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Arquette, Lark Tackle ‘Medium’ Body Swap Premise

Patricia Arquette and the middle of her "Medium" daughters, Maria Lark, have been having a lark filming the season-opening episode of the CBS series that returns Sept. 24. She tells us, "It's kind of a 'Freaky Friday' episode. It's really cute."

The Emmy-winning actress says she's been nervous about the demands of the mother-daughter body swap story that puts her in a 13-year-old's skin, "but that's a good sign.

"Maria is such a good actress. To see her taking on my character's personality, it's funny," she adds. "It's really cool to hear her talk about it: 'Arquette has a quiet voice. She's kind of stable...' You know, how she's working at breaking down my character. She's really blossomed. They all have," she says of her onscreen offspring — Sofia Vassilieva, Lark and Madison and Miranda Carabello. "They're such beautiful little flowers, these girls."

Watching the girls grow has been one of the pleasures of making the series for Arquette, she says. She's glad to be back as psychic Allison DuBois for the seventh season of the show that's maintained a devoted following through timeslot and network changes.

Meanwhile, she's continuing her difficult, sometimes even dangerous, side occupation — working to bring innovative housing and sanitation solutions to Haiti through the Give Love foundation she started with Rosetta Getty earlier this year. She's been on several trips to the beleaguered island nation.

"It really helps you keep things in perspective, and makes you feel really grateful for the fate you've been dealt and your great opportunities," she says.

BAD BOYS: Go figure. Alan Ritchson played a superhero (Aquaman) in the past — but it's Thad Castle, his appalling, out-of-control bully of a college football star in Spike's raunchy "Blue Mountain State" series, that's bringing him his most avid fans.

The actor admits, "I was kind of worried, going in, what playing the villainous a——-e of the show would do to me. Thad started as an afterthought because they needed a villain for the pilot, but everyone started enjoying so much what Thad is about, they kept writing more of him. I think people are really taken with Thad and have a lot of love for the character. Anytime I go around a bar, frat house or party town, I get a lot of people approaching me."

Then there are those who are not taken with Thad, the worst of the oversexed, hard-partying bunch on the show that's been likened to "Animal House" and "Porky's" — only worse.

"My mom's never watched the show," confesses Ritchson, who's nearing the end of production of Season 2 in Montreal. "My mom hopes Thad dies in a car crash. She's not a fan of the show. That's fine. She's not the only one who doesn't want the kind of content we offer. But my Dad loves it. She won't let it in the house, so he goes to his buddies' for 'Blue Mountain State' nights, and they all die laughing. Even in my own family — my own home back in Florida — this is happening. There is no middle ground with this show."

Thad is known for his frequent homoerotic escapades. What does Ritchson think of the fact that "Blue Mountain State" has attracted a gay audience?

"It's definitely known to us and to Spike and Lionsgate that there's a large gay following," he says of the series' team, channel and production company. "They were pleased to find that out, pleased to find a new audience. You know with a Spike show, it's the network for guys 18-35, but we've expanded beyond that. Because of Ed Marinaro being on the show, we're getting his following — older guys, 50 and 60, who love the show. And girlfriends of guys watch the show, which was sort of the most surprising." We're betting these girls have ulterior motives.

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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