Six Feet Under
Ellen DeGeneres will make her return to episodic television this summer when the new season of Six Feet Under kicks off. No, she's not going to be one of the creatively killed corpses that open each episode. The talk-show host will guest star on the series playing herself in a plot line that involves the character of Keith (Mathew St. Patrick) becoming a bodyguard for a teen pop star, played by Michelle Trachtenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). In the third episode, Trachtenberg's character will make an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, while the gay former cop waits in the wings. See? Ellen can play more than an animated fish; she can also play herself. And if The L Word calls, then these cameos could turn into a nice little side income.
Pardue and Channing at Loggerheads
Young, pretty, blond actor Kip Pardue (Thirteen) is no stranger to films with queer themes. His first feature was the indie lesbian comedy But I'm a Cheerleader, and he also appeared in The Rules of Attraction and the recently wrapped The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, based on queer author JT LeRoy's book. Now Pardue will star in Loggerheads, the first narrative feature from gay director Tim Kirkman. Kirkman directed the 1998 documentary Dear Jesse and also helmed the film adaptation of David Drake's The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. Loggerheads, which co-stars Stockard Channing and Elizabeth Perkins, is based on true events and tells interconnected stories set in three regions of Kirkman's home state of North Carolina. Production begins in May for a scheduled 2005 release.
Bettie Page's Page in History
After a long wait, the Bettie Page story will finally be told on film. The Ballad of Bettie Page, currently in production from HBO and Killer Films and based on the life of the controversial pin-up queen, stars Gretchen Mol as the woman whose kinky poses landed her in hot water with a 1950s Senate commission on porn. The film, scripted by lesbian writer/actor Guinevere Turner (Go Fish) and Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol), is being directed by Harron; the pair worked together on American Psycho. Co-starring as John Willie, the man who photographed Page, is Warhol's Jared Harris. And in keeping with the cast-reunion theme, the movie also co-stars Six Feet Under's Lili Taylor, who starred as Valerie Solanas in the Warhol flick. With a whip-smart lineup like this, Page is sure to get her due.
Will & Chekov?
Fans of Eric McCormack's Will Truman may be surprised to find that the actor plans to take a much more serious turn in a new film adaptation of Anton Chekov's Three Sisters. The film—titled simply The Sisters—is now in production in Eugene, Ore., with an ensemble cast that includes Maria Bello (Coyote Ugly), Mary Stuart Masterson (Fried Green Tomatoes), and Erika Christensen (Swimfan) as the sisters. This updated version of the story concerns siblings living in a college town who try to banish their dead father's ghost and also reconcile their own troubled relationships. Rounding out the large cast are Tony Goldwyn, Elizabeth Banks, Alessandro Nivola, Chris O'Donnell, and Rip Torn. This ghostbusting tale looks to haunt audiences in the coming year.