Archive for L word

L-Word’s Daniela Sea- Interview, Sanctuary

Posted in queer, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

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This  is a picture of the back of Daniela Sea‘s head and of Jenifer Coolidge, trying to reel in a crowd of thirsty vegans at the Farm Sanctuary benefit. I know, it’s not a great photo, but Iphone pictures are generally quite lame. I’ll get press photos on Monday, but couldn’t wait to get this up. Sea was pretty calm and friendly in person, but somehow more guarded than I’d expected her to be. I don’t know why I expected otherwise, but when I first went up and said hi to her she was nice, pretty open seeming, then when I said I wanted to interview her, her energy seemed to immediately narrow. I guess that people kind of fear or disdain the press and our potentially distorted ways. So in an extra effort to stick to the facts, I will proceed.

First an exterior description: She was shorter in person, maybe about my height, but had the same transfixing fiery green/blue eyes. As I previously expressed, I got a little distracted there, with the eyes etc. She was kinda flopping around the room, talking to people, carrying a Tupperware container, and wearing gypsy style tuxedo pants and a simple men’s stripy button down shirt, over a wife beater. She was with a friend, who also seemed really nice. When we found our time to talk, off in a quiet corner, sitting on top of a counter of sorts, she explained to me that she needed to pack food, because she was catching a taxi-to a flight-to a train- to the North of England, in the next 20 minutes. I realized, I’d better talk fast.

TheBrooklynSocialite: When did you get involved with the Farm Sanctuary?

[Farm Sanctuary for those who don’t know, is a farm animal rescue organization. They have 2 farms, one outside of NYC and the other near LA. Their mission is: “To work to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy. “]

Daniela Sea: I  got involved about a year ago. My dad and his boyfriend connected me, they said there were some people there that I should really meet. I’ve always had an interest in compassionate activism, so it was great to get involved and now I have some really good friends there.

TBS: Have you always been connected to animal rights?

DS: Yeah, I’m Vegan, I was just brought up that way, to care about animals and think about the food we eat.I have a lot of friends who aren’t vegan or vegetarian, but I’ve always found some really good connections  among people who are.

TBS[ I couldn’t contain my interest in her involvement in the L-Word for much longer, so I proceed to ask her about the show…]

DS: We just finished shooting the final season, and it was really great to be involved with it and be up there working on it. Now that it’s over I have more time to spend on my other projects. I’m working on a screenplay about the relationship between a father and a daughter, which is semi-autobiographical, and I play in 2 bands. I’m going to be going on tour with one of them, Thorns of Life , after i get back from visiting my brother in the North of England.

TBS: What’s he doing up there?

DS: He’s a cobbler, he chips away at stones, shaping them to fit into crevices that need to be restored in ancient cathedrals.

It sounded so romantic, and I half wished that I was going to take a flight that night. I wanted to tell her about my travels and how important I think it is that she portrayed one of the first semi-positive depictions of a trans-person on television. But, the chat got kind of cut short by a person with a camera, and a couple of transmen who are running for office in NYC. That seemed like a pretty great, and important conversation, so I willingly forfeited the floor,  and continued to try not to stare at her as I walked away.

Somehow it was easier to talk to Coolidge and Ally Sheedy, they both expressed their commitment to and support of the work that Farm Sanctuary does. Sheedy a long time vegan, and Coolidge a devoted animal lover, both seemed super-intelligent and quite warm. Visit the Sanctuary, hang out with their down to earth staff, many of whom I met that night, and of course chill with the animals!

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This committed lady, bought that painting in the auction to benefit Farm S.

Jane Lynch Interview

Posted in film, Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Yay! The interview that I did with Jane Lynch back at Providence International Film Festival is finally available online. Here’s an excerpt!

JANE LYNCH studied acting at Cornell University and then went on to act in comedy theater, TV, and film. Her role in The Fugitive introduced her to a wider audience, which led to appearances in major movies and TV sitcoms. However, Jane has remained committed to independent films and to playing lesbian roles whenever possible. She underscores this dedication through her work with Power-Up, a professional organization that “promotes the. visibility and integration of gay women in entertainment.” It was at a Power-Up conference that she first met L Word creator Ilene Chaiken, who asked her to join the cast.

Jane is known for the intelligence that shines through her comedy roles and has recently been honored with the Faith Hubley Memorial Award at the Provincetown International Film Festival. This award is a testament to her talent and versatility. Hilarious yet subtle, Jane is an accomplished actress with many films to her credit, including The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) and the recently released Tru Loved (2008).

I caught up with her at the Ptown Film Festival in June, where I sat with Jane at a screening of Best in Show, a 2000 movie in which she played lesbian dog trainer Christy Cummings. After the movie we talked about her status as an out actress and her work as an actress on the big and small screens.

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan: It was great to watch Best is Show with you in the audience. It was cool to see that it is still funny for you, even though I am sure you have seen it many times before.

Jane Lynch: I have, but I haven’t seen it in about four years, and we all look so young. There is such a difference in how all of us look eight years later. It was fun to watch it, because it holds up so well. I was really struck by some of the performances. Every time I see a Christopher Guest movie, someone’s performance stands out to me. This time it was Parker Posey who cracked me up.

RHH: I understand that it was made in a very non-traditional way, that you were given strong character descriptions, but no lines.

JL: That’s right. We improvised all the dialogue. We shot a lot of film. The art of this comes not only from our performances, I don’t mean to reduce our significance, but it’s in the editing. Christopher Guest creates these movies in the editing room.

RHH: I love your work on The L Word. What’s it like working with everyone on the cast–with Cybill Shepherd, for example?

JL: Cybill Shepherd is great. She’s usually who I work with. Cybill or Laurel Holloman. sometimes Jennifer Beals. I usually work with just one person. I love doing the show. They write really well, I just come in and do my piece, and then I leave. When I see the episode, it is brand new to me.

RHH: In both Best in Show and on The L Word you play a lesbian character. You are highly respected as an actor within the lesbian community; you have many lesbian fans. Is being well regarded by queer women important to you?

JL: Yes, absolutely. Acting is about human nature, so it is all of human nature that I’m curious about, and I know that historically we have been kind of a silent group and we haven’t garnered much respect or acceptance. This is changing now and I think it is really great that people like Melissa [Etheridge], and Ellen [De Generes] and Rosie O’Donnell stood up and were courageous enough to say, “I’m Gay.” Now the rest of us have had a much easier path. So kudos to them, and if someone looks up to me because I’m open and okay about it and they take strength from that, I think it’s great. Read More

Still to come, my review of Nights and Weekends, which I saw yesterday and Angent Angie’s post on the Jorie Graham reading that we attended last night. xx