‘Idol’ hottie used to be stripper hottie

"American Idol" contestant David Hernandez has apparently moved from one kind of stage to another and is now working out a different kind of talent.

Hernandez once entertained audiences by removing his clothes instead of singing tunes, according to the manager at a gay male strip club in Phoenix.

Hernandez, 24, once worked as a stripper at Dick’s Cabaret, appearing fully nude and performing lap dances for the club’s "mostly male" clientele, Gordy Bryan told the Associated Press on Monday, March 3.

Rumors of a stripper past along with photos of a scantily clad Hernandez working as a bartender at gay nightclub Burn were first posted last week on VoteForTheWorst.com, a site that encourages "Idol" viewers to vote for "the bad and truly entertaining contestants."

‘To Wong Fu’ star battling cancer

John Leguizamo, left, Wesley Snipes, center, and Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, who in 1995 teamed up with his fellow manly men Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo for the drag queen road movie "To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," is battling pancreatic cancer, according to a statement released this week by his representative, Annett Wolf.

Despite early rumors that the "Ghost" and "Dirty Dancing" star had only weeks to live, his doctor this week said he is "very optimistic" about Swayze’s prognosis.

"Patrick has a very limited amount of disease and he appears to be responding well to treatment thus far," Swayze’s physician Dr. George Fisher, said in a statement released by Wolf.

Swayze played the role of Miss Vida Boheme in "To Wong Fu," the story of a trio of female impersonators traveling in a 1967 Cadillac convertible from New York to Hollywood to compete in a drag queen beauty pageant.

Blunt tries on ‘Young Victoria’ crown
It worked for Elizabeth. Now it’s Queen Victoria’s turn to be young and sexy, in "Young Victoria."

And despite its somewhat on-the-nose title, the film could be another phenomenon waiting to happen, now that "Devil Wears Prada" scene-stealer Emily Blunt (she played Meryl Streep’s bitter assistant) has signed on.

Director Jean-Marc Vallee will take the helm of the film, which is being produced by Martin Scorsese and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson. The script will come from Oscar-nominated "Gosford Park" scribe Julian Fellows.

Selma Blair takes driving lessons
It used to be that queer audiences reacted with uniform outrage when a gay or lesbian character finally got his or her turn on TV or in a movie and wound up being yet another predatory serial killer or suicidal invert.

But those bad old days, it would appear, are long gone now that queer characters some good, some bad and some with more than a touch of the old-school on their mind pop up with regularity.

Which brings us to Selma Blair. She’ll next play a predatory lesbian teacher with a taste for an underage student in "Driving Lessons," a dark comedy that co-stars Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney and "Pushing Daisies" star Chi McBride.

The film is currently in production with no release date set.

Dano, Deschanel get ‘Gigantic’
It seems that the title "Gigantic" might be the only thing grand scale about the new film set to star Paul Dano from "There Will Be Blood" (he was also the mute teen son in "Little Miss Sunshine") and Zooey Deschanel ("Elf").

It’s the debut feature from writer-director Matt Aselton, and the plot whispers "tiny quirky indie" it’s about a mattress salesman who falls in love with a co-worker. In fact, apart from its rising-star cast, the biggest name attached to this project is Christine Vachon, lesbian super-producer.

Shooting begins this month, with a release date no doubt set to coincide with a gigantic, king-size blow-out sale at a bedding retailer near you.

Robert Gant makes a ‘Special Delivery’
Robert Gant’s TV resume keeps growing.

His latest project is a made-for-TV movie called "Special Delivery," in which he plays the chaperone for a bratty, uncooperative teenager on an international flight.

Meanwhile, the character’s hopes for a soft landing on American soil are dashed, as it turns out he and the kid are walking into a trap.

Lisa Edelstein ("House, M.D.") and Brenda Song ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody") co-star. The film is currently in the pre-production stage, so there’s no scheduled air date yet.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 7, 2008
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