De Rossi gets rare gay role in “‘Nip/Tuck’
With straight actors winning Oscars and critical acclaim for taking on gay roles, it’s harder these days for gay and lesbian performers to get those plum queer parts.
But thankfully, the hetero glory-hogs haven’t scarfed up all the good stuff. Portia de Rossi, who’s been happily and openly involved with Ellen DeGeneres for several years now, has just signed on for her first lesbian role, in the upcoming season of the frequently gay-inclusive “Nip/Tuck.”
De Rossi will have recurring appearances as the manipulative mom of a teen girl who wants to get plastic surgery. Fans of de Rossi who have missed her glamorous presence since the cancellation of “Arrested Development” can look forward to catching her on the upcoming fifth season of “Nip/Tuck.”
Mapplethorpe’s photography continues to make waves
Robert Mapplethorpe passed away from AIDS complications in 1987, but his landmark photography much of it explicit in its homoeroticism continues to make waves in the art world two decades later.
A new documentary, “Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff & Robert Mapplethorpe,” examines the artist’s life and career, as well as his relationship with art collector Wagstaff, who was Mapplethorpe’s lover and who helped to establish a market for photography as fine art.
Director James Crump features not only those iconic Mapplethorpe photographs but also interviews with the photographer’s close friends, rock icon Patti Smith and writer Dominick Dunne.
“Black White + Gray” will be released both theatrically (via Arthouse Films) and on cable (Sundance Channel) sometime before the end of this year.
Takashi Mike directs first gay film, “‘Big Bang Love’
Fans of contemporary Japanese cinema know prolific filmmaker Takashi Miike principally as the director of terrifying horror flicks and hard-bitten gangster epics.
But he enjoys defying his fans’ expectations for example, when he decided to make the bizarre musical “The Happiness of the Katakuris.” Now he’s going even further afield with his first gay movie, “Big Bang Love, Juvenile A.” Based on a popular graphic novel, the film centers around two beautiful young men who meet in jail while serving time for unrelated murders. In telling their love story.
Miike takes a decidedly nonlinear approach that involves everything from dance to anim?. No word yet on a U.S. theatrical release for “Big Bang Love,” but it’s going to be screening at gay and lesbian film festivals nationwide throughout the rest of the year.
Paramount takes “‘Dreamgirls’ to United Arab Emirates
Paramount recently announced a deal to build a $2.5 billion theme park in the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
Part of the studio’s deal will be to allow branding opportunities for rides and attractions based on Paramount intellectual properties like “Top Gun,” “Grease,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Titanic,” “The Godfather” and … “Dreamgirls.” Now, “Top Gun”, “Titanic”, and “Grease” are plenty gay(ish).
But “Dreamgirls” sets the mind reeling “Beyonce’s Bumper Cars”? “Effie’s Dessert Pavilion”? No opening date has been set, but how ironic will it be that a country where homosexuality is illegal may wind up hosting one of the world’s gayest theme-park attractions?
Washington says racism was a factor in his firing
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Isaiah Washington said racism was a factor in his firing from the hit ABC series after he twice used an anti-gay slur.
Washington, who initially used the epithet during an onset clash with a co-star, told Newsweek magazine that “someone heard the booming voice of a black man and got really scared and that was the beginning of the end for me.”
He tried to make amends by expressing remorse and volunteering to enter a counseling program to understand how the confrontation got out of hand, he told Newsweek.
“My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network and all of my cast mates across the board. My mistake was believing I could correct a wrong with honesty and sincerity,” he said in the interview posted online Thursday.
“My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong on all fronts,” he said.
His unwillingness to act like a submissive black at work was part of the problem, Washington said.
“Well, it didn’t help me on the set that I was a black man who wasn’t a mush-mouth Negro walking around with his head in his hands all the time.
“I didn’t speak like I’d just left the plantation and that can be a problem for people sometime,” he said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 6, 2007.