Friday, June 28, 2013

Devious Ana Ortiz

As the substitute host of yesterday's Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM OutQ 109 (so that Frank could attend the funeral here in NYC of James Gandolfini), I had the pleasure of interviewing Ana Ortiz, one of the stars of Lifetime's new series Devious Maids.

If the description of Devious Maids sounds familiar -- five women come together and form a friendship after the murder of one of their own -- it's because it's from the creator of the long-running hit Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry.  In the interview below, Ana -- an incredibly funny, sexy lady whom I first met nearly a decade ago when she was acting in a sitcom pilot created by a mutual friend -- talks all about her new character, Marisol, and about her star-making role as Ugly Betty's fabulous, high-heeled sister Hilda.

And by the way, if you missed the premiere of Devious Maids this past Sunday, June 23, there are a few ways to catch up before episode 2 this Sunday.  This IMDB link will work for the next few days, so go ahead and enjoy the pilot for what looks like a fun, soapy new end-of-the-weekend treat.

Devious Maids
Sundays, 10 PM Eastern

Monday, June 24, 2013

Welcome Under the Dome

A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

Starting Tonight, June 24, Spend Your Summer Under the Dome

In his dozens of novels and their TV and film adaptations, Stephen King has turned ordinary townspeople into vampires, terrorized them with demon-possessed cars and rabid dogs, and buried them – but not for long – in a haunted “Pet Sematary.”

Now King is about to seal the unsuspecting folk of Chester’s Mill under an enormous, transparent dome.  As in the author’s 2009 novel, CBS’ new 13-episode summer series, Under the Dome, will portray the town’s inhabitants -- and one mysterious new stranger, Dale “Barbie” Barbara, played by Mike Vogel -- as they strain to survive in post-apocalyptic conditions and to find answers as to what this barrier is, where it came from, and if and when it will go away.

Although the show has this far-out conceit as its start, its executive producer Neal Baer stresses that Under the Dome, from producer Steven Spielberg, “is not a sci-fi show per se.  It’s much more character-driven, about how people in a town in Anywhere, USA cope in an environment where resources, and faith, are running out.” 

Desperate, the population of Chester’s Mill – the exterior shots of which are a combination of the real-life towns of Southport and Burgah, North Carolina – will have to struggle to keep order as they both re-learn some of mankind’s most basic skills, like farming, and capitalize on some new technologies, like solar energy.  Along the way, “we know you’ll fall in love with these characters,” Baer says, “and be drawn into how they cope with this mystery.”

When author Stephen King visited Under the Dome’s Wilmington, North Carolina set for the start of production, “he said to me, ‘We all live under a dome,’” reports executive producer Neal Baer.  “He meant it in the sense that resources are limited, and sustainability is an important issue of our time.  So this is a modern-day parable of the crises we could all be facing.”
So in case someday you should find yourself similarly trapped under a dome of your own, Baer offers some helpful clues about the phenomenon and its mysterious physical properties.
Impenetrable.  As we’ll soon see, neither airplanes nor the bombs they drop can break through Chester’s Mill’s mysterious dome…
Insurmountable.  …Nor can the barrier be tunneled under – “but you’ll see that they try that,” Baer reveals.  And because the dome encapsulates part of a nearby lake, “they try to swim under, too.  They’ll try anything.  They’re desperate.”  And here, Baer reveals a small clue.  “In their attempts, they find that it’s not really a dome; it’s more like a sphere or bubble.”
Electrified.  Touching the dome, Baer says, “shocks you at first, but then you get used to it.”
Non-Stick.  After the efforts of one apparently unlucky dome-toucher, we’ll see for a while, courtesy of special effects, his or her bloody handprint hanging in the sky.  “But the thing is, the dome is like Teflon,” Baer explains.  “And so ultimately, the handprint kind of slides off.  It’s much like a self-cleaning oven.”
Microclimatic.  The encapsulated area of town is large, and contains a lake, Baer says; therefore, as sunlight shines through, it evaporates water and makes clouds and rain.  “For these people, it’s like living in a giant terrarium.”

Transparent.  “The dome is invisible – at least when we start,” Baer teases, and so being able to see the outside world makes life even more tantalizing for those trapped.  For example, leading lady Julia Shumway (Rachelle Lefevre) can look out at another house she had thought of buying. “’Why didn’t I buy that house across the street?’ Julia asks herself.  But actually, I leave it to the audience to decide what side of the dome it’s better to be on.”

Under the Dome
Mondays at 10 PM Eastern /9 PM Central
Starts June 24