On Thursday night’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, settled upon the decision to leave Seattle Grace Hospital and move to Boston with her husband, Derek Shephard. Their characters each having been offered a lucrative and enviable position at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, respectively. Though Grey waffles about the decision, desiring to stay at Seattle Grace, Shepard pushes her to choose Boston as the opportunity being offered to him at HMS. In real life, both Ellen Pompeo and her real life husband, music producer Chris Ivery, are from the Boston area. Pompeo is from Everett, and Ivery is from Cambridge, and grew up 10 miles from each other, but didn’t meet until they both arrived in Los Angeles. Patrick Dempsey, Pompeo’s on-screen hubby, is no stranger to the east coast himself. The dark-haired hunk was born in Lewiston, Maine, and grew up in Buckfield. While it remains to be seen what the decisions of the Seattle Grace residents will have on the make up of the show, in the cliffhanger leading up to the May 17th season finale, a plane carrying a majority of the doctors crashes in the woods, with the creator of the series, Shonda Rhimes, stating that a recurring character will be killed off.
Rhimes other successful series, the new mid-season replacement, “Scandal,” was just announced to be renewed for a second season, after pulling as good as or slightly better than the audience numbers “Private Practice” was pulling in in the same spot, at 10 p.m., after “Grey’s.” Debuting on April 5th, the show stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a brash-talking, cunning, collected, head honcho of a Washington D.C. Based crisis management firm. Over the course of the seven episodes that have aired, we have learned that Pope used to work for the president, and had an affair with him. Washington formerly had a recurring role on the David E. Kelley series, “Boston Legal.” The president happens to be played by Tony Goldwyn, who is most recognized for his performance as the traitorous Carl Bruner in the movie Ghost. Goldwyn attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, where he received his B.F.A. The series also co-stars Kate Burton as the vice president, who is more recognizable for her portrayals of Ellis Grey, Meredith’s mother, on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Burton studied at Yale University School of Drama, from which she graduated in 1983. In 2007, Burton was given an honorary doctorate from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
The season finale of “Scandal” will also air on May 17th.
Look out The Avengers, there’s a new band of superheroes in town. Just like super-hunk Ryan Gosling before him, Maine’s Patrick Dempsey has shown his courageous colors by swinging into action and saving the life of a real-life teenage boy. Just last week, outside his home in Malibu, California, Dempsey used quick thinking to pull the boy to safety after he flipped his Mustang over. Hearing the crash, Dempsey rushed out, crowbar and fire extinguisher in hand, and was able to safely extricate the boy from the wreck before calling paramedics and later the boy’s mother.
“He had a certain authority in his voice,” said a “super-grateful” Mary Beth Masset, the mother of the 17 year-old Weston Masset. “I asked if he was a paramedic and he said, ‘No, this is Patrick Dempsey.’ I thought, ‘McDreamy?’ ” she told People magazine.
Dempsey reportedly stayed by the teen’s side as Masset was airlifted to the hospital. Dempsey’s wife, Jillian, and three neighbors also came out to view the wreck. The boy was treated for a concussion and an eye injury and is expected to fully recover. Dempsey was originally born in Lewiston, Maine and grew up in Buckfield, Maine.
In other “Grey’s” related news, Dempsey’s co-star and fellow New Englander, Ellen Pompeo, who originally hails from Everett, MA, finds her “Grey’s Anatomy” character in the midst of a big decision. It seems that Meredith Grey suddenly finds herself with the opportunity to take a job with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Boston, Massachusetts. The season 8 finale will air on May 17th on ABC.
★ Leno leads in ratings once again, but no one looks for him on the ‘net.
★ Check out the yearbook photos of some New England stars Ellen Pompeo, John Mayer, and “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky.
★ Boston Common Magazine talks to twice Emmy-nominated Samantha Harris.
★ Kings Back Bay hosts an Oscar viewing party on February 27th.
★ Newton’s John Krasinski stars in a new movie with Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin.
★ Connecticut’s John Mayer sports a new goatee at the Grammys.
Only film and television aficionados can truly appreciate the hard work and skill involved in all the behind-the-scenes work of a production. When the cameras aren’t rolling, various members of the crew work their tails off to make sure the cast look nothing short of perfection. One such craftsman is veteran make-up artist, Donald Mowat.
Mowat served as the Makeup Department Head for the recent film out of Massachusetts, The Fighter, having worked closely with Dorchester native Mark Walhberg in 18 films. The film is a candidate for Oscar nomination in January for Best Make-Up, underscoring the challenging yet brilliant artistry involved in Mowat’s job. “All the fighting scenes were shot live,” Mowat says. “So all that make-up had to happen live, those scenes were not rehearsed. It was a tremendous amount of work; truly the hardest people working during that time were myself and Mark .” All the hard work more than paid off. “The Fighter is something I think we’re all really happy with, and I’m thrilled that it’s getting attention. I loved being in Lowell, it was an extremely interesting place I was very welcomed there. The Boston crew were all people that I’ve worked with before, and they were fantastic.”
HEC: How did you get started in your career as a make-up artist?
Everything kind of happens by accident. I loved the movies as a kid; I was especially fascinated by period films like Barry Lyndon, where the make-up looks almost like an oil painting. I was always involved in doing school drama as a kid, and I did a lot of make-up for school productions. I was really the only one who had a clue what to do; at that time there wasn’t any formal training you could get for make-up. I basically just went from theater to television to film. My first film was in 1984 to 1985 as an assistant make-up artist for “Joshua Then and Now.” Then I did the extras for “Meatballs III: Summer Job” with Patrick Dempsey, which was pretty much a nothing film. But when you start at the bottom you have nowhere else to go but up. It really gave me a starting point to do good work on bad films.
HEC: How has your education/training helped you in your career?
When I was first starting out it was 24-25 years ago, and there wasn’t any proper training for make-up artists. I went from one program to another for a few years, picking up what knowledge I could but realizing it was a dead end. I really drove my parents crazy. I went to live in the UK with my great aunt, and started interviewing at theater schools like Old Vic in Bristol, and then realized it was a big waste of time. So I got a job doing make-up demonstrations for Christian Dior at a Harrods department store. I owned one suit, a tie and a couple of shirts, and I just went to work every day and did tons of make-up. I was good at it, and learned to do a lot of different kinds of faces. You can only really learn from experience; I learned to be quick, and I mastered the technique.
My first television show came after that initial experience, when I landed a job with Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. It was a Mattel production, and it was innovative because it was an interactive TV program for kids. It was kind of like the poor man’s version of Star Trek. But it gave me lots of experience with tattoos and specialty make-up. I was nominated as a daytime Emmy for that show in 1988, but it was canceled after a year. After that I moved to New York to really start my career.
HEC: What professional qualities are important in doing this type of work?
It is so important to have an open mind, because we are working in a creative capacity but it is also very much a team effort. It can be a very democratic process, so if you’re a good team player and you’re open to suggestions and to trying different things you will be ok. If you’re not a team player you can find yourself in trouble. You’ve got a lot of different people working in the department; many different people have different ways and opinions, and no ways are necessarily right or wrong. It is a creative job, but you are ultimately there to support the actors, the writer, and the directors.
HEC: What are the best and worst parts of your job?
What I’ve really enjoyed is the excitement when you start a project, because the possibilities really seem endless. If you’re a positive person, like a kid, you go in thinking about what you can bring to the project, what you uniquely have to give. When you go in as a team and all the elements come together, it’s pretty magical.
Creating and developing relationships with the people you work with is also a real highlight of the job. Traveling and getting to experience all the various things that we get access to on the road is very exciting, there are so many places that we have access to everyday that people never get to see.
But it is also difficult. You need to have a very thick skin, like a suit of armor, to work the hours we work, in some of the locations, to deal with the harshness of shooting in the desert for months and months. It’s hard, very very hard. It’s a young person’s game, so it’s much harder for me now. Sometimes you get up at 4 in the morning and go for 14 hours. I work almost all the time. It’s also very hard when you can’t get a decent meal, have to stay in a funky hotel, and go to places that you really don’t want to be. We shoot at some great locations, but sometimes you don’t get to film in very glamorous places. It’s also hard on your personal life, hard on your family. But we’re all grown ups, we all deal with it.
HEC: What advice do you have for someone trying to get work in this field?
When you love something (whether it is being a cameraman, a script writer, whatever) it requires a certain kind of personality. But you know what you like, and whenever you have a true passion in doing something, that is what makes it possible. When you really believe in something you’re going to be good at it. In this industry, people really just have to persevere and persist without being arrogant or aggressive.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Mowat’s work in several upcoming films including two starring British actor Daniel Craig: Cowboys and Aliens, shot recently in New Mexico, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, currently being filmed in Sweden.
It’s hard to believe the summer is almost over, and time for the networks to roll out their new fall shows. The 2010 fall line-ups, once again, will be packed with Hollywood East connections, including some new shows and old favorites.
New on ABC, “Body of Proof”, starring Dana Delaney, was actually filmed in Rhode Island, and follows the story of a medical examiner examiner who finds herself in conflict with the police she works with as she attempts to help solve crimes. Episodes are still being filmed and extra casting opportunities are being handled by LDI Casting in Rhode Island.
On CBS, the one hour drama series “Blue Bloods”, costars Tom Selleck and Boston’s own Donnie Wahlberg as New York cops who also happen to be family members.
NBC, which ordered 13 episodes of a new David E. Kelley series, called “Kindreds”, has chosen to leave the legal drama off of its fall schedule and save it for a mid season replacement. Kelley, who attended law school in Boston, is well-known for his string of Boston-based TV shows, including “Boston Legal”, “Boston Public”, “Ally McBeal”, and “The Practice”.
Returning favorites include Fox’s “Glee”, which was co-created by Newton, Massachusetts bred Brad Falchuk, will be returning with much advance hype about its sophomore season, with an episode featuring Britney Spears music already being discussed amidst the fandom.
On ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy”, which stars Everett’s Ellen Pompeo and Maine’s Patrick Dempsey, is entering its 6th season on the network. Word has it this could be the final season for the popular and successful medical drama.
On cable, Hollywood East will be represented significantly on Showtime, as Newton’s Matt LeBlanc will be starring in “Episodes”. The shot-in-Connecticut Laura Linney, series, “The Big C”, will also debut this season, after filming throughout the early part of the summer in southern Connecticut.
On January 6th, the 2010 People’s Choice Awards show will air, selecting the best in music, movies and TV as voted by…well, the people of course! Amongst the nominees that were announced on November 10 in Los Angeles, Hollywood East is well-represented. In the Favorite TV Comedy Actress category, Burlington, MA born Amy Poehler was nominated. In the Favorite Comedic Star category, Adam Sandler is among those selected, who got his start at a Boston comedy club, and spent much of his summer in the area working on Grown Ups and The Zookeeper.
Of movies that were filmed in the hub that were also on the nominations list: The Proposal was nominated for Favorite On-Screen Team, Favorite Movie, as well as Favorite Comedy Movie, as was Bride Wars. Maine’s Patrick Dempsey was nominated in the Favorite TV Drama Actor, and Concord, MA native Steve Carell was no surprise in the Favorite TV Comedy Actor category.
On the musical side, Fairfield, Connecticut’s John Mayer was nominated for Favorite Male Artist. The twisty-faced tune-smith is fond of keeping in touch with his fans via Twitter, and no doubt used this social medium to play to his advantage while votes were being cast.
The 2010 People’s Choice Awards will air live on CBS on Wednesday, January 6, and will be hosted by Queen Latifah.
★ Suri Cruise with mom Katie Holmes goes Halloween costume shopping in Natick, dressed in her finest princess attire.
★ Patrick Dempsey talks about his cancer wellness center in Maine on “Good Morning America”.
★ Kim Kardashian comes to Boston for Gypsy Bar’s anniversary party.
The fall television season is upon us, as both new shows and old favorites will soon be taking to the airwaves across the networks. While many of these shows are shot in California or Canada, nevertheless, New England is well-represented in a variety of ways. Whether it’s stars who originate from the area, or the shows themselves being set here, let’s check out where we can find Hollywood East on the fall 2009 line-up.
“Eastwick” on ABC, Wednesdays at 10 starting September 23, is inspired by the 1987 movie starring Jack Nicholson, Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon. This incarnation of the John Updike novel follows the story of 3 women (including Rebecca Romijn) whose everyday lives get thrown for a loop when a mysterious man arrives at their small, fictional New England town.
Connecticut born Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” spinoff, “The Cleveland Show” is set to premiere September 27 on Fox. The animated comedy will air Sunday nights, along with MacFarlane’s other long-running series–”American Dad!” and “Family Guy”.
AMC’s surprise hit, “Mad Men” got a head start, with its season 3 premiere episode airing on August 16. Boston native, and recent Improper Bostonian cover model, John Slattery, will reprise his role as advertising executive Roger Sterling.
Everett’s Ellen Pompeo will be appearing less towards the start of the perpetual favorite “Grey’s Anatomy” with her real-life pregnancy pulling her away from an otherwise heavy workload. The season 6 premiere airs Thursday, September 24, and also stars Maine native Patrick Dempsey.
The second season of Fox’s “Fringe” coincides with production being moved to Vancouver, Canada, despite the fact that the series is set in Boston. Beantown’s own Leonard Nimoy will make several appearances throughout the season of the sci-fi show.
Fox’s other eccentric enterprise, “Dollhouse”, starring Watertown, MA’s Eliza Dushku will be returning for a second season after an uncertain beginning. The first episode will air September 25, as it returns to 9 PM time-slot on Friday nights.
The “Grey’s Anatomy” two-hour season finale has everyone talking, but it seems the stars of the popular ABC drama are developing real-life plot lines of their own.
Patrick Dempsey, alias “Dr. McDreamy”, returned to his birth state of Maine in March to announce the opening of The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. The center, which is located in his hometown of Lewiston, will serve as an education resource and provide support programs for cancer patients and their loved ones. Dempsey himself provided the grant money for the center, in honor of his mother, an Ovarian cancer survivor. On October 4th, the on-screen doc is also sponsoring the “Dempsey Challenge” a bike tour and run/walk fundraiser that will also help raise awareness of the center as a haven for people whose lives are affected by cancer.
Everett, MA born Ellen Pompeo announced on April 19 that she is expecting her first child with husband Chris Ivery, who also grew up in the Boston area. The 39 year old “Grey’s Anatomy” star met her record-producer hubby at a Whole Foods in New York city in 2003, and later married in 2007. The couple currently resides in Los Angeles. No word on whether the pregnancy will be written into the show.
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