Ecollywood: Odds and ends
How are celebs greening this holiday season? Matt LeBlanc, Viola Davis, Michael Ealy and more weigh in. Plus: A 'Twin Peaks' parody.
Wed, Dec 01, 2010 at 03:16 PM
HOW YOU DOIN': Catch Matt LeBlanc in Showtime's 'Episodes.' (Photo: Colin Hutton/Showtime)
What are celebs doing to be green this holiday season? "I'm going to walk to Boston," joked Matt LeBlanc, who'll visit his mom back east. Otherwise, "I'll recycle all the beer cans," he vowed. Starting the revelry a few weeks early at Showtime's holiday party on Nov. 30, LeBlanc was excited about his Showtime series "Episodes," in which he plays a fictionalized version of himself (Jan. 9). "It's really funny, smart and sharp. There have been other shows about the making of a show before, but this is an interesting, fun twist on it," he said.
Viola Davis is decorating her house with eco-friendly lights this year. "They save a lot of energy and they don't burn out," noted her husband Julius Tennon, a dedicated recycler who always brings their cans and bottles to the recycling center. Davis (pictured right) just finished shooting "The Help," playing the role of Aibileen in the movie based on the best-selling book, due in August 2011.
Michael Ealy (pictured left) will be saving energy this Christmas. "I'm not lighting a tree or any lights. I'm not gonna be around. I'm going to North Carolina to see my parents," he explained. Currently recurring as Derrick Bond on "The Good Wife" and about to shoot the pilot for a USA buddy cop show, he'll play Natascha McElhone's love interest on the fourth season of Showtime's "Californication," premiering Jan. 9. He'll be in five episodes, starting with the third. Given the sexually charged nature of the show, Ealy was quite relieved that he didn't have to get naked, considering he'd packed on over 30 pounds for his role in "For Colored Girls." He'd gained the weight by abandoning portion control, eating pasta and bread late at night and lifting weights to bulk up but doing no fat-burning cardio. He hated how he looked and felt, "but when I got on set it felt appropriate for the character." It took almost three months to take it off with running, diet and workouts six days a week. "It was hard, but whatever a role requires I will do," said Ealy, who'll also star in the independent film "Firebird," "a story of redemption," as "a guy who's turned his life around."
"I don't own a car. My last lease expired a couple years ago and I just figured, not getting a car will challenge me to (a) spend more time in New York, and (b) only drive when it's absolutely necessary since it's so awful for our atmosphere," says James Roday (pictured right), who does a lot of walking — and picking up litter while he's doing it. "If everybody just picked up at least two pieces a litter a day, that alone would make such a difference in our world," believes the "Psych" star, noting that the USA series' Vancouver set is similarly eco-minded. "About three years ago we stopped with bottled water of any kind. Everybody got a little canteen as a crew gift. And this season we started using double-sided sides," which saves on printing.
Roday co-wrote the Dec. 1 episode, "Dual Spires," which pays homage to the short-lived cult favorite series "Twin Peaks" by reuniting many of its cast members including Sherilyn Fenn, Dana Ashbrook, Ray Wise, Robyn Lively, Catherine Coulson, Lenny von Dohlen and Sheryl Lee (corpse Laura Palmer). A rabid "Peaks" freak, Roday calls the episode, which was four years in the making, a "love letter" that will give "diehard 'Twin Peaks' fans about 48 minutes of pure bliss," and uninitiated regular "Psych" viewers an introduction to a show they'll want to seek out.
"It was the most transcendent experience that I have had and that I suspect I will have on this show," raves Roday, and guest star Lee concurs, calling it "a gift" to be able to work with her old castmates again 20 years later. Like Roday, Lee is passionate about environmental concerns, diligently recycles and buys organic food and cosmetics, and regularly signs online petitions, "for the World Wildlife Fund or any organization that's working for the planet. Every day you can take five minutes, ten minutes and just sign petitions to stop the toxins, stop the pollutions, help the endangered species; it's a huge thing for me," says the actress, who'll appear with Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the crime thriller "The Fields" in July.
For Roday, the fun of playing pseudo-psychic Shawn Spencer is his ability to" jump first and ask questions later" and the lighthearted nature of the procedural that allows for wacky themes and plots. "As long as we solve a case every week, we can do stuff like a tribute to 'Twin Peaks,' an entire episode dedicated to John Hughes, a musical — I think that will happen next season," he says, noting that episodes about baseball and vampires are also in the works for season six. Ralph Macchio — "in a funny episode that was sort of ripping on 'Police Academy,'" Mena Suvari and Ally Sheedy — guest in the remaining episodes this season, which include a Christmas episode Roday likens to "'It's a Wonderful Life' on acid. Shawn gets a glimpse into what everyone's lives would be like if he had never come back to Santa Barbara."
Tune in: Nat Geo Wild launches Big Cat Week Dec. 6 with "Big Cat Odyssey," chronicling filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert's three-decade mission to document the behavior of lions, leopards and other predatory felines in Botswana. Not a cat person? Nat Geo Wild showcases the long-distance migratory habits of wildebeests, crabs and bats in "Restless Planet: Epic Journey," premiering Dec. 1.
The documentary "Colony" follows several beekeepers coping with economic downturn and colony collapse disorder, premiering Dec. 4 on Planet Green, which will also present "The Fabulous Beekman Boys Holiday Special" on Dec. 8. City boys-turned-farmers Josh and Brent (pictured right) share their favorite holiday traditions, look back at first season highlights, and give viewers a sneak preview of scenes from the series' second season. Visit http://www.meetup.com/beekmanboys/ to find locations for viewing parties for the special.
Additional photos: Viola Davis, Michael Ealy by ZUMA Press, Beekman Boys by Planet Green