," Cuddy and the titular doc (Hugh Laurie) consummate their relationship and spend most of the episode in bed. It’s pretty racy for broadcast TV, “racier than you know, because they put in very convenient shadows,” said Edelstein, who didn’t find the new intimacy too weird. “We’ve kissed on the show before, and I really trust Hugh and feel comfortable with him. It is strange to be naked in front of the entire crew,” she admitted. The romantic dynamic, which won’t alter their working one, “is another part of House’s journey. The show doesn’t hinge on their relationship,” she said.
Peter Jacobson, “House”’s Dr. Taub, will deal with more marital drama this season, and a new colleague at the hospital: Amber Tamblyn is joining the cast as the latest target of House’s abuse. “It’s good to no longer be the newbie,” said Jacobson. His green practice? “I recycle and take public transportation when I’m in New York,” his home in the off season.
Additional photo credits: Matthew Morrison and Jessalyn Gilsig by Kristian Dowling/Fox; Joe Bastianich by Greg DeGuirre/Fox.