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Ricky Schroder Likes To Do Things His Way, Including New Show

hollywoodexclusive1Former "NYPD Blue" star Ricky Schroder will soon be back in police mode and producing his own series, if he has his way. The A&E pilot he has in the works is tentatively titled "LAPD Hollywood," and "I'm going to play the oldest rookie cop," he says.

He also has "a couple of scripts that I'm trying to put together to direct."

Schroder, who turned actor-filmmaker with his "Black Cloud" feature about a Native American boxer in 2004, went on to make last year's "Hellhounds" and part of the big-screen "Locker 13" anthology thriller. He tells this column, "I find it so challenging and rewarding and fulfilling to write anything I want and then make it happen. It's something I can control. It's not like I've got to go meet with a casting director and try to get cast for the project. There are stories I want to tell and to direct. I love taking the vision from the page and making it a reality."

Besides the films he's created himself, "I've written a couple of one-hour pilots," he adds. "I've been an actor since I was 7 — 33 years ago, I made my first movie. Not a lot of people have my perspective. There are a few. Drew Barrymore. Henry Thomas. It's a way to challenge my brain in a new way. I don't like the business side of it. I don't like having to raise money for it so I'm looking for the right producing partner so I can just focus on the creative."

THE BIG-SCREEN SCENE: Speaking of actor-filmmakers, Ben Affleck, who filmed his writer-director-star vehicle, "The Town" in Boston last fall, is back to the cameras in downtown L.A. next week for some additional shooting. The Warner Bros. feature adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel "The Prince of Thieves" — about a career thief who falls for a beautiful manager of a bank — also stars Blake Lively, and we hear the two share some very steamy scenes.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: Drop-dead gorgeous Ana de la Reguera, who made a splash as the pretty nun in Jack Black's "Nacho Libre" and as Gabriela in the recent Bruce Willis-Tracy Morgan "Cop Out," has just left for Puerto Rico to begin working on USA Network's popular "Royal Pains." Although she's new to many moviegoers, she's anything but an overnight success, bur rather a testimony to the power of grit and endurance.

The Veracruz-born de la Reguera is a star back home in Mexico, where she's been seen in numerous features and TV shows, from telenovelas to hosting the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America. She says, "I've had my career in Mexico. I'm pretty well known there. But when I came here four years ago, I had to start over. Out of 50 to 100 meetings I go to, I get one job. They say, 'You're too Mexican,' or 'You're too white,' or whatever — you're just not right for the part, and you can't take it personally. You have to know it's not about you. Once, I was very frustrated, and my mom said, 'This is like playing cards. If you go out enough times, eventually, you'll get the perfect match, you'll do the perfect job, and you'll get it.'"

The new season's "Royal Pains" will have Mark Feuerstein's character traveling to Cuba, where he'll meet de la Reguera's character and begin a relationship. She'll be in Puerto Rico for a month to shoot, she reports. The new season starts airing in June.

A Cover Girl spokesmodel, de la Reguera has a full plate of other projects as well — HBO Latin America's "Capadocia" series, a Diego Luna movie she'll be making in Spain and the September release "Hidalgo." She wrapped the latter project, a period epic, in Mexico in January. She intends to continue going back and forth between Spanish and English, Mexico and Hollywood. "They have great opportunities all the time, roles for me to do," she notes.

HELLO AGAIN: "Saturday Night Live" alumna Cheri Oteri, who recently re-emerged on AMC's "Life Coach," will be horsing around on the big screen soon as well, in "And They're Off," a mockumentary set in the world of thoroughbred racing. Sean Astin and Martin Mull are also aboard the Rob Schiller comedy.

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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