This week, the Watch brings you Quinto on Obama, Billingsley on life after Phlox, Winona Ryder’s latest possible five fingered discount, a TV deal for Kirstie Alley, Mulgrew out on the town, George Takei showing new talents, news from Trek’s "welder guy," and more. PLUS: The Watch now covers Trek celebrity birthdays!
Quinto Groks Obama
Zachary Quinto (the new Spock) has been spending his week flying to various colleges and universities (along with Psych star Dulé Hill) to rally support for presidential candidate Barack Obama. The Sentinel reports on Quinto at Shippensburg University where Quinto said “Barack Obama is our hope. He is our change. He is our future.” Reader Nick Schu sends in some pictures of Quinto visiting Lehigh University on St. Patrick’s Day. Dickinson College has put up video clips of Quinto’s visit this week:
Takei’s A Little Bit Country
William Shatner isn’t the only original Trek star going country. Variety reports that George Takei (the original Sulu) will try his hand at country singing on the new CBS reality series Secret Talents of the Stars. Takei will be competing against the likes of real country music singer Clint Black (who tries his hand at stand up comedy) and Partridge Family actor Danny Bonaduce (who’s doing circus acts). The show debuts April 8th at 10pm. In the meantime, Takei will be the Masters of Ceremonies at the sixth annual Reggae Rhythm of Life Run at the Rose Bowl in California on March 22nd, according to Pasadena Now.
Sticky Fingers Winona?
A little over six years ago, Winona Ryder (Amanda, Spock’s mother, in the new Star Trek) was arrested on shoplifting charges in what became a worldwide media frenzy. And according to this week’s National Enquirer (but denied by Ryder’s publicist), the actress is at it again. They are reporting Ryder made some purchases at the Hollywood CVS Pharmacy, but didn’t pay for everything:
Winona had a bag of stuff, but she set off the theft alarm when she left the store. When a security guard stopped her, he found make up she had not paid for. When asked about the make up, she said that she didn’t know how that happened. We took unpaid items back and she left the store.
“Um…” Ryder contemplates how to get herself out of her latest predicament.
Billingsley Talks Acting, Post-Phlox
BackStage has a report on various actors who moved on after their respective series came to an end, including Star Trek: Enterprise‘s John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox). Billingsley tells BackStage that he just picked up where he left off when Enterprise was cancelled, going around Hollywood and "knocking on a few doors and re-introducing" and taking on TV guest spots and roles in indie films. Billingsley says he wasn’t exactly saddened when the show ended, explaining:
For me, having it end after four years was kind of perfect. Although I had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed that character a lot, given the nature of the show and the inherent confines of the show, four years was fine.
Billingsley’s optimism is still intact.
Lt. Hawk Fights Back
Actor Neal McDonough, who played the ill-fated Lt. Hawk in Star Trek: First Contact, has joined the cast of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, based on the popular video game series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McDonough will be playing the villainous General M. Bison, the role the late Raul Julia played in the 1994 Street Fighter film. The new Street Fighter does not yet have a release date but is expected to be out sometime in 2009.
Left: McDonough as Hawk in ‘First Contact’; Right: Raul Julia as Bison in 1994’s ‘Street Fighter’
Talk Show Is Up Kirstie’s Alley
Mr. Saavik… er, that is, Kirstie Alley, has signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions to develop some new TV projects, according to The National Enquirer. Alley is not ruling out the possibility that this deal might lead to her own daily talk show:
I’m very open with what I’ve been through in my own personal life, and nothing — I mean nothing — is off-limits for me to talk about. Nothing shocks me. I’m a great listener. I’m a good comedian. And I won’t lie — I live a beautiful life. So I hope to bring those elements together to offer something totally fresh for the television audience.
Vitale and Berryman go to war
Anthony Vitale (‘welder guy’ from the Star Trek trailer) sends CelebWatch a message that post production has been completed on Brother’s War, where he appears alongside two-time Trek actor Michael Berryman. The WW2 movie is looking for distribution and was first screened industry folks last week, more at the official site.
Vitale (L), Hugh Daly and Berryman (R)
Stewart’s Play Benefits Actors Fund, Bakula’s Play Extended
Playbill has news regarding the current plays starring Starship captains Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard) and Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer). Stewart’s Macbeth will hold a final dress rehearsal on March 28th as a fund raiser for the Actors Fund of America. Bakula’s Dancing in the Dark, on the other hand, has extended its run an extra week due to popular demand; it will now run at San Diego’s Old Globe until April 20th.
Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway) was among those in attendance at this year’s Signature Theatre Company awards gala on March 10th, as reported by Playbill. Mulgrew was also spotted at the opening of the Off-Broadway production of The Seagull at Pangea in New York City on March 13th. She even stayed for the after party.
Kate at the after party for ‘The Seagull.’ We’re assuming she attended the show, as well.
Burton To Speak at Williams, May Need New Representation
LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) has been named as the baccalaureate speaker at William College’s 219th commencement ceremony on May 31st and June 1st. (iBerkshires) In the meantime, Burton may have to find a new agency to represent him: Metropolitan Talent Agency, of which Burton is a client, is laying off the majority of its staff and may be shutting down entirely. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Meet the Browns Tomorrow
Meet the Browns, the latest film from Tyler Perry (Starfleet Academy’s superintendent in the new Trek film), opens in theaters tomorrow. The plot involves a single mother (played by Angela Bassett) who takes her family to Georgia for the funeral of the father she never met, where she must deal with her father’s crass, fun-loving, Southern family. Check out the official site for more; see the trailer below.
Believe it or not, William Shatner (he who was Kirk) turns 77 this Saturday (March 22nd). Other Star Trek veterans celebrating their birthday this week include:
- Vanessa Branch (adult Naomi Wildman, VOY: “Shattered”) will be 35 on the 21st
- Richard Carlyle (Karl Jaeger, TOS: “The Squire of Gothos”) is 88
- John de Lancie (Q) is 60
- Brad Dourif (Lon Suder, VOY) is 58
- Greg Ellis (Ekoor, DS9: “What You Leave Behind”; Chief Engineer Olsen, Star Trek) will be 40 on the 31st
- J.G. Hertzler (Martok, etc.) is 59
- Sabrina LeBeauf (Ens. Giusti, TNG: “Gambit”) will be 50 on the 21st
- Chuck Madalone (DS9 stuntman) will be 75 on the 22nd
- Marjorie Monaghan (Freya, VOY: “Heroes and Demons”) is 44
- Louis Race (1st assistant director on DS9) is 57
- Maurice Roëves (Romulan Captain, TNG: “The Chase”) is 71
- Lise Simms (Annorax’s wife, VOY: “Year of Hell, Part II”) is 45
- Robert Schenkkan (Dexter Remmick, TNG: “Coming of Age” & “Conspiracy”) is 55
- Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker) is 39
- Michael Westmore (veteran Trek make-up artist) will be 70 on the 22nd
- Vanessa Williams (Arandis, DS9: “Let He Who Is Without Sin…”) is 45
Happy B’Day Bill…long may you reign
In a story that’s making nationwide news, Star Trek Nemesis set construction foreman Michael Van Dyke (48) committed suicide Tuesday by hanging himself on the property of actor/director Mel Gibson. Van Dyke, who also worked on such films as Dr. Dolittle 2 and The Matrix Reloaded, had reportedly been facing desperate financial issues. (TMZ.com) There was no direct connection between Van Dyke and Gibson, who says he feels “terrible” about the incident. (StarPulse)