The 17th annual Camp Ronald McDonald For Good Times Halloween carnival gave celebs the chance to be charitable and enjoy a fun day out with their families. Before checking out the rides, food, and games of skill, most made a brief red carpet stop to chat with MNN.
Gilles Marini, the Dancing With the Stars runner-up now romancing Rachel Griffiths on Brothers & Sisters, drives a biodiesel Mercedes and, urged by his son Georges, recycles at home. “He’s been into recycling for about three years now,” noted Marini. Set to do at least four but possibly up to seven episodes of the ABC drama, he’ll also guest on Nip/Tuck on Nov. 18 and 25, playing “a very bad guy.”
Costume-clad Til Death star Joely Fisher (pictured right), her daughters (including newly adopted baby Olivia) in tow, is a hybrid driver who buys organic baby products and conserves electricity at home. “We have to keep the planet safe for future generations,” she said.
Mekhi Phifer attended with his wife and 2-year-old son Mekhi Jr., who benefits from their shopping choices -- his diapers, blankets and much of his clothing are made from organic fabric. “We recycle,” added Phifer, who’s relishing his role as Agent Ben Reynolds on Lie to Me. “I get to carry a gun and a badge, kick some a*s and take names, so I’m having a good time.”
Jenna Ushkowitz of Glee revealed her earth-saving methods: “Not running the water when I brush my teeth, not running the shower too long, and I’m a vegetarian,” she enumerated, sharing her excitement about an upcoming episode featuring the music of Madonna. “We have her whole catalog. We’re all going through her music and thinking about what songs we’d like to do.” Vogue, Ray of Light, and Like a Virgin are at the top of the group's wish list, and Ushkowitz would love to solo on Frozen. She’s also looking forward to getting a love interest, someone already introduced on the show. “You will see different sides of Tina,” she promised.
The emerald-colored dress she wore isn’t the only green thing about Judy Greer. “I recycle, I reuse shopping bags. I turn my lights off, I switched my bulbs to the compact fluorescent ones and I water my lawn two days a week,” said the vegetarian actress, who recently finished Love and Other Drugs with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, the movie version of the pooch comic strip Marmaduke (she plays the mom), and is about to film Henry’s Crime with Keanu Reeves. She’s also signed to voice a second season of the animated Nick at Nite series Glenn Martin DDS.
Aaron Carter (pictured right), wearing the sequined jacket Michael Jackson gave him, recycles at home and told us he recently bought a Prius for his grandfather, though a gas-driven Mercedes is in his own garage. Dancing With the Stars has been tiring him out. “It’s so difficult. There’s so much discipline required. But it’s changed me in a lot of ways. It’s helped me become more patient and mature,” he noted.
Two and a Half Men’s Angus T. Jones, not so much a half anymore -- he’s 16 and a high school sophomore now -- was one of several dozen teen stars on hand at the event. At home, his family recycles and composts, and grows their own tomatoes and peppers in their garden.
When she’s not helping struggling salons stay in business on her Bravo series Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Australian-born hairstylist Tabatha Coffey (pictured left) coifs clients at her Ridgewood, N.J., shop Industrie Hair Gurus, an eco-friendly enterprise. “All the products we use in the salon have not been tested on animals, which is a big thing for me, and they are very safe. We use green cleaning products and have air filters because of the fumes,” says Coffey, who intends to remodel the place with energy-saving lighting. And instead of throwing away the bags of snipped hair collected each day, she donates them to Matter of Trust, which makes great use of the absorbent material. “They use it to mop up oil spills and help save the ocean,” she explains.
At home, Coffey recycles and uses CFL bulbs and green cleaners, which are safer for her dog. “It’s important to do as much as I can. We need to give back to the environment,” she believes. First seen as a contestant on Shear Genius, the peripatetic Coffey (she flies every five weeks to guest-style at the Warren-Tricomi salon in Los Angeles) begins her second Takeover season Nov. 3, and will work with salons in L.A, New York, Miami and Chicago. “The stakes are a little bit higher especially in this economic state at the moment,” she says.
“The latest thing that I’m really into is trying to deal with this whole bottle situation. I’ve been getting these really cool glass bottles for water. I love drinking out of glass bottles,” says Connie Britton (pictured right) of Friday Night Lights, which returned for its fourth season on DirecTV’s Channel 101 this week (NBC will air it this summer). The series, set in a football-mad Texas town, will be dealing with the consequences of a rivalry creating division of the school district. Britton’s character Tami “will be principal of Dillon High and my husband [Kyle Chandler] will be coach at the other school. He’ll get some students and I’ll get some students. They’re bringing in a lot of new characters,” says Britton, who’ll also be seen in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake this spring.
“We’ve put in pumps to conserve water, we recycle, and my next car will be a hybrid vehicle,” says Scott Wolf, who plays ambitious news journalist Chad Decker in the remake of the ‘80s alien invasion series V, premiering Nov. 3 on ABC. “I grew up watching Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Lost in Space, so fantasy elements of storytelling have always intrigued me. But the thing that I was attracted to most about this telling was the character development. They found really interesting ways to show how a disparate group of people react to this universal event.”
Elizabeth Mitchell’s character (pictured left) is a composite that didn’t exist in the original V, “So I’ve been given a little bit of a gift in not having to follow in any footsteps,” said the actress, who lives in eco-friendly Seattle when not shooting the series in Vancouver. “My husband and I share one car, we ride our bikes, we recycle, I buy things fresh from the market, where I bring my own bags. It’s just what everybody does. It’s very easy to be green.” Even though she died on Lost last season, it doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Mitchell. She’ll reappear in the final season of the flashback-happy show, which returns to ABC in January.
Tune in: Power Paths explores Native American tribes’ use of sustainable power sources like solar and wind as a solution to the energy crisis, premiering on PBS’ Independent Lens Nov. 3.
Additional photo credits: Joely Fisher and Aaron Carter by Gerri Miller; Tabatha Coffey courtesy Bravo; Connie Britton by WENN; Elizabeth Mitchell by Bob D'Amico/ABC. MNN homepage photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images