Ecollywood: Our weekly celebrity column
The cast of 'Drop Dead Diva' reveals their eco-habits. Plus: News from Ted Danson, Morgan Freeman and much more.
Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 11:13 AM
GREEN CREW: The cast of "Drop Dead Diva". (Photo: Lifetime)
Actress Brooke Elliott cops to a water-conserving habit that many of us share but might not admit. “I only flush if it’s number two. Otherwise I let it go a couple times,” says the star of Lifetime’s "Drop Dead Diva". It’s only one of Elliott’s eco-efforts — she drives a Prius, recycles, and uses a Brita water filter and BPA-free bottles. On the series, which has its two-hour season finale Aug. 29. Elliott plays a model who died in a car accident and winds up in the more substantial body of lawyer Jane Bingum, still in love with the colleague who was engaged to her former self. “She realizes he has to love her for the way she is now,” says Elliott.
She’s mum on whether that will be resolved in the season finale, which features Natasha Henstridge as the firm’s former partner, a rumored return by “Judge” Paula Abdul, and a cliffhanger: “There is an accident. We’re scared for the life of one of the characters,” hints Ben Feldman, who plays Jane’s guardian angel, Fred. About to buy a hybrid car, he’s conscientious about recycling, conserving water, and using energy-saving light bulbs. “I have a big garden,” he adds. “We grow tomatoes, avocados, lemons and grapefruit.”
Co-stars Josh Stamberg and Kate Levering are already hybrid drivers, with a Prius and a Lexus respectively. “We’re crazy about recycling, and we do a lot of volunteering for organizations like Feeding America and the NRDC,” says Stamberg. “I’m excited to be home for a minute,” adds the father of a 2-year-old, who’ll enjoy off time until the series resumes shooting in Atlanta early next year. Elliott hopes to vacation “somewhere tropical and beach-y,” then book a role in an animated film or a costume drama, since the five-month shooting schedule of "Diva" allows for other projects. “Before it gets to the point where we want to kill each other, we go back home,” laughs Levering, who portrays a grieving mother in "Like Dandelion Dust", due out Sept. 24. “I look really bad, which was actually really refreshing,” she notes. “I didn’t have to be in hair and makeup for two hours every morning.”
Margaret Cho, who plays secretary Teri Lee on "Diva", is launching a tour in support of her latest comedy and music CD "Cho Dependent" on Aug. 26, and will donate part of the proceeds to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Mississippi, which is helping to rescue and rehabilitate animals affected by the Gulf oil spill. The tour runs through Dec. 12.
“My thing is recycling. I recycle everything. Not only do I take stuff out of my closet and give it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army but I buy things from Goodwill and the Salvation Army just for the sake of recycling,” says Roshumba Williams (pictured right), the supermodel-turned-new-judge on the L.A.-set third season of "She’s Got the Look", TV Land’s modeling competition for women over 35, premiering Aug 25. Having guest appeared during the first season, teaching contestants how to walk the runway, Williams is bringing insider perspective to the job she had one fear about taking. “I did not want to judge and criticize other women,” she explains. “That was the hardest part. But I was glad I was there. There’s something about helping a woman rediscover herself and build her self-esteem.”
Ric O’Barry’s efforts to expose the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji Japan, documented in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove", continue in "Blood Dolphins", a new Animal Planet series premiering Aug. 27. “You could say 'The Cove' was the pilot for 'Blood Dolphins',” says the one-time "Flipper" trainer, whose son Lincoln produces and directs the series. While both log a lot of energy-burning air miles traveling the world on their conservation mission, Ric vows to buy an electric car and put solar panels on his home in Denmark. “When I saw what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, I decided I’m not buying gasoline anymore,” he says. Catch the premiere of "The Cove" on Animal Planet Aug. 29 and Planet Green on Aug. 30, and read more about "Blood Dolphins" here.
If you somehow missed "Avatar" in theaters or just want to catch it again on the big screen, James Cameron’s #1 blockbuster will be released to theaters with an extra nine minutes of footage, including Tsu’tey’s death scene, on Aug. 27.
Ted Danson (pictured left) and Morgan Freeman were in Gulfport, Miss., this week to join Oceana and Nautica to announce findings of a two-month research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, scientific studies on which have shown that nearly 80 percent of the estimated 200 million gallons of oil unleashed into the Gulf by the BP oil disaster is still present, and that oil has been found on the ocean floor. “This new information reinforces our concern for marine life in the Gulf,” said Dr. Michael Hirshfield, the scientist in charge of the expedition. “While it is good news that no new oil is gushing from the well, seafloor habitats and fish remain vulnerable to the oil that is already in the water.” Research will continue aboard the Oceana Latitude to analyze the magnitude of the spill and its effect on marine species and habitats via underwater photography, deepwater remotely operated vehicles with mapping sensors, and tagging sharks to study their migration patterns.
Tune In: "No Impact Man", the documentary chronicling New Yorker Colin Beavan’s efforts to eliminate his carbon footprint, will have its TV premiere on Planet Green Aug. 28. David Hasselhoff hosts "The Gulf is Back", a special airing Aug. 27 on the CW highlighting the resiliency of the people living in the states affected by the Gulf oil spill and featuring performances by Ricky Skaggs, Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks, Lonestar and Brian McKnight. CBS commemorates the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by devoting programming to it on Aug. 27 and throughout the weekend, broadcasting "The Early Show" and "The CBS Evening News" from New Orleans.
Additional photo credits: Roshumba Williams courtesy of TV Land; Ted Danson by Gerri Miller.