Alanis Morissette, Jack Black and More
Alanis Morissette, who is currently appearing on "Weeds" as Mary-Louise Parker's obstetrician, tells us she's excited about doing more acting — but music isn't far from her mind.
However, things will be different now that she's no longer attached to her label Maverick/Warner Bros. "There were certain contractual things that were required in order to keep our relationship going that weren't able to be met," says Morissette of the split. "The parting was as amicable as it could possibly be and as undramatic as possible, which I always like because I've had my share of dramatic things," notes the singer whose ex-fiance Ryan Reynolds married Scarlett Johansson last year. "I've been signed to a label since I was 14 years old so I feel very free and very inspired. This is probably my favorite place I've ever been. My whole theme of life right now is what artistically or otherwise will come from the context of feeling free."
She adds, "I really love this new climate in the music industry that is almost unrecognizable to what it was five or 10 years ago. But I want to take a step away from it for a hot minute until I'm dying to come back. Right now acting is my current love affair. I will always be in music. I'll do music until I'm 108."
As for "Weeds," she says, "I feel really blessed and honored because I'm such a huge fan of the show. It's totally out of my wheelhouse in a lot of ways, but at the same time, I do have experience being on set," she notes. That didn't keep her from getting nervous. "I'm always nervous, but it never stops me from doing anything. My first scene was with Mary-Louise Parker, who is an unbelievable actress, and Justin Kirk, whose work in 'Angels in America' was one of the most jaw dropping performances I've seen. It was definitely intimidating, but I was in great hands."
GETTING SILLY: Jack Black had a blast, it seems, trying to get to Matthew Willig during shooting of the June 19-opening "Year One." "It was great, I'm telling you," enthuses the NFL veteran of 14 years and two Super Bowls. "Jack Black is such an improvisational type guy, you never know what to expect from him. He'd try to make me laugh in every scene we did together — to get me to break out of character. He looked me straight in the eyes and gave me one of those looks, you know, like 'I'm going to make you laugh.'" One day, "We were shooting a scene where he runs from my character and hides in the bushes. Then he started making bird noises, and went on doing every animal known to man — all coming from the bushes. He had me rolling throughout the shoot."
Willig does his thing in the prehistoric/kind of Biblical comedy that also stars Michael Cera, and features Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the Biblical Isaac and Hank Azaria as the Biblical patriarch Abraham. Harold Ramis directed, and moviegoers have been forewarned that it's more Monty Python style than "Knocked Up." We'll see.
"I'm trying to be a sponge around all of them, really, and pick up every little bit of knowledge I can … I was so excited to work with Harold Ramis — God, I really wanted to be a part of this," the personable Willig recalls. He says his happiest moment came when Ramis told him he was glad to have found someone not only physically right for the role, but "someone who could really act and have the chops."
Actually, considering that Willig says his biggest challenge is finding parts suitable for his 6'7" frame, he's done pretty well so far, with a string of assignments including guestings on "My Name is Earl" and "Dexter."
A NEW DAY: Former "Jackass" star Steve-O, who sobered up this past year and recently appeared on "Dancing With the Stars," tells us he's getting his career back on track. "Last year was a little bit rough, but now I'm working on a new MTV series. It's going to be about me being wild and crazy while I'm sober," Steve-O tells us. Luckily he'll have some new fans thanks to the exposure he got from the popular ABC dance competition. "The demographic of fans has widened a little bit, for sure." However, while the show was good for his fan base, it was not so good for his back, which he hurt on several occasions during rehearsal. "My back is feeling good right now. When I go out skateboarding and the next morning it doesn't hurt, that's a good sign."
VERRRY INTERESTING: Joe Jonas' video, dancing around in a black leotard, tights and high heels(!) to the tune of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" (!) went super-viral about as soon as it appeared on the Internet — and you know it's not just teenage girls watching that thing, Joe. Interesting choice to help hype their June 16 release "Lines, Vines and Trying Times." Would other teen idols have done it? Justin? NKOTB? Hanson? Bobby Sherman? Frankie Avalon? The mind reels.
With reports by Emily Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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