Ecollywood: Our weekly celebrity roundup
Kathy Griffin tells us about her eco-home remodel. Plus: A star of 'Drop Dead Diva' and two real divas tell us how they're greening their lives.
Wed, Jun 09, 2010 at 12:07 PM
FUNNY LADY: Kathy Griffin tells MNN about her green remodel. (Photo: Mike Ruiz)
“I just did a remodel that was green instead of selling my house,” says Kathy Griffin, whose decorator was "The Insider" host Lara Spencer. “She did my entire house from garage sales and estate sales — the ultimate reusable. She had stuff reupholstered,” reports Griffin, adding, “Solar is next.”
The Emmy-winning comedienne returns to Bravo for season six of her reality show "My Life on the D-List" on June 15 in which Liza Minnelli gives Griffin acting advice to prepare for her March appearance on "Law & Order: SVU". A repeat of her latest standup special, "Kathy Griffin Does the Bible Belt", in which she skewers the likes of Oprah, Sharon Stone and Sarah Palin, precedes the premiere. “I make fun of everyone. Nobody gets a free pass,” says Griffin, who also voices a witch in "Shrek Forever After". “It’s all fair game.”
Like many Hollywood productions, Lifetime’s Sunday series "Drop Dead Diva" — which actually shoots in Atlanta a few miles from MNN headquarters — has instituted green practices. “On the set, there are no plastic water bottles. It's such a waste to throw them away. So everyone has a reusable bottle and refills it with water out of coolers. We also go through a lot of paper, so we recycle our old scripts,” says April Bowlby (pictured right), who plays the BFF and roommate of Jane (Brooke Elliott), a model reincarnated as a plus-size L.A. lawyer. She’s similarly conscientious at home. “I have a water filter and use tap water instead of bottled water. I turn off the air conditioning while I am not at home. Overall, I try to reuse instead of use. When I leave my home for significant amounts of time, I unplug any unnecessary electrical outlets,” she says. “It saves energy.”
After hitting big with couture and cooking competitions, Bravo takes on the art world with "Work of Art" on June 9, hosted by London-born model-actress China Chow (pictured right), who now lives green in L.A. “I recycle like a crazy person. I even cut my name off envelopes and recycle them,” she says, noting that she carries foldable reusable bags with her to the supermarket. “My car is 10 years old, and when it dies I will get a Prius. But I think the biggest mistake we make is getting a new car every three years. It’s a big waste.”
No artist herself, “I’ve taken art classes and all that stuff but I’m not very good,” she admits, Chow does know what she likes: modern art. “I’ve got a Basquiat, I’ve got a few Warhols. I’ve got Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg. I’ve got two different interpretations of the Mona Lisa by Clive Barker. I think those might be my favorites.”
As a jet-setting fashion photographer, Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri (pictured right) is aware that her carbon footprint “is pretty terrible,” so she tries her best to counteract that. “I support a lot of charities that are involved in reforestation. And it’s really important for me to avoid fur and chemical contaminants,” says the Indian-born former model, who along with photographer Markus Klinko, her former boyfriend, is the subject of Bravo’s reality series "Double Exposure". While celebrity subjects (like musician Eve in the premiere) generate some of the drama, most of it comes from the two squabbling stars.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we’re not afraid to push the buttons that we need to, to get the results that we want,” Pal-Chaudhuri notes. “We are also able to come from a place of great respect for each other so we can speak very honestly, which is essential as artists, to put it all out there and not hold anything back.” The fireworks begin June 15.
Tune in: Turner Classic Movies commemorates the 100th anniversary of Jacques Cousteau’s birth with an all-day marathon dedicated to the famed oceanographer and conservationist on June 11. Programs include "Sharks", "Whales", "Mysteries of Hidden Reefs", "Sound of Dolphins", "Flight of the Penguins", episodes of the TV series "Cousteau Odyssey", and "Cousteau: The First 75 Years", hosted by Cousteau’s son, Jean-Michel.