In the days before the Golden Globe Awards, celebs made the rounds on the gifting suite circuit, snapping up freebies from a variety of vendors. A must-see stop was the GBK Gifting Lounge at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, where some of the products had a green element. These included bamboo and organic cotton women's loungewear and pajamas from Bamjamz, organic fragrance- and chemical-free skin care from Diane Lai, vegan chocolates from ChocAlive, trips to the Zamani Retreat Kempinski holistic resort in Tanzania, Africa, Nulo natural pet food, and organic baby tees and onesies from Booda Brand, which donates a book for a needy child through Room to Read for every item sold.
Other top items included Isotoner SmarTouch gloves that work with hand-held electronic devices, My Yoga Mat personalized yoga mats, watches from Rumba and Eleven Eleven, Menbur evening clutches, Essence gemstone and silver bracelets, Looxcie hands-free camcorders, Nanodots shapeable magnets, Ron White shoes. Psyclops iPod and iPhone cases, Farmstead cheeses, and Vanity Girl lighted makeup mirrors, a favorite of Cindy Crawford and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Visitors also got gift certificates to Beyond the Rack, the popular online luxury discounter.
"I recycle, I walk a lot of places, I try to use my car as little as possible. And every beach I go to, I pick up litter," says Mark Pellegrino of Syfy's "Being Human." Last seen as a Christ-like figure in "Lost," Pellegrino (pictured left) plays the vampire boss of Boston in the remake of a British series about a young werewolf, vampire and ghost who are struggling with the fact they can't lead normal lives. "Most vampire stories tend to be 'Twilight'-ish romances. This is a much more gritty story about human beings trying to grapple with problems that everyone deals with, it's just in the supernatural realm. There's definitely intense and dramatic themes to it, but they are sprinkled, very effectively, with humor throughout."
Pellegrino's character, father figure to the young vampire he "made" (Sam Witwer), is none too pleased that the bloodsucker has decided to go clean and stop killing humans. "That's not just a betrayal of vampirism, but it's a betrayal of our ethic, our code and our relationship," he explains. As for the continued appeal of vampires in pop culture, Pellegrino points to the intense romance, longing and danger that exists between humans and vampires. "That's dealt with in our show, too," he notes.
Linda Evans is best known as the glamorous Krystle Carrington in the '80s prime time soap "Dynasty," but boomers will remember her as the ingénue Audra Barkley in the western "The Big Valley," opposite Barbara Stanwyck. These days, Evans (pictured right) lives a quiet life at her 70-acre spread in Washington, where she has a greenhouse, fruit trees and an organic garden — but she's back in the TV spotlight via the PBS series "Pioneers of Television: Westerns," premiering Jan. 25.
"She taught me how to do stunts," Evans remembers Stanwyck. "She was an extraordinary mentor to me and really helped me understand what it was to be a professional." Evans also has fond memories of her "Dynasty" co-star John Forsythe and their on-screen love story, and the over-the-top outfits that made her a fashion icon. Today, she's not looking for work in Hollywood, "but I leave life open," she says; she's working on a cookbook/memoir called "Recipes For Life," and is looking forward to seeing the big screen version of "The Big Valley" starring Jessica Lange, Richard Dreyfuss, Sara Paxton as Audra and Lee Majors, who was in the original series. "I think it's beautiful that they're going to bring a western like that back to the public," she says.
"I recycle my paper and boxes," says Nicole Anderson ("Jonas"), who plays one of the popular queen bee types in the made-for-ABC Family movie sequel "Mean Girls 2," premiering Jan. 23. Similar in plot to the Lindsay Lohan original, it follows a new girl in school (Meaghan Martin) who befriends an outcast (Jennifer Stone) and runs afoul of the clothes-obsessed Plastics. "I wore a lot of ruffles, lace and bows. I felt like a Barbie doll," says Anderson (pictured left), who had fun filming in Atlanta (she's a Georgia native). "The movie has a lot of heart," she says.
Tune in: The four-part PBS "Nova" series "Making Stuff," premiering Jan. 19, focuses on cutting edge inventions and the scientists behind them. Hosted by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, the series begins with "Making Stuff Stronger," followed by "Smaller," "Smarter" and "Cleaner." Subjects include liquid batteries, artificial photosynthesis and novel uses for spider silk.
On Nat Geo Wild, "My Life is a Zoo" follows Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer as they care for 400 animals. In the Jan. 24 premiere, the couple prepares for the arrival of a hippopotamus and rescues cats from the home of a deceased animal hoarder.
PBS' "Nature" travels to the rain forests of New Guinea to feature the courtship rituals of Birds of Paradise in "Birds of the Gods," and the efforts of local researchers to protect them, airing Jan. 23.
Mark Pellegrino: Jill Greenberg/Syfy; Linda Evans: ZUMA Press; Nicole Anderson: Wikimedia Commons.