Ecollywood: Actress Joanne Kelly goes to the eco-extreme
Plus: The cast of the new 'Ice Age' film and ABC Family's '10 Things I Hate About You' go green.
Thu, Jul 02 2009 at 5:49 AM
COUNTRY GIRL: Actress Joanne Kelly, seen here promoting her new show, grew up on a farm. (Photo: Richie Buxo/Splash News)
Warehouse 13 is a new Syfy (formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel) series about a top-secret government repository for mysterious artifacts and supernatural souvenirs, but ecologically speaking, the most important objects on set in Toronto just might be the green water bottles. “We don’t do plastic water bottles on set,” says actress Joanne Kelly (pictured above), no newcomer to environmental awareness. “I’m from Newfoundland, a small town of 700 people in the middle of nowhere. I grew up on a farm,” she explains. “When you’re not from the city you have a direct relationship with the environment. My dad hunts. I’ve eaten moose and caribou for most of my life. My mom has a garden. We compost. That’s the way I was raised. That’s the way I grew up. So to come to a city where you’re so removed from everything, you try to do everything that you can. You recycle, you buy local and organic. You do everything that you can to support a local ecosystem.”
In Warehouse 13 premiering July 7 at 9 PM with a two-hour episode, Kelly and co-star Eddie McClintock play Secret Service agents who are transferred to the remote South Dakota facility.
She is relishing every aspect of her role as Myka, “a strong, self-assured woman who is tough as nails but there’s so much vulnerability underneath. I really enjoy the physicality. I get to run around with a gun, and I’m having a blast doing all those punches and kicks. I’m exhausted and my legs are bruised but the show allows me to be a kid again,” she says. “And I love conspiracy theories, so it’s easy for me to dig in.”
While the third installment of the animated Ice Age franchise doesn’t have the kind of melting glacier eco-theme as its Meltdown predecessor, Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ stars are nevertheless concerned about green matters. Queen Latifah and Ray Romano are both avid recyclers, Romano drives a hybrid, and John Leguizamo conserves water by limiting toilet flushing at home. He recites the familiar rhyme to his kids: “If It’s yellow let it mellow” -- and, um, you know the rest.
In the movie, Romano’s Manny and Latifah’s Ellie are expecting a baby mammoth, and Leguizamo’s Sid runs afoul of a mama T-Rex when he adopts a trio of her eggs, which leads to a rescue mission to an under-ice lost world. Acorn-obsessed Scrat gets a love interest, Simon Pegg voices a cheeky British weasel character Latifah describes as “Indiana Jones meets Captain Jack Sparrow,” and 3D glasses enhance the fun.
Next, Latifah will play a physical therapist who falls for a basketball star (played by rapper Common) in Just Wright, Romano will return to TV Dec. 8 in the TNT dramedy Men of a Certain Age with Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher, and Leguizamo has several movies coming up, including October’s The Ministers, in which he plays twin vigilantes. His summer tour John Leguizamo Live! launches July 10.
Ten years ago, 10 Things I Hate About You updated the plot of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and made a star of Heath Ledger. ABC Family’s television series version, premiering July 7 at 8 PM, might do the same for Ethan Peck, Gregory Peck’s grandson. “It’s the same ingredients, the same tensions and loves and hates, just in a different order, a different mixture,” compares Peck, who likens his Patrick Verona character to an “old-school bad boy like Marlon Brando. He sits to the side, crosses his arms, squints a lot, rides a motorcycle, doesn’t say much.”
His ‘shrew,’ Katerina ‘Kat’ Stratford, is “tough and independent and sort of has an outside view on things, always kind of looking in,” describes her portrayer, Lindsey Shaw. “When she meets Patrick, she recognizes such a kindred spirit in him that she loves to hate him and hates to love him.”
Both (pictured right) are pretty eco-conscious. “I’m hugely, hugely concerned about the environment,” declares Shaw. “I have recycled since I knew what recycling was. My mom brought me up with that, as in recycling pens when they’re done, putting paper clips in the can, everything. Our house is always such a mess because there’s so much recycling lying around. But I would say we generate one bag of trash every two weeks.”
Peck says he switches off lights, the computer and TV whenever he leaves a room, “and I turn off the shower if I don’t actually need the water. I drive stick shift so I can coast if I’m going down a big hill. I’m trying really hard to adjust to being as efficient as possible.”
As for his famous granddad, “inevitably he inspires me,” Peck acknowledges, though he doesn’t like to trade on his name. “I never advertise it,” he says, “but I cherish it and welcome any opportunity it brings me.”