Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so long, we split it in two. Read the other half, about a celebrity golf tournament we attended.

“All of the products in my house are eco-friendly,” says Grey’s Anatomy surgeon Kim Raver, who has a solar panel on her roof, and thinks her workplace could be greener. Lamenting the amount of waste on set, she does her part to reduce it. “Sandra Oh has shown me a lot. I have my own set of plates and ceramic mugs in my trailer now to help cut down on paper and plastic,” she says.

Grey’s’ seventh season premieres Sept. 23 and will bring a new love interest for Raver’s character Teddy, a doctor played by James Tupper (previously in scrubs in the short-lived Mercy). But first, she’ll be on the small screen Aug. 23 in the Lifetime movie Bond of Silence, a fact-based drama about a woman determined to uncover the truth surrounding her husband’s mysterious death. Greg Grunberg (Heroes) plays the detective on the case.


“I just moved into my own apartment so I'm recycling all by myself now,” declares Gabourey Sidibe (pictured right), the Oscar-nominated Precious star now appearing opposite Laura Linney in the Showtime series The Big C. Sidibe portrays the colorful, sassy Andrea, a student who Linney’s cancer-afflicted teacher character Cathy is determined to save from obesity as she sees her own life slipping away. “Andrea doesn’t suffer fools. She’s just everything I wanted to be at 17,” says Sidibe, comparing working with Linney to acting class. Choosing her next part post-Precious was less about film vs. TV or drama vs. comedy than “the work and how it makes me feel. It’s important to me that I do things that make me happy. I just thought it was a great fit.”

Being thrust into the world spotlight with her first role was “like being shot out of a cannon. It’s been an amazing year,” acknowledges the vivacious Sidibe, who insists that she’s “a normal girl” who hasn’t changed much, aside from worrying more about money and having a new perception of fame. “I used to read the blogs, every rumor. And now, having been part of rumors and knowing they’re not true and the whole world has got me wrong, I have more sympathy for the people I used to laugh at,” she admits. While she’s thrilled she got to host Saturday Night Live and play a mean girl in the upcoming indie drama Yelling to the Sky (“I don’t know what that says about me, but it’s so much fun to be a bully”), Sidibe maintains she “really can’t care less about being famous. I’m more about the work.”


Tune In: Five years after Hurricane Katrina, filmmaker Spike Lee (pictured left) revisits the scene of his previous HBO documentary When the Levees Broke for the four-hour doc If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, premiering Aug. 23 and 24 also on HBO. Originally set to focus on housing, education and crime problems in the struggling-to-recover region, plans changed in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill. “We were done shooting. So we had to rethink, reconfigure and make another seven trips down to New Orleans. The last hour is really just on BP,” says Lee.

National Geographic Channel commemorates the Katrina disaster’s anniversary with first-hand video accounts and survivor interviews in Witness: Katrina, premiering Aug. 23. And Planet Green’s Blue August continues with the special Sharkwater, a documentary exploring the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations premiering Aug. 21.

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Additional photo credit: Gabourey Sidibe by Jordin Althaus/Showtime; Spike Lee by AP Photo/Patrick Semansky.