Loretta Divine: Jennifer Love Hewitt Set Extra Popular - Mary McCormack's Fast Series Shuffle
Talk about a fast job switch. While Mary McCormack and her "In Plain Sight" team were in their final days of filming the fifth and last season of her popular USA series, the actress was also fielding occasional long-distance calls about the ABC comedy pilot she'll be shooting April 24.
Among the issues: whether Mary should have a different hairstyle for the new show, in which she'll play a newly unemployed corporate executive trying to adapt to full-time parenting of her two teenaged children. If so, what should the new look be? She tells us, "We haven't made that decision. After six years, it does seem like time to give myself a change."
And that applies to much more than her appearance. Her schedule this past week has included the "In Plain Sight" wrap party and three final days of shooting in Albuquerque, N.M., where the show is based. Now she and her husband, producer-director Michael Morris, and their three young daughters are getting ready to leave New Mexico.
"It will take us a while to move. The kids are in school here. We have packing and goodbyes. It is bittersweet, sad to leave a part of your life," Mary notes. "It's a great crew down here. We're going to miss people. But on the sweet side, there's more time with my kids to look forward to. They're little. I want to spend more time with them while they're still small."
Yet, she's going right into another show. "But it's totally different. A multi-camera show schedule is so much better for a mom," Mary points out. "It's such an easy schedule compared to what I've been doing."
The comedy (working title: "The Unprofessional") has a cast that includes Greg Germann and Mo Gaffney. "I've never done this kind of show before, so I'm nervous," she says. "But it's good to get scared."
Filming the ending scene of "In Plain Sight" was "emotional," she admits. "But we saved time for it. We had hours."
Stephen Lang will soon be seen on the show as the long-absent, career-criminal father of Mary's U.S. Marshal character, Mary Shannon. Also, as followers of the Friday night show are aware, Shannon now has her baby daughter and an apparently cordial relationship with the infant's father. And then there is her partner, Marshall (Fred Weller) and the yet-unfulfilled energy of their relationship. Will "In Plain Sight" fans hungry for some happily-ever-after for Mary Shannon be satisfied? The actress replies with a laugh. "I can't tell you. I really wish I could." Don't bet against it.
PRETTY WOMEN: Loretta Devine tells us that the set of Lifetime's series version of "The Client List" -- filled with actresses playing call girls -- has become a popular studio destination. "All the girls are absolutely beautiful, and with Jennifer Love Hewitt as the star and producer, the guys -- oh! The guys come around. They'll come to push towel racks," laughs the multi-talented actress, whose credits range from the original Broadway "Dreamgirls" to "Waiting to Exhale," "Boston Public" and "Grey's Anatomy."
And now she's playing a madam -- Hewitt's boss, as a matter of fact. "Wait until you see her in the show," Loretta says. "This girl has a body. Oh, my goodness!"
Loretta gets to be sexy, too. How does she like that? "All I can say is thank God for Spanx!" She adds, "I love my role because she's a strong woman who is running a business, but she has other sides. Her husband left her three years ago for one of the girls."
Beyond the sexy fun, she sees another side for the show, as well. "I think of it as a cautionary tale. You get a chance to see all the troubles these girls are getting into trying to make a buck. We're shooting the eighth episode now, and all kinds of things are happening. There's a lot of drama in it, an undertone of danger, as well as comedy."
THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: Sacha Gervasi's film adaptation of "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" goes into production at long last this month with an extraordinary cast, including Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Toni Collette and Danny Huston. They're still casting a couple of minor roles -- such as "Psycho's" title artist/storyboarder -- for the Fox Searchlight flick. Stephen Rebello's highly acclaimed 1990 book has taken a long journey toward a film or mini-series adaptation, with several producing entities trying to make it happen, for at least seven years. At last, it's making it to the cameras with a script written by "Black Swan" co-writer John J. McLaughlin, along with Rebello himself.
© COPYRIGHT 2012 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
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