First things first, it's a little overdue but I have been wanting to say, "Congratulations, America wins!" (Makes for a great headline, eh?)
America Ferrera, the 23-year-old lead actress who sets the tone for the ABC show Ugly Betty, went off and won herself an Emmy. Not that all the other prizes, most notably a second season, aren't gifts enough, but good for her. She does a nice job and better than that, after visiting the set twice, I can tell you that people without provocation sing her praises. I didn't get to meet her, unfortunately, because "of the demands on her schedule," but that's what people say. (But don't worry, you'll see a lot of America when you tune in to inFANity. I just didn't talk to her. I'm past it now.)
I did, however, get to meet the others, many who are terribly underrated. Take, for example, Michael Urie, who plays Marc with a C. Sure his character is flamboyant and, you might say, expected. Next time you watch, though, pay attention to the details. The theater-trained actor enjoys the big moments as well as the small, far past when you have moved on to the next line. And joy of all joys, he's really good when things aren't written for him. (Often, but I can't really name names - Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones - stars aren't the most eloquent, quick or even kind. Michael is.)
Michael was gracious and game each time we talked. He gave me the world's fastest set tour. (By the way, the stage they shoot on is insane sick!) He also gave a riotous interview and thoughtful insight into the first-season phenomenom. He's quirky and cute. Everybody should like him.
Christopher Gorham, who plays the "Adorkable" Henry Grubstick, is my new BFF. Seriously, he said he wanted to be. True, I haven't spoken to him since our admiration summit, but it's only a matter of time, I'm sure of it. He admires my husband, and I love nerds. Chris is charming and gifted and he has a kid the same age as my stepson. Enough said, it's a done deal. Call me.
Vanessa Williams is a commanding presence. Hello: Singer, actor, mom, and her utter fabulousness gives scores of mature (over 25) women hope that we might just be able stay hot and viable well into our perceived Hollywood extinction. Vanessa was also straightforward and pragmatic, which I think is invaluable. It was also nice to see that she doesn't strut around in 6-inch Christian Louboutin pumps all day. Camera on: Sexy shoes. Camera off: Sans sexy shoes. (Say that with sibilant speech, it's fun.)
Anyhow, I could go down the list of cool people we met, the entire crew was great, but that would take too much time and you would grow weary, so I will just finish off by mentioning Ashley Jensen, who plays Christina. She's the lovely spot-on Scot with a bright personality. On TV and off. Ashley was playful and giving of her time, and was my accomplice as we ransacked the Ugly Betty wardrobe area. Flowery tunics and coquettish skirts beware. Two girls left to their own devices in a room full of clothes... well, you're just asking for it.
TV Guide Network's inFANity: Ugly Betty special airs Wednesday at 9 pm/ET, Thursday at 2, and Saturday at 1.