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‘Housewives’ Adds Bad Girl, New Energy

hollywoodexclusive1Chris Kattan has been on and off the radar since leaving "Saturday Night Live" in 2003, but he tells us it's all good — he's learned so much since his departure.

"It was a great experience, but it really ages you, and you've got to move on. When I moved on, there was a little bit of a lull in my life because to do that for eight years is a real high, and then it just stops," he recalls. "You've got to go to the next thing. If there's nothing to catch you, it's hard. You fall on your ass sometimes, but when you fall on your ass, you really learn."

While he does miss the show at times, Kattan finally seems to be finding his footing in Hollywood. Not only will he be starring in the new ABC sitcom "The Middle" alongside Patricia Heaton, but he's also got the much-anticipated mini-series "Bollywood Hero," premiering tonight (8/6), tomorrow (8/7) and Saturday (8/8) on IFC. He explains of the dramatic comedy adventure, which was filmed by the "Slumdog Millionaire" crew in India, "I try to make it as a leading man in Hollywood, and that doesn't work out, so I go to Bollywood to see if it will work out there." Some people in the Indian community were afraid the actor would be spoofing their culture, but not so is the case, says Kattan. "It was a concern of mine to make sure it wasn't a spoof.

This is not 'Saturday Night Live.' This is more 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' meets 'Lost in Translation.' I think it's going to be remembered for a while."

Still, Kattan does have some fun with the Bollywood dance numbers. In fact, the show's executive producers and original concept creators, Belisa Balaban and Ted Skillman, tell us they have a hunch Kattan's been waiting a long time to get his chance to be a proper song and dance man. They say it was fun to see him get his opportunity.

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: Eva Longoria's newest rival on "Desperate Housewives," Maiara Walsh, is holding out hopes that the changes and additions coming up in the new season will get people "excited about the show all over again. They're introducing a lot of younger characters, so I think that will definitely pull in new viewers. The writing for this season is really great so far — it's very funny and quick. I'm impressed by how much new life they can give to this show, which is now in its sixth season," says the up and coming actress, who's playing Eva's manipulative niece. Their relationship off-camera is much nicer than on. Notes Walsh, "Most of my scenes are with Eva, and she's a sweetheart, so I feel very lucky in that regard. Her comedic timing is ridiculous."

The beautiful 21-year-old is certainly no stranger to comedy as she is most known for playing Meena on the Disney show "Corey in the House." She notes that making the transition from tween projects to adult roles is not an easy one, and she just hopes her young fans continue to appreciate her work. "I loved working on the Disney show, I really did. I never saw it as my last stop, though," she says. "This is letting me branch out and try different characters. Younger fans from the Disney Channel will have to understand I'm a young woman, and as an actress I like to play different roles. It really is a great opportunity."

CASTING CORNER: A September start in Iowa has been set for Gil Cates Jr.'s "Lucky" dark comedy — and what a tale the indie is bound to be. Casting is underway now for the leading lady, a young independent spirit of a gal who finds herself fired and dumped by her boyfriend (also her boss) the same day. Luckily, her childhood friend who has always been infatuated with her has won a lot of money, so she turns her attention to him, makes him over, marries him and discovers on their honeymoon that she has true feelings for him — except, unluckily, he turns out to be … a serial killer. Well, it's definitely a plot we haven't seen before.

With Queen Latifah and Common set to play a physical therapist and the pro basketball player with whom she gets involved, casting forces on "Just Wright" are looking to fill subsidiary roles. Among those are some of Latifah's character's unlucky-in-love guys, such as a blind date who's an attractive, snappy dresser. They seem to hit it off until he starts talking about his recently ended relationship and she realizes she's being confronted with a guy on the rebound.

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.

COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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