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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Deep Inside Hollywood
Extended Online Version
by Romeo San Vicente
2008-01-02

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Keri Russell Ready for Bedtime

After her winning turn in this past summer's indie sleeper hit Waitress, it was inevitable that Keri Russell would finally make the jump from TV stardom ( Felicity ) to a solid film career. Now she's been cast opposite Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories, the latest film from gay director Adam Shankman ( Hairspray ) . The high-concept movie takes Night at the Museum's mojo and runs with it, as Sandler, telling his niece and nephew bedtime stories, finds those fairy tales coming to life. Russell will play, naturally, Sandler's love interest. But here's hoping the role won't be reduced during editing to anonymous, personality-free 'girlfriend,' a trap many actresses find themselves in as they rise up Hollywood's male-oriented ladder. After proving she could carry a film on her own, Russell's too interesting for that kind of treatment. Bedtime goes before the cameras in February.

Jim Verraros and Peter Paige Visit Copacabana

Say what you will about the raunchy gay sex comedy Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds ( the sequel to, yes, Eating Out ) , it had the nerve and energy to be as lowbrow as the subject matter demanded. And part of that energy came in the form of a go-for-broke performance by American Idol's only openly gay runner-up, Jim Verraros. The singer is proving himself a likably funny screen presence, so it's good to see him signed on with former Queer as Folk star Peter Paige for the new feature Copacabana, Of Love and Shadows. The story revolves around a British artist's relationship with a Brazilian street kid, and the drag queen that complicates things for both of them. Paige stars as 'Miranda,' while Verraros takes on both male and female roles for the film. Shooting in Rio de Janeiro, look for this Copa eventually to shake its way onto the gay film-festival circuit.

Ab Fab's Saunders to Play Doctor Who

As Edina on the queer-centric Brit-com Absolutely Fabulous, comedian Jennifer Saunders wore an almost mind-bending array of unusual outfits. But her least expected costume is just one or two fittings away as she prepares to step into the role - if only for a one-off episode - of the perennially popular UK sci-fi series Doctor Who. Currently a big hit both across the Atlantic and on BBC America, resurrected for modern audiences by Queer as Folk creator Russell Davies, the show about the time-traveling doctor currently stars David Tennant, who may be leaving after this season. It will be the first time a woman has played the Doctor, and, with Saunders' built-in queer fan base, may just open up a whole new audience to the beloved series' odd pleasures.

Wilson Cruz Is Into You

With the freshly released complete series of My So-Called Life still in the DVD players of fans like Romeo, nostalgic for brilliant-but-cancelled TV shows, it's easy to remember how gay actor Wilson Cruz broke new television ground as the outcast queer high school student during that series' brief life. Since then, Cruz has appeared in independent projects and keeps working for queer causes, but a triple scoop of new films looks very likely to raise the still-young star's profile. He'll appear in the gay indie drama The Ode, about a young Indian man who runs off to Hollywood; the basketball drama Green Flash; and - speaking of flash - in the all-star comedy He's Just Not That into You, alongside Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Aniston. Nothing 'so-called' about that gig at all. All three movies should be out in the coming year.

Romeo San Vicente has never experienced a man not being into him and wonders what it would be like. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com .


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