Ecollywood: Odds and ends
Weekly celeb roundup: Carla Gugino, Aisha Tyler, Sam Witwer, Erica Durance, Martin Landau and Lily Tomlin.
Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 04:25 PM
Photo: ZUMA Press
Carla Gugino apologizes for the plastic water bottle she's holding in her hand after a press conference for her Showtime series "Californication." "Very rarely do I have these," she says, explaining that she (pictured above) has a water filter at home. She joined the series this season as Abby Rhodes, lawyer to the screwed-up central character played by David Duchovny. "She's a really unique individual. She's not generic in any way, and she has this sort of honesty, we see a harder side of her initially and than a softer side," says Gugino, who has several films due for release in 2011. She plays a pregnant porn star in "Electra Luxx," the sequel to "Women in Trouble" and the dual role of an insane asylum psychiatrist and a dominatrix/choreographer/brothel madam in "Sucker Punch," due out in March.
A government and environmental policy major at Dartmouth, Aisha Tyler remains an active supporter of environmental initiatives and organizations, including The Trust for Public Land's Parks for People project and the Dream Machine Initiative, which places recycling kiosks around the country and donates money to eco efforts for every bottle deposited. Tyler (pictured right) returns as the voice of secret agent Lana Kane in season two of the irreverent animated FX spy spoof "Archer," premiering Jan. 27. "I'm delighted when I read something in the script that's not OK to say out loud. I think you can be elegant and bawdy at the same time. The words are a blast to say whether they're dirty or not," she says.
"We were issued [reusable] water bottles on the set, and at home I recycle. We have a recycling program at the place that I live," says Sam Witwer, who stars in Syfy's "Being Human" as a well-preserved 235-year-old vampire who lives with his werewolf (Sam Huntington) and ghost (Meaghan Rath) pals. "You could take the supernatural stuff out of the show and it would still be compelling," notes Witwer (pictured left), pointing to the universal family, friend and dating relationship problems it tackles, albeit ones heightened by the characters' unique circumstances.
"I love the notion of somebody who's been alive for 200-plus years and is trying to get along in a world where he's entirely different and has 230 or -40 years of experience under his belt but looks 25. It raises a lot of interesting questions," says Witwer. "In flashbacks, we get to see him in different time periods, and eventually the character does get kind of funny. That's really fun because I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of humor."
A self-described "big sci-fi nerd," he's excited about a forthcoming film, "The Return of Joe Rich," in which he plays a "Star Wars"/"Star Trek" fan "who loses everything in the recession and decides to join the Mafia." He'll also appear with David Strathairn in "No God, No Master," about the anarchy bombings of the early 1900s "and deals with homeland security and freedom issues, so it's very topical."
When it comes to green living, "You get flooded with so much information, so I try to educate myself. I'll go and check out new things I can think about doing for the home or myself," says "Smallville's" Erica Durance, who makes sure to do "the basic, everyday stuff" like recycling, reusing items and putting her lunch in a Tupperware container.
"Smallville," which returns to The CW with new episodes Jan. 28, is in its final season, so Durance's days as Lois Lane are coming to a close. She (pictured right) says she'll miss her on-set family "and getting to play a character who gets to do pretty much everything from the wholesome to the bizarre. It's very difficult to find a role like that," she says, noting that she has her eye on souvenirs including some wardrobe pieces and her dressing room door's nameplate. She'll next be seen in "Sophie," a family flick about a little girl who tries to reclaim an elephant that was sent to a circus. "I play a character in the circus who changes her look all the time."
"I'm conscious. I try to save things. I recycle as much as I can. My blue bin fills up faster than the black bin," says Martin Landau, Hollywood veteran and Oscar winner (for "Ed Wood") whose TV resume ranges from "Playhouse 90" to "Space 1999," and more recently, "Without a Trace," "Entourage" and "The Simpsons." Landau (pictured left) is remembered by Boomers as master of disguise Rollin Hand in "Mission: Impossible," one of the series showcased in PBS' "Pioneers of Television: Crime Dramas," airing this week on PBS.
Unlike the subsequent "M:I" movies, "It wasn't an action adventure series. It was about the puzzles. The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there," says Landau, who had a hunch going into it that the series would be a success. He also had a hunch "Star Trek" would be a hit, but nevertheless turned down the part of Mr. Spock. "I didn't want to play a character without emotion," explains Landau, who also turned down the role in "The Poseidon Adventure" that went to Gene Hackman. "I don't want to be in the upside-down boat picture," he declined, but has no regrets about any decisions. "I'm working a lot more than Leonard Nimoy," he laughs, and indeed, at 82 he's not close to retirement. He has a several films in the can including a late-in-life love story with Ellen Burstyn called "Lovely, Still." "Some people say it's the best thing I've ever done," he says.
Prius owner, avid recycler and dedicated animal activist Lily Tomlin will appear at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California on Feb. 3, a benefit for Death Row Dogs Rescue founder Stephanie LaMotta (daughter of boxer Jake LaMotta), who needs life-saving surgery. It's an added show as the Jan. 27 date is sold out. Go to comedyandmagicclub.com for reservations. Tomlin (pictured right) is working on a TV pilot and will take part in PBS' tribute "The Best of Laugh-In," slated to air in March.
Tune in: On Jan. 30, Nat Geo Wild presents the three-hour, one-night event "Cameramen Who Dare," which follows wildlife filmmakers as they navigate harsh terrain on land and hazards in the air and under water to get award-winning shots of creatures including whales, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, hippos and bees.
Additional photos: gamerscoreblog/Flickr (Aisha Tyler); Jill Greenberg/Syfy (Sam Witwer); watchwithkristin/Flickr (Erica Durance); Wikimedia Commons (Martin Landau); greginhollywood/Flickr (Lily Tomlin)