James Maslow Talks Zac Efron Comparisons
"Secret Life of the American Teenager" has so much talk about sex amongst its teen — and adult — characters, Internet pages are being devoted to keeping count of mentions of the act per show, including one installment where the S word was reported as being dropped a whopping 70 times. Some viewers have, not surprisingly, been using the show's sex-laden dialogue as the basis of a drinking game.
"Obviously, I don't counsel anybody to abuse alcohol at all," says the show's Molly Ringwald. "But I think it's kind of funny."
Last week's show had girls campaigning for masturbation as the safest sex of all, calling the act "Just Say Me."
"The phrase 'Just Say Me' is said 50 times," according to one count keeper on Tripod.com.
How does Ringwald feel when she reads some of those scripts?
"Maybe I'm blase, but nothing really shocks me," she says.
Also: "I'm pretty liberal and I would rather have my daughter be educated about sex and talk about it as soon as possible. Obviously, she's now too young, but when the time comes, I'd rather have an open dialogue about it," says the mother of a 6-year-old and a pair of 6-month-old twins in real life — who plays the mom of title teen Shailene Woodley on the hit ABC Family series. Ringwald's character has plenty of action herself, with a baby whose paternity is uncertain.
"Kids are just very, very sexually active today, and I think that for their safety and well-being, to have them be as educated as possible and not go underground with it is a good thing," she continues. "What I don't like is violence, particularly exploitative violence."
The show certainly has an avid following. The phrase "can't turn away" appears frequently on Internet comment boards.
For the red-haired beauty hailed by VH1 as the No. 1 Greatest Teen Star ("Pretty in Pink," "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club"), the series is "sort of the perfect job. It's great to have when you have newborns at home. I only have to work one or two days a week so it works out great. It's sort of a mini-vacation when I get to go to work."
THE ZAC TRACK: Nickelodeon's newest star, James Maslow from "Big Time Rush," is already being likened to Disney darling Zac Efron — and Maslow tells us it certainly could be worse. "I think that's a pretty cool comparison. He's worked very, very hard to be where he is," notes Maslow. "I've yet to meet him. I think at this point, I deserve to meet him. I've been compared to him a lot," he adds with a laugh. "I've heard great things about him both personally and professionally so I think it's cool if people see me getting to his level. If in a year or two, if I'm still getting that, I might get annoyed. I hope, eventually, I'll establish my own name."
So far, fans are tuning in steadily to the show about four best friends who unexpectedly fall into pop stardom. The role is a dream come true for the young star, who has been singing since he was 6. "We've all become really, really close very quickly. I think it's a unique relationship that we bring to music because we all have very different styles and voices. We can listen to it and pick out each voice very distinctly, and they seem to really complement each other in a very cool way."
The guys, who record their own music for the show, are even contemplating going on tour during hiatus. "Right now's nothing's official as to when we're going to go and where we're going to go. It wouldn't be until the summer because we're filming. Until then, we're going to keep releasing singles. At the end of the season, we'll have our album so if we can tour as well, it will just be icing on the cake because I've always wanted to do that."
THE BLUES: Joel David Moore of "Avatar" tells us he's not much like his anthropologist character, Norm Spellman, in the record-breaking James Cameron blockbuster. "I do keep up with the geeky stuff, though. I am a gamer, like video games. I'm into politics and stuff. I'm also a big Portland Trailblazers fan — one of the best things I do in my down times is watch the games and defrag a little bit. Even my wife likes me to watch — 'Good, he can stop talking for a while.'" One gets the sense that they're a couple who enjoy teasing each other. "She's so supportive," he says. "She likes my avatar. She said, 'God, Babe, your avatar has a big nose just like you have.' 'Thanks, Babe. That's the thing you noticed.'"
COMMON THREAD: "Project Runway" judge and Marie Claire Fashion Director Nina Garcia has drained the color from the faces of more than a couple of contestants with her sometimes brutally frank comments about their work. However, she maintains friendly acquaintanceships with some of the show's successful design competitors. "We shoot some of their clothes," she says, referring to her magazine. "Leann (Marshall) had a very strong collection for spring. Alexandra Vidal has a beautiful eveningwear collection — it's a dream. And then, there is my favorite of all, who won the all-stars, Daniel Vosovic. Yes, I see them."
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.
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