Celebrity Watch

Deschanel takes a little piece of Janis



Janis Joplin is no Truman Capote. While we’ve gotten two film biographies of the diminutive “In Cold Blood” author, there’s been a pair of rival Joplin movies stuck in development for the last six years.

It would appear that half of the deadlock has been broken, however, with the news that Penelope Spheeris (“The Kid & I,” “Wayne’s World”) will begin shooting “The Gospel According to Janis” this fall with Zooey Deschanel – and not the previously announced Pink – starring as the troubled and talented bisexual rocker.

Since Bette Midler scored an Oscar nomination for playing a thinly veiled version of Janis in “The Rose,” expect the role to provide plenty for Deschanel to sink her teeth into.

Don’t be surprised if “Gospel” makes it into theaters in time for 2007′s Oscar battle.

Gant gets a bang out of “Live!”

Have you missed Robert Gant – one of the few openly gay actors on “Queer as Folk” – since the sexy Showtime soap went off the air?
We feel your pain.

But there’s good news: Not only will Gant be starring opposite Chad Allen in the ex-gay romance “Save Me,” as previously reported, but he’s part of the ensemble cast of the film “Live!”

The feature directorial debut of documentarian Bill Guttentag, “Live!” takes a mockumentary-style, up-close-and-personal look at TV’s hottest new reality show – which happens to feature a group of people playing Russian roulette.

The film also stars Eva Mendes, Andre Braugher, David Krumholtz and Jay Hernandez, and should be shooting its way into theaters in 2007.

Baranski has no “Regrets” for Rudnick

Sometimes an actor and a writer just “get” each other, and the results can be utterly delicious for the lucky audience.

Funny lady Christine Baranski has always been on gay playwright Paul Rudnick’s wavelength remember her hilarious, horrifying camp counselor in “Addams Family Values”? and off-Broadway will be lucky to have the two of them team up again in the new comedy “Regrets Only.”

This comedy of Manhattan manners which begins previews Oct. 19 at New York’s City Stage I revolves around a Park Avenue dinner party thrown by an attorney and his social-climbing wife, with guests that include a famous fashion designer and the president of the United States.

Starring with Baranski will be Jackie Hoffman (Broadway’s “Hairspray”), George Grizzard and David Rasche; wackiness will ensue.

Brittany’s got a gay pal in “Love”

As we all know, the hot accessory for any romantic-comedy leading lady is a gay best friend who can provide fashion advice and the occasional saucy one-liner.

Brittany Murphy is no exception in “Love and Other Disasters.”

Giving her comfort and aid in the relationship wars is British cutie Matthew Rhys, who can currently be seen on the new ABC drama “Brothers & Sisters” alongside Rachel Griffiths and Calista Flockhart.

But in “Love,” actually, he gets to play a gay man with romantic pursuits of his own, as opposed to just being the shoulder for the straight heroine to cry on.

Written and directed by Alek Keshishian (“Madonna: Truth or Dare”), “Love and Other Disasters” will shoot into theaters like Cupid’s arrow sometime in 2007.

George Takei does Internet ‘Star Trek’

Prim Sulu has become a barbarian. With flowing hair and leather clothes, [openly gay] George Takei agreed to age 30 years for an Internet download episode of “Star Trek.” The 50-minute production by Trekkie enthusiasts is being filmed at an old car dealership in the Adirondacks.

The new episode, “World Enough and Time,” has Sulu being unexpectedly transported. “I find myself on another alien planet. I live 30 years of
my life there. I have a child,” Takei said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 29, 2006.

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