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Exclusive: Dave Chappelle, True Blood, and More!

hollywoodexclusive1Superstar stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle seems to be getting the itch to perform again as he's been making impromptu performances over the past week at the World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Chappelle — who abruptly quit his extremely popular Comedy Central show in 2005 amid speculation of drug or mental trouble (which he flatly denied) — was on stage one Saturday night for a whopping four hours, but those lucky enough to see him certainly weren't complaining. We got a chance to catch the comedian in action Monday night when he surprised a small room of tourists by taking the stage just before midnight.

Chapelle was very subdued sitting on a barstool on stage with a lit cigarette in hand, but his ability to entertain the crowd seemed effortless as he intelligently gave his insight about the world and Barack Obama for over two hours. He noted that it's a good time to be black, and talked about what an amazing experience it was for him going to South Africa and how he wants to visit the rest of Africa.

He did joke that they said, "It's so good you've decided to come back to your homeland." He said, "Oh, I wasn't planning on staying." In fact, he's been living in Yellow Springs, Ohio, since returning from his Africa visit, making it clear he sees no need to be in the center of the show business world. But he certainly has been here lately. It just goes to show you never know what you're going to come across when spending a night out in Los Angeles!

NIGHT AND DAY: Ashley Jones definitely took the term "moonlighting" to the maximum with her nine-episode recurring role as Daphne on "True Blood" this season. The actress known as Bridget Forrester to fans of CBS's "Bold and the Beautiful" found herself doing night shooting into the wee hours on the hit HBO vampire drama, then "I'd have to be at 'Bold and the Beautiful' by 8:30. That happened a half dozen to a dozen times. There were times I didn't sleep for 48 hours." However, "I loved every single minute of it," says Ashley.

For one thing, "This character is so different from anything I've played before; she has a happy-go-lucky feel to her. At the same time she's very energetic, and really, there's a sensuality to her that I've never played before, It's such a paradigm shift from my character on 'Bold and the Beautiful,' who is not the kind of girl to ever go skinny dipping. To this girl, down in Louisiana, skinny dipping, alligators and all, it's a regular thing. She's not scared of life, she's fearless and fun, a country girl with an East Texas-Louisiana accent, educated only as much as she has to be."

Jones just wrapped "True Blood" this week, with "B and B" about to go dark on its summer hiatus. "It gives people enough time to rejuvenate, to visit their families. Or, in my case, the way I roll, it's enough time to do another job, another side endeavor."

HOTTER AND HOTTER: Emilie de Ravin is in the big-screen "Public Enemies" and is filming the romantic drama "Remember Me" with "Twilight's" Robert Pattinson, but the blond beauty who rose to fame on "Lost" does expect to be back filming episodes of the series' season 6 in August. As fans know, her Claire Littleton character was in hiding during season 5. "I have no idea where I've been," she tells us. "It will be fun going back. It's going to be great going back and seeing what they do with their last season. It's going to be so interesting to see how they tie everything up."

INDUSTRY BITS: Christine Lahti and Cary Elwes are set for the big-screen drama "Flying Lessons," and now the question is, who'll play the film's 24-year-old lead character Sophie, who returns to her small town, the boyfriend she left behind, her mother — and her past.

Fans of fantasy football will probably not be too surprised to learn that a TV pilot about fantasy football is in the making. Called "The League," it's described as a semi-improvisational half-hour comedy about a group of pals who are fantasy football guys.

With reports by Emily-Fortune 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.


1 Responses »

  1. Hi, my name is Kate. I'm such a huge fan of Christine Lahti's. I met her this past Fall at the off-broadway show, A Body of Water. She mentioned an upcoming movie that she was directing, and I wondered if this is it?! I'm so excited for another Christine Lahti hit.....I personally and strongly believe she is the best actress on the face of the Earth, and I wish her all the best! I hope this film (and her career) continue to shine and grow! I'd love to get feedback about this film and who the lead character will be portrayed by.
    Thanks so much.
    -Kate, NY