Celebrity Watch

Posted on 25 May 2006 at 8:03pm


Ash Christian


McKellen and Sarandon go to war

“The Colossus” may sound like the title of a forthcoming “X-Men” sequel, and given that veteran gay actor Ian McKellen is one of its stars and will appear in the forthcoming “Magneto,” that kind of confusion might be understandable.
But nothing could be further from the truth.

“The Colossus” currently in pre-production and also starring Susan Sarandon, Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz is, in fact, a period film set in South Africa circa 1899, at the beginning of the Boer War.

Based on the novel “Manly Pursuits” by Ann Haries, the plot revolves around an ailing British colonist who believes that only the sound of English songbirds will cure him. When the ornithologist who delivers 500 of the requested birds to Cape Town falls in love with a female anti-colonial activist, they find themselves in the middle of the dangerous, brewing war.

The film is scheduled to shoot this fall, McKellen’s “Magneto” schedule permitting.

Beals carries a “‘Grudge’
Jennifer Beals knows what awaits her character next season on the hit lesbian soap “The L Word” of course a romance with Marlee Matlin. But what lurks in the future of her movie career, which has been somewhat under the radar since her debut in “Flashdance”?

The actress will find out when she returns to the big screen in “The Grudge 2,” the sequel to “The Grudge,” the hit adaptation of the spooky Japanese film about a curse that afflicts its victims with unbridled, unforgiving rage.

In this installment, Beals shares the screen with Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred in the original film, and Amber Tamblyn from “Joan of Arcadia.”

Tamblyn plays Gellar’s sister, and together they team up with a band of people to unlock the mystery of the curse.

Look for the film to haunt multiplexes this October.

Can Etheridge “‘Bear’ it?
First, Elton John provided songs for “The Lion King.” Now another queer musical icon has been tapped to create songs for an animated Disney venture.

“Brother Bear 2,” a sequel to 2003′s $85 million-grossing feature, “Brother Bear,” will feature several compositions from rocker Melissa Etheridge.

After viewing a rough cut with her own children, the singer/songwriter filled in the silences with songs to fit the movie’s themes. Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas will once again provide voice talent, along with new voice-cast members Wanda Sykes, Patrick Dempsey, Mandy Moore, Andrea Martin and Catherine O’Hara.

The film will be released directly to DVD in late August finally, a movie that lesbian moms can enjoy just as much as their little ones.

A “‘Fat’ debut
A lot of people who don’t live in North Texas or don’t read the Voice have probably never heard of Ash Christian. But he plans to change that soon enough.

The 21-year-old gay actor, frustrated by the lack of roles he was getting in Hollywood (He’s appeared on “Six Feet Under” and “Cold Case”), decided to make his own film, casting himself in the starring role.

The semi-autobiographical “Fat Girls” about a socially awkward, chubby gay teenager and his best female friend, both struggling to survive small-town high school life recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival to positive reviews.

The Paris, Texas, native raised the money himself and shot the film in two-and-a-half weeks in early 2005, dipping into the well of gay indie talent for his co-stars: Jonathan Caouette, director of the acclaimed documentary “Tarnation,” and “Camp” star Robin De Jesus.

Look for the bittersweet comedy at a queer film festival near you this summer.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 26, 2006.

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