Celebrity Watch

Posted on 08 Mar 2007 at 8:04pm

Soap to air ground-breaking episode



Jeffrey Carlson

ABC’s popular daytime drama “All My Children” broke new ground in January with the introduction of a transgender character, Zoe (Jeffrey Carlson). On March 9, the series will mark another first when six transgender people appear on the show, sharing their personal stories in a rare unscripted format.

Jennifer Finley Boylan, a transgender advocate and author of the bestselling memoir “She’s Not There,” was cast as the leader of a support group attended by Zoe. “It’s really quite a risk they’re taking,” she said about the format of the taping, a first for “All My Children.” “They’re just going to turn on the cameras, and we’re all going to tell our stories, and it’s unscripted we don’t even know what is going to happen. It’s very exciting.”

Also appearing will be David Harrison, an actor and playwright who has performed a one-man show about his own transition experience, and Betty Crow

Happy birthday, Elton

MyNetworkTV failed to win America’s hearts with its English-language telenovelas even though some of us didn’t miss a single episode of the insane soap “Fashion House.”

But the struggling new network still wants to elbow its way into your TiVo.

The folks there are teaming up with legendary gay rocker Elton John, who is throwing himself a 60th birthday party concert at Madison Square Garden in March.

MyNetwork has signed an exclusive deal to broadcast the show titled “Happy Birthday, Elton” and featuring scads of interviews on April 5.

So put on your biggest pair of sunglasses, a jacket with lots of feathers and/or sequins, and some Donald Duck feet, and tune in to celebrate the Rocket Man’s day.

Chenoweth, Kurtz push “Daisies”

Kristin Chenoweth was the toast of Broadway in “Wicked,” but Hollywood hasn’t quite known what to do with her, sticking her with thankless wifey roles in generic comedies like “RV.”

So we were thrilled to hear that Chenoweth and Swoosie Kurtz (another marvelous actress underutilized in film and TV) have been cast in “Pushing Daisies,” the pilot we recently reported on from gay “Heroes” co-executive producer Bryan Fuller.

Fuller’s earlier creations “Dead Like Me” and “Wonderfalls” provided meaty roles for actresses of a certain age (think Cynthia Stevenson in the former and Diana Scarwid in the latter), so here’s hoping that this new show, starring Lee Pace (“Soldier’s Girl”) as a young man whose touch can revive the dead, will provide the talented Chenoweth and Kurtz with career boosts of their own.

Daniel Day-Lewis is out for “‘Blood’

Gay super-producer Scott Rudin (“The Hours,” “The Queen”) has always been very savvy about backing the best talent that the movies have to offer. His slate of upcoming productions includes new films from the likes of Alan Ball, Wes Anderson and Kimberly Peirce.

But most exciting to fans of “Magnolia” and “Boogie Nights,” Rudin is bringing director Paul Thomas Anderson back to the big screen with the upcoming “There Will Be Blood,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Based on Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!” “Blood” takes a sweeping (dare we say “Giant”?) look at the early days of the oil business through the eyes of one Texas family.

With a supporting cast that includes Paul Dano (“Little Miss Sunshine”), the epic promises to be one of the year’s most talked-about movies when it hits theaters this Thanksgiving.

“‘Aviator’ writer, Scorsese re-team

When gay screenwriter John Logan and legendary director Martin Scorsese teamed up to make “The Aviator,” they both snagged Oscar nominations.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that, hot on the heels of Scorsese’s Academy victory, the two are reuniting, this time for an adaptation of a children’s book.

“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” tells the story of a 12-year-old orphan who secretly lives inside the walls of a Paris train station in 1930 and sets out to solve a mystery that involves his father and a robot.

No shooting date has yet been announced for the film, but Logan is staying busy in the meantime as the writer for Tim Burton’s screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s bloody and brilliant musical “Sweeney Todd,” expected to be in theaters this Christmas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 09, 2007

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