Al Roker, Today's perennially jolly meteorologist, reveals that there are moments when even he can lose his sense of humor. "I don't mind signing autographs," he tells TV Guide Online, "but when it gets in the way of being a dad, well, I wonder why people seem to forget I have a private life."
Case in point: Roker who has two girls from two separate marriages was recently at Miami International Airport when the unthinkable happened. "My two-and-a-half-year-old, Leila [with third wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts], had a load in her pants," he remembers. "There was no place to change her in the bathroom, so I was trying to do it on a chair in a very crowded terminal waiting room. This woman came up and asked to take a picture with me. I said, 'Ma'am, can you just give me a moment while I finish changing this diaper?' She kind of huffed, 'Well, you seem so much nicer on TV.' I'm like, 'I'm halfway through a poopy diaper here.
While Sopranos fans were surprised when Uncle Junior lifted his voice in song on this season's final episode, it was hardly a challenge for the character's portrayer, Dominic Chianese. The 70-year-old actor may have found late-blooming fame playing the crusty patriarch on HBO's mob drama, but his real dream is to put a hit on the charts.
"I started my career as a singer," he tells TV Guide Online. "Growing up, all during my raging hormone phase, I saw all these women swooning over this skinny kid named Frank Sinatra, and I thought, 'Maybe they'll do that to me someday.'"
In fact, Chianese who toured with a Gilbert and Sullivan troupe and worked at Folk City in New York City's Greenwich Village before he started acting is capitalizing on his TV notoriety with the release of Hits, an eclectic CD collection featuring classics such as "Santa Lucia" and "Amazing Grace." "I'm ready to beco
In one of his previous mobster roles, Chazz Palminteri went toe-to-toe with Robert De Niro (and Billy Crystal, for that matter) in the 1999 comedy Analyze This. And although justice was served to his hot-headed honcho at that movie's end, the actor says that won't keep him from resurrecting boss Primo Sidone for the in-the-works follow-up.
"[My Analyze This character] could be dead, but there are no definites about it," Palminteri tells TV Guide Online. "I've spoken to Bob and Billy about [the sequel], and told them that, as soon as the script comes together, I'd do it. It would be great."
Until then, Palminteri again can be seen leading the mob life but this time, minus the laughs. In the TNT original film Boss of Bosses (premiering Sunday at 8 pm/ET), Palminteri portrays real-life mobster Paul Castellano, the Gambino crime family head whose ambitious plans were snuffed by his 1985 ass
While plenty of actresses consent to bare all for a shot at big-screen success, Halle Berry has never been one of them. In fact, she had never doffed her duds onscreen before going topless in Swordfish a technothriller co-starring John Travolta and Hugh Jackman that opens June 8. Having kept her assets hidden for so long, why is the beauty deigning to give audiences an eyeful now?
"I did it because I could," Berry declares. "So much of my life, I was afraid to, but I finally feel very adult now. With the success of my [HBO biopic, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge] and the critical acclaim that that brought me" including an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award "I finally felt like I didn't have to prove myself anymore. And I wanted to do that first."
Boldly, the actress adds: "I'm finally feeling very comfortable with my own sexual
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, The Lord of the Rings, director Peter Jackson's big-budget epic, The Fellowship of the Ring which hits theaters in December has a legion of impatient bookworms squirming to see their fave fantasy brought to life. Have their high expectations worried leading lad Elijah Wood, who plays mythic Hobbit Frodo Baggins?
"I definitely felt the pressure," Wood concedes. "I wanted to live up to all of the expectations. But when I got into costume and worked with the others, I just didn't think about it anymore." The blue-eyed actor nods in agreement with Sean Astin, who joined him on the film's 15-month location shoot in far-flung New Zealand. Deadpans Astin: "We just became Hobbits. We felt it."
And Jackson swears he dared cast none other than Liv Tyler to play the immortal Elf Arwen. "She
In The Animal (opening tomorrow), Rob Schneider plays a one-man menagerie plagued with an array of animal instincts which include sniffing crotches, eating raw meat and seducing barnyard critters. While co-writing the screenplay, the SNL alum was inspired by watching When Animals Attack. Little did he know how prophetic it would prove in working with his creature co-stars!
"You don't see orangutans in a lot of movies because they're very dangerous and unpredictable," says Schneider, who so displeased one grumpy primate during production that trainers had to haul the beast off the set. A hulking young orangutan named Louie then took over. "Louie and I got along famously," he recalls. "Although my neck still hurts a little from when he put me in a headlock."
Fortunately, Schneider found former Survivor castaway Colleen Haskell a much mo
Gossip maven A.J. Benza never was satisfied with merely talking trash about celebrities he's always wanted to be one! Once a controversial columnist for New York's Daily News, Benza went on to host Mysteries & Scandals on E! and pen a tell-all memoir bearing his signature catchphrase, Fame: Ain't It a Bitch (Talk/Miramax). And whether they take him for a rough-edged raconteur or an egomaniacal blowhard, people are paying attention to Benza which is just the way he likes it. Tonight, the rascally wag kicks off his own late-night talk show, A.J. After Hours (airing Thursdays at 10 pm/ET on E!). Here, TV Guide Online takes a sidebar with good-sport Benza to ask him about some relevant and maybe not-so-relevant issues of the day.
TVGO: Your colleague, Liz Smith, recently came out. Have you any startling confessions to make?
Benza: I am firmly in the closet no, I'm only kidding.
CSI stud George Eads is having technical difficulties, please stand by... Apparently, starring as a forensic investigator on TV is almost as hard as being one! And the actor who plays dreamboat-in-a-labcoat Nick Stokes on the hit crimefest clearly has the most trouble running his lines in science-speak.
"You know, I didn't realize how applied technology has really become to forensics," Eads tells the TV Guide Channel. "It's complicated. There's static dust [fingerprint] lifters. And scopolamine is a certain kind of chemical that you can put on a dry surface and it will reveal blood. Uh no, that's phenalthalene, sorry. Scopolamine is somethin' else it knocks you out. So yeah, I'm learning quite a bit!"
Charmingly flustered, Eads tries to make a save: "It's an ongoing thing," he concedes, "but the tech advisor's always there. If she just lets us know how to pronounce the word and what the chemical o
Angie Harmon whose three-year run as assistant district attorney Abbie Carmichael on Law & Order ended with last week's season finale didn't leave the show without giving her replacement, Bull's Elisabeth Rohm, some lasting words of encouragement. "She said, 'Come on, I wanna give you a tour of the set,'" laughs Rohm. "She's a very gregarious person. I really didn't talk to her that long, but she was lovely."
Given the speed of the transition Rohm started work less than 24 hours after Harmon taped her final scene it's no surprise their encounter was a brief one. (Fearing a writers strike, L&O creator Dick Wolf got an early jump on Season 12; an agreement between scribes and producers has since been reached.) "I must say, we had wondered what it was going to be like ahead of time," admits co-star Sam Waterston of the rapid leading-lady switcheroo. "But
As much as Mercedes McNab relishes playing Harmony, the undead dingbat of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and sister show Angel, she still dreads reading her scripts. "Every time I get one," she tells TV Guide Online, "all I do is skim to the end to find out if I die. It's really scary."
Luckily, the actress notes, as hare-brained as the blonde blood-sucker can be, she has managed to hit upon a fool-proof survival tactic. "The theme of every episode seems to be, 'Make Harmony as big an idiot as possible, then have her run away with her tail between her legs.'"
All kidding aside, McNab probably needn't fret quite so much over her alter ego's life expectancy: She clearly has made a fan of series creator Joss Whedon, who originally read her for the part of Buffy. "I don't think [Harmony's expanded role] is cosmic payback [because Sarah Michelle Gellar got cast]," she insist