Ecollywood: Steve Buscemi on the Gulf and 'Boardwalk Empire'
Plus: Notes from Keri Russell, Chris O'Donnell, and many more celebs in this week's column.
Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 11:50 AM
PROHIBITION ERA: Steve Buscemi in a scene from HBO's "Boardwalk Empire". (Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO)
Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so jam-packed with celebs, we opted to split it into three. Read the other two sections:
“What happened in the Gulf is just horrible. If we didn’t learn in the ‘70s, we should certainly learn now that we cannot depend on oil and that we have to find alternative means. I hope people will really start to pay attention now,” says Steve Buscemi, who stars in HBO’s new Prohibition-era drama "Boardwalk Empire", premiering Sept. 19.
Loosely based on a real 1920s Atlantic City corrupt politician, Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson is the focal point in an ensemble and gives the veteran supporting actor a plum leading role, “one of the best parts I’ve ever had in my life,” he raves. “He’s ambitious, certainly has a dark side, but there’s a lot of humor that goes along with it. I think he genuinely has a good heart and wants to share the wealth and help people.”
As the rather dapper dresser Thompson, “it’s certainly the best I think I’ve ever looked, not only in film or TV but in life,” says Buscemi, who required a dresser to get into costume. “It’s a lot of work to look that good,” he laughs.
Keri Russell (pictured right) confesses that she’s not as green as the environmental crusader she plays on the new Fox comedy "Running Wilde", “but I do have a vegetable garden, and shop the farmer’s market. We can walk there,” says the former "Felicity" star, who wasn’t looking for a series gig but changed her mind based on the script and the East Coast location. (They shoot in Port Washington, N.Y., much closer to her Brooklyn home than Vancouver, where the pilot was shot.)
“She’s very idealistic but I like her best when she’s frazzled,” says Russell of her character Emmy, who butts heads with her rich-guy childhood sweetheart (Will Arnett), now a planet-depleting industrialist. She vows to change him and the world, but the latter might be easier. "Running Wilde" premieres Sept. 21.
“I don’t understand why people in Los Angeles wash their cars so much. It’s an enormous waste of water. Nobody cares! Meanwhile there are all these restrictions on watering your lawn. I think if you have to choose, let’s grow our plants and stop washing our cars,” says Pauley Perrette, whose own lawn is hardy, drought-resistant ground cover, not grass. “It doesn’t need cutting and you don’t have to water it all the time,” says the "NCIS" lab tech, promising “some big stuff coming up for Abby” this season. Premiering Sept. 21 on CBS, the first episode “comes out with such a bang and then it keeps going. We’ll wrap up a few things and then start a whole bunch of new things.”
Chris O’Donnell (pictured left), whose series "NCIS: Los Angeles" has its season premiere the same night following "NCIS", has even fewer details to share. “They never tell me what’s going on in the future, and I kind of like the element of surprise,” he says, though he’s relishing his role as G. Callan. “He’s a real loner and had to grow up on his own in different houses and families. It’s made him very resourceful. His work is his life, and his friendships are his family.” The real life father of five says his offspring are learning about recycling and other green habits at school. “The kids are educating us about it,” he says.
Arguably best known from "The Sopranos", Michael Imperioli (pictured right) returns to the opposite side of the law in the gritty ABC cop drama "Detroit 1-8-7" as a detective who is “really good at his job. He’s got the highest closure rate in the unit. And he’s got some dark stuff in his past.” Having relocated to Detroit for the duration of shooting, the New York native says he cuts down on waste by donating leftover food to the homeless. “That’s something my family is really into,” says Imperioli, who has several films coming up including "The Hungry Ghosts", which he wrote and directed, and "Foreclosure", an independent horror movie in which he plays a broken-down financial consultant who becomes demonically possessed.
Add "Rules of Engagement" to the many TV production sets that have banned plastic water bottles, “We all have our own bottles. We’re definitely making a conscious effort,” says Oliver Hudson (pictured left), whose sitcom returns to CBS on Sept. 20. An avid golfer, he buys eco-friendly Dixon golf balls and at home, “We’ve installed eco-friendly lighting, we’re conscious about our water use.” He’s relished the last four years as the dim-witted Adam, “only because it’s something I’d never done before,” he says. “It’s fun to be the butt of the joke.”
Mark McGrath (pictured right) recently became the father of twins, and as a result has become more eco-conscious. “When you become a dad all the clichés start becoming real. Everyone’s making efforts to save the planet, and now I get it. I want to protect them, and if I can be more conscious about the environment I think the world will be a better place,” says the Sugar Ray frontman turned game show emcee, now hosting the daily version of "Don’t Forget the Lyrics" for VH1 and MyNetworkTV, premiering Sept. 20. “We’ve always done the organic deal, separated the trash, turned off the lights,” he continues. “We have the water-saving showerheads, the CFL light bulbs. It’s a lifestyle now.”
No stranger to music contests, McGrath was a guest judge on "American Idol" and a three-time champ on "Rock & Roll Jeopardy!" “I certainly have the energy and enthusiasm and a passion for music. I consider myself a fan first,” says McGrath of why he’s suited to the job, “though I have to contain myself from blurting out the answer.” Still singing with Sugar Ray, he says, “We do about 40 gigs a year, a lot of casinos and fairs. If you smell funnel cake, Sugar Ray is playing.”
Additional photo credits:
Keri Russell by Brian Brown Smith/Fox
Chris O'Donnell by Joseph Cultice/CBS
Michael Imperioli by Donna Svennevik/ABC
Oliver Hudson by ZUMA Press
Mark McGrath by Rob Rosen/Splash News