“I just bought the ugliest car in the world, some sort of Mercedes station wagon that puts steam back into the air,” Cher told MNN about how she stays green at the 28th annual AFI Life Achievement Award Gala honoring the stellar career of director-producer Mike Nichols, which premieres on TV Land June 26. Accepting the award from Meryl Streep, Nichols quipped, "If I thanked all who contributed importantly over the years, we would be here till Miley Cyrus's AFI Award.”
Also on hand to pay tribute were A-listers Oprah Winfrey, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Julia Roberts, newlyweds Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Morgan Freeman, Candice Bergen, Natalie Portman, Steven Spielberg, Diane Sawyer (Mrs. Nichols) and last year’s winner Michael Douglas, who praised his friend’s “incredible sense of comic timing.”
“He knows where the laughs are,” agreed Eric Idle, who starred in Broadway’s "Spamalot" with Nichols. While he admitted to driving a gas-guzzling Cadillac but “only 10 miles a day,” Idle noted that his wife drives two hybrids and otherwise keeps him on the green path.
Another "Spamalot" vet, Tim Curry, recycles, monitors his water usage, and flies less often than he used to “Because I can’t afford to. That reduces my carbon footprint. I do what I can,” said Curry, who’ll recur in the fall premiere of "Criminal Minds" as the serial killer he played in the CBS drama’s cliffhanger season finale. An “insane fan” of the show, he worked every angle he could to get on it, though he admits to having nightmares and difficulty leaving the role at the set, “more than anything I’ve done and I’ve gone quite far into the dark before. There wasn’t a single redeeming feature in that character,” noted Curry, who has a possible pilot in the works for HBO.
“We have a garden and a compost heap. Everyone should have a compost heap,” said Helen Mirren, attending with husband Taylor Hackford (both pictured right), who directed her in the forthcoming "Love Ranch", out June 30. Actor George Segal tries to “be more conscious” about conservation. “I recycle, I turn the water off when I brush my teeth,” said Segal, who starred in Nichols’ "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and headlines the upcoming TV Land sitcom "Retired at 35" and plays Jake Gyllenhaal’s dad in the November release "Love & Other Drugs".
“I’m more aware than I used to be,” said Wallace Shawn, now voicing the neurotic dinosaur Rex in "Toy Story 3", about green living. “I do those things that people do,” recycling included, “but a lot more would have to be done to save the planet,” he acknowledged.