Ecollywood: Celebrity golf tournament
We caught up with Ray Romano, Joe Mantegna, the male cast of 'Desperate Housewives', and many more to find out how they're going green.
Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 04:33 PM
ENTOURAGE: Kevin Dillon wants to convert his home to run on solar power. (Photos: Gerri Miller)
Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so long, we split it in two. Read the other half about Kim Raver, Gabourey Sidibe, and Spike Lee.
Ray Romano, Tim Allen, Scott Bakula, Kevin Dillon and other stars hit the links for a good cause at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Inaugural Golf Classic at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Calif., benefiting the Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund. MNN caught up with them before they teed up and found out that for most of them, green means more than a place to putt.
“I have a Ford Escape hybrid, a solar-powered pool,” said Dillon, a “big recycler” who plans to “go solar power with the whole house.” Though sad about the announced last season of "Entourage", he’s optimistic there will be a big-screen version, and said there’s even talk of turning the animated gorilla TV series concept pitched to his character Drama in the Aug. 15 episode into an actual series.
Bakula, who considers himself “very green,” has reclaimed wood in his home, recycles, composts, buys local goods, and is putting in a new garden. Now back in production on season two of "Men of a Certain Age", which returns to TNT in November, he relishes playing the carefree actor/car salesman Terry. “He’s so unlike me. He’s a Peter Pan with no responsibilities.” Co-star and producer Romano figured out a way to work his favorite sport into the show. “My character is going to try out for the Seniors Tour. He’s a lot better golfer than I am,” he laughed before offering a water-saving tip: “Shower with a friend.”
"Desperate Housewives" was represented by James Denton (pictured right), Doug Savant, Kevin Rahm and Mark Moses, who is back — and up to no good — as Paul Young this season, which premieres on ABC on Sept. 26. The Prius-driving Moses continues to appear on AMC’s "Mad Men" as ‘Duck’ Phillips, and Rahm will recur on both that show and "Housewives" as Lee, half of Wisteria Lane’s gay couple. “Every time I show up I have the best jokes,” says Rahm, a diligent recycler and new Prius owner.
Denton installed solar attic fans to cool his L.A. home, saving on both electricity and air conditioning use. While solar panels aren’t yet as affordable as he’d like, “we’re hoping to do it anyway and break even eventually.” He’s also planning to convert his Montana vacation home to wind power. “It’s in a very windy area and we might as well harness it.” Happy to see Moses and other familiar faces like Harriet Sansom Harris and Joy Lauren back on "Housewives", he’s also benefiting from his character Mike’s financial misfortunes. The Delfinos were forced to move to an apartment, which has its set on a quiet soundstage not subject to noise from airplanes and tourist trams that interrupts filming on Wisteria Lane. “Teri (Hatcher) and I love it. We work so fast. We’re in no hurry to get back to the house.”
Joe Mantegna drove to the tournament in a Gem electric car he’s had for six years. “I plug it in anywhere. Gets 35 miles on a charge,” noted the avid golfer, for whom the SAG Foundation event was “a no brainer, something I have a connection to. And they make money regardless of how bad I play.” Now back on the "Criminal Minds" set after a summer highlighted by promotional trips to Europe and hosting the annual Memorial Day concert in Washington, D.C., Mantegna is developing several films in addition to voicing Fat Tony on "The Simpsons" and doing a voice for the animated sequel "Cars 2". "Criminal Minds" returns to CBS on Sept. 22.
Mantegna’s good buddy Dan Lauria had more than golf on his mind — he was heading to Broadway to star in "Lombardi" as football coach Vince Lombardi, opening Sept 23. “I’ll be taking public transportation,” said the Brooklyn, N.Y., native, who has a small but pivotal role as the sheriff in "Water for Elephants", due out in April.
"Dexter"’s James Remar (pictured left) is also not driving as much these days. “I try to ride my bike rather than hop in the car just to go a couple of miles,” he said. In the Showtime drama, in which he plays the titular serial killer’s father, last season’s shocking finale “certainly set it up for a very difficult aftermath” this season, which premieres Sept. 26. Remar has several films in the can including "Killing Game" with Sam Jackson and "Red" with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman, due out Oct. 15.
New to "Dexter" this season but with lips zipped about his role, Peter Weller hadn’t watched the show until after he was cast. “It’s totally addicting. It’s who we all want to be inside. We want to kill that person, but we don’t.” As for his eco-priorities, “You don’t have to save the world. Just save what’s right in front of you,” which means recycling and not littering. Then write your congressman about the big issues.”
Eric Close ("Without a Trace") — who stars in the CBS midseason dramedy "Chaos" as the leader of a group of rogue spies — recycles, turns off unnecessary lights, and has installed efficient lawn sprinklers at home. “We’ve started to wonder about solar. I think there needs more work to be done to make it more cost-effective,” he said.
“We have drought-tolerant plants all around our house. My wife has been taking courses in native plants and drought irrigation at UCLA and Pierce College for years so we have a garden, we have compost. Our water bill has gone down. We try to keep our carbon footprint as light as possible,” said Bill Smitrovich, one of the golf tournament’s organizers, who’s eyeing the Chevy Volt as his next vehicle. Soon to be seen as the vice president in NBC’s conspiracy thriller "The Event", premiering Sept. 20, he’ll also appear opposite Johnny Depp (a major SAG Foundation donor) next year in "The Rum Diary" as “a land developer who comes to put up a parking lot in paradise.”
Self-described bad golfer Jobeth Williams, on hand as president of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, told us she traded bottled water for a filter and metal container when she realized how much plastic she was contributing to the landfill. Having just wrapped the comedy "The Big Year" with Steve Martin (she plays his wife), Jack Black and Owen Wilson, she’ll join the revolving cast of "Love, Loss and What I Wore" in October at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse.