Celebritology Live

Aug 30, 2012

Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

Past Celebritology Chats

Follow @PostLive on Twitter

Hello, everyone. I won't waste time with pointless introductions. Let's just start talking ... now.

A belated Happy Birthday, Jen! I had no idea I share a birthday with you and Aaron Paul! That's much improved over only sharing it with Paul Reubens.

Paul Reubens was the best claim to fame I had when I was younger -- no offense to Martha Raye or LBJ, but pop culturally speaking, Pee Wee Herman is better.

Then I found out that not only does Aaron Paul have the same birthday as I do, so does Sarah Neufeld from Arcade Fire. So that's two cool people born on the same day as I was, albeit a few years later. Still, that automatically makes everyone with an Aug. 27 birthday cooler, right? That is how it works, isn't it?

I can'r remember when it was, but we had a list day or blog post about it, and I have a new man to add to my list of dirty but hot men, joining Sawyer, Daryl Dixon, and, well, most of the guys on Game of Thrones. Anson Mount is devastatingly attractive on Hell on Wheels, and somehow, the more covered in grime his character gets, the more handsome he is. And he swaggers in cowboy boots even better than Timothy Olyphant. He should never, ever, ever shave his beard or cut his hair.

You are thinking back to Liz's hot dirt bags post, although I believe we may have had a follow-up conversation about it in the chat.

I do not watch Hell on Wheels, so I trust you, but have to say that it's pretty hard to swagger better than Olyphant. That is a bold statement you just made.

I think you have higher hopes than I do re: Daniel Craig on SNL. But then you might have higher hope for SNL than I do, too.

Even if he is horrendous, it will still be interesting to watch, I think.

The best way to watch SNL is on Sunday morning so you can fast-forward through the sketches that aren't working. Although I often watch on Saturday nights anyway. I always think I'm going to miss something important when it happens live, even though that never happens. I'm kind of old-fashioned that way.

I work with a guy who is a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi (albeit my coworker has straight teeth). I find Steve Buscemi sexier than sexy, but I don't know that a heterosexual man would view it as a compliment if I said to him, "You are a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi!" What do you think?

Does that mean a homosexual man would view it as a compliment?

You should just ask him if anyone's ever said that he reminded them of Buscemi. You don't have to say dead ringer. If he really resembles the guy that much, he probably has heard it before. Then again, he might be sick of hearing it, which could create a wedge between you that will make work awkward from now on.

Oh! Here's an idea: why don't you suggest a bunch of Halloween costumes for him that are all based on Buscemi characters and see if he gets the hint. "Hey, you should really go as Nucky Thompson for Halloween. No? Okay, how about Donny from "The Big Lebowski"?"

Not in treatment for an eating disorder or substance abuse ... methink her reps doth protest too much. She is alarmingly skinny.

Either she protests too much, or she realizes that's exactly what people will assume when Rimes says she's seeking treatment so she's trying to squash that perception out of the gate.

Either way, she's seeking treatment for something and you can't fault a person for trying to get better, whatever the reason might be.

I used to think that, but then January Jones happens. Now when I hear an actor I like is going to host I cringe a little and just hope they don't choke.

The fact that we all still remember the Jones choke proves my point -- it's cringey but also something that people may be talking about afterward.

I also think Craig has more range than Jones does, so the odds of him doing well at this are greater.

LOL. Well, a homosexual man might be more likely to understand why I find Steve Buscemi so appealing.

All right, fair enough.

If you borrow my Halloween suggestion, please report back and let me know how that works out for you. Also, please send a photo of the guy dressed in costume.

Wow, we had an Edward and a Jack born this week. I applaud these brave, iconoclastic celebrities who are bucking tradition and giving their children normal names that WON'T ensure bullying later. Here's hoping it's the start of a new trend, and we can wave goodbye to the Moxie Crimefighters, Bronx Mowglis, Sparrows and other craziness.

But I don't want to wave goodbye to those names. I applaud the normalcy but if some celebs don't step up and keep giving their kids weird names, how are we supposed to continue our regular conversations about how badly those freakishly-monikered children will be bullied at recesss? I mean, we need new material.

Leann Rimes is the latest of several celebs who have sought "treatment" or "anxiety and stress". In other words, welcome to life. What I don't get is, why don't these celebs' oodles and oodles of money keep them from experiencing the normal day-to-day stresses of life? Such as, marital problems ... they can afford counseling. Insecurity, depression, the past ... they can afford counseling. They don't have to drive in rush-hour traffic or grocery shop on weekends when it's so crowded; they can pay people to drive them and do their errands. They don't have the stress of child-rearing, as they can pay nannies. They don't have to cook, clean house, etc ... what could possibly be causing them so much stress? Especially if Leann Rimes is taking a break from her "treatment" to tour?

It's easy to assume that life must be super-easy if you're rich and famous. In fact, that assumption is what makes so many people want to be rich and famous, which is what starts the whole cycle of becoming a huge star, then having a major breakdown in the first place.

Obviously I am neither rich nor famous, but I am guessing that there is a certain level of stress that comes into play when you make it really big in the entertainment world. People want your time, all the time. You have demands to fulfill. It's pretty impossible to just decide to call in sick because your nose is stuffy. You can't even leave the house in sweatpants because you'll end up getting torn apart by commenters on Just Jared or something.

The point is, I don't think that being famous is terribly relaxing. Obviously it affords a lot of other freedoms and perks. I'm not saying we should all feel super sorry for Hollywood's elite. But sometimes a person needs to feel relaxed and not pulled in 80 directions and it's easy to forget how to achieve that.

Again, no idea if this is what's going on with Rimes, just speaking in general terms here.


Did you see the "Who Do You Think You Are?" episode that traced an ancestor of Steve Buscemi's who'd twice deserted the Union Army during the Civil War? Not only was it fascinating human history, but Buscemi came across as a truly nice guy who loves his family (definitely NOT acting there).

Hey, we should look into this and see if that reader's co-worker is related to Buscemi's family tree.

Odds that he'll impersonate Sean Connery on "Jeopardy"?

Slim. But that is a brilliant idea. At the least, they should have Darrell Hammond come on and do it. Maybe they can do a League of Extraordinary James Bonds sketch.

Put more thought into this, but what about Dan Stevens aka Cousin Matthew (still kind of weird when Lady Mary calls him that). Dan Stevens was in the same improv team at Cambridge University that include Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Peter Sellers among its ranks. Plus Stevens was a stand-up comic before he started being a professional actor. In January, "Downton Abbey" S3 will be coming to PBS, but third season will be in the can and they wont have started filming S4 yet. Although when Kyle MacLachlan was the host of SNL, it sort of marked the end of "Twin Peaks" being any good, so won't be that upset if Dan Stevens never hosts either.

No, what marked the end of Twin Peaks being any good was when we found out who killed Laura Palmer.

I like this Dan Stevens idea. I am *sure* Lorne Michaels reads this chat religiously, so maybe he'll pursue it.

Why jump to mental illness? Physical illness is just as likely--maybe more--to cause weight loss. Whatever it is, gossip (speculation, not concern) isn't the way to make it better.

Of course. It could be anything and as I said before, the main point is that she's doing something about it.

And props to Snooki and her Baby Daddy for giving their son appropriate Italian-American names! Although (understatement alert) I'm no fan of "Jersey Shore," I do hope that Snooki does a great job raising the child, for his sake.

Well now that Jersey Shore is canceled, maybe she'll have more time to devote to parenting.

Still voting for Zach Woods (aka Gabe on the Americanized "The Office") to that characterization.

That's a good call.

I did watch it. Both episodes. I can't wait until some graduate student or PhD writes their thesis on the topic on "How poverty, ignorance and bad taste fascinate America." Honestly, I watched but it hurt, I had to flip a few times to the National games (Oh, Bryce, why will you hit a home run TO my house?! but I disgress). It hurt to watch people in that state of utter ignorance and poverty and all things ugly. And a girl having to give up her piglet... Do I watch it on TV because I can't watch it in real life? Do I watch because I'm a monster?

Yes, it's because you're a monster.

I haven't been able to bring myself to look at it just yet. I just know I will feel like I need to take a bath in formaldehyde to properly cleanse myself afterward and I am not prepared.

But plenty of people watch, obviously, and I know that not all of them are horrible people. There is something fascinating in a way -- it's like people watching at a county fair without having to smell what a county fair smells like. Or something.

Well Washington, D.C.-set "The Invasion" was kind of funny in its awfulness...

Wow, I wiped that movie out of my brain. Yeah, that was neither Craig's nor Nicole Kidman's best work.

Not to mention, if you experience any difficulties in life (project failed, trouble with a relationship, the knowledge that the livelihoods of dozens of people are dependent on you promoting a film) people wonder aloud why you could POSSIBLY be having trouble. They're just people. They forget to call their moms and eat more than they should and have zits and worry whether they're raising their kids right. Plus they get to have their life choices constantly critiqued in public. It's good to be an anonymous schmo. I don't know if I'd take the money involved with fame if it meant my judgement was constantly questioned by dopes on the Internet.

Yeah, how dare all these dopes question the judgement of ... uh, never mind.

No, what you say is exactly right. It's a cliche to point out that the grass always seems greener on the rich and famous side, but it's a cliche because it's true. Being a nobody has its benefits.

I told one of my board members that he reminded me of Bradley Cooper (he does, if you squint) and he's been my pal ever since. Not sure if you'd get the same reax if you're noting a resemblance to Steve Buscemi.

Yeah, I think you're likely to win a friend for life if you tell a colleague he looks just like the Sexiest Man Alive.

I know you watched and recapped last season (yes??). I didn't watch it and have been unable to catch it yet. Can I watch season 2 without being confused? Or should I record it and wait until I can watch season 1? I love weird and bizarre stuff.

Season two is a complete reboot of the series. Some of the same actors are returning -- like Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto -- but they are playing entirely different roles. So there is no reason you would be confused at all.

However, you should still watch the first season of American Horror Story. And, yes, read our recaps as you go. If you like weird, it's definitely weird.

Um yeah. Bradley Cooper is most definitely a compliment. I once told a guy in all innocence, and meant it as a compliment, that he looked like David Letterman. He never spoke to me again. Literally.

I mean, come on. That's no reason not to speak to someone. It's not like Letterman is a grotesque mutant.

Someone once asked if I was pregnant when I wasn't, and I still talk to her. That seems far worse than telling someone they resemble a celebrity even if that celebrity isn't on the cover of Maxim or GQ.

I've always said I'd love to be rich, but I'd never be famous. When I was serving on my local city council, I couldn't even walk around my neighborhood for my regular evening walk because people kept stopping me and complaining about something or wanting me to do something for them. So I can't even imagine how it is for celebrities.

Leslie Knope reads this chat! Leslie Knope reads this chat!

Still LOL-ing ... I think I will have to go the Halloween costume route, because if I try to justify my "has anyone ever told you you look like Steve Buscemi?" compliment by saying how attractive I find Steve Buscemi, the guy might think I'm hitting on him and, well, that could go fast in a bad direction. Or get me a slap on the wrist from HR.

Honestly, can you please film this conversation, however it goes down? It has so much potential to go in a variety of hilarious directions.

Actuallly Dan Stevens going to Broadway in October for his play, "The Heiress." So this SNL might just happen... https://twitter.com/TheHeiressBway

Hey, maybe Dan Stevens's agent is writing into this chat, in addition to Leslie Knope. If it gets him on SNL, that's fine.

I can admit only in the privacy and anonymity of this chat that I watch the Kartrashian unreality show. I don't know why. Not only do I feel the need to bathe in formaldehyde afterwards, but I don't ever want to text (because that's all they do, stare blankly at their phones with drugged expressions) or at salads (because that's all they do too, except the younger tall one who doesn't eat) or touch my hair (because all the females do is stroke their hair extensions endlessly).

It's okay to admit this. You're in a safe place among people who understand.

It's interesting that you watch the show and don't know why. Let's try to get to the bottom of this in the 12 minutes of the chat that remain. Is there something comforting about watching something mindless at the end of a long day? Does it make you feel smarter and better about yourself because you don't eat salads while stroking your hair? (Which, by the way, is understandable.)

I'm honestly not mocking you. I genuinely want to figure this out.

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a celebrity baby born. Plus, she is a md native. This couple seems genuinely nice and down to earth and after everything they have been through, it seems like a truly happy ending.

People give Giuliana Rancic a lot of crap, and sometimes it is justified because she can sound pretty ridiculous during E! red carpet shows.

But I gained a certain respect for her after I interviewed her for this profile a couple of years ago. She doesn't apologize for who she is. She admits she can be shallow and vapid. She's pretty upfront and honest about herself, which may not make her behavior less vapid. But I like the fact that she's who she is, she owns up to it and people can just take it or leave it.

And yes, she and her husband went through a lot to have that baby, so it's hard not to feel happy for them.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and her challenger, Rep. Todd "legitimate rape" Akin? I can imagine a skit based on a candidates' debate between them.

So should we all just start writing the new season of SNL then? We have no shortage of ideas here.

Still a train wreck?

Uh ... I plead the fifth?

Actually, I vote for the Earl of Grantham, Hugh Bonneville, who was terrific in the 6 episode BBC comedy 2012, about a man in charge of the runup to the London Olympics who tries to do a huge job while surrounded by idiots and in the middle of a divorce from the Wife from Hell. Not sure if he could do broad sketch work, but boy can he underplay in the midst of absurdity.

You know what, let's just toss the entire "Downton Abbey" cast on to SNL. Mr Bates, Dame Maggie Smith -- then they can do a live version of a Spike TV promo for "Downton Abbey," which still breaks me up every time I watch it.

Hmmm. I do think you are onto something with the comfort of watching something mindless at the end of the day. Maybe it also helps me appreciate my intelligence (as I watch the Kartrashians behave in really unintelligent ways) and my normal life (when I watch the stuff they do, which is incomprehensible).

I definitely think there's a schadenfreude aspect to the appeal of reality television. ("I'm not that dumb/that trashy/that drunk in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon.")

As I've said before in this chat, I spent the most time watching reality TV when I was on maternity leave and taking breaks from the baby. It was something I could switch on, look at for a few minutes without needing to have seen any previous episodes and then walk away from without feeling any commitment to watch additional episodes.

So, basically, the opposite of "Breaking Bad."

If this forum is the place for it.....I LOVE the Real Housewives shows. They help me feel better about my life, and it's fun to laugh at the crazy women. It's also "mindless", so it's perfect for after work decompressing.

And this reader just reiterated the mindless/schadenfreude point.

I work 10 hour days, I have a 6-month old baby and I rarely sleep more than 5 hours per night. I can't afford luxury entertainment to come to me (thus my previous Bryce Harper comment) and my husband owns season tix to DC United. He cannot stand TLC. At the end of each day my body and mind are exhausted. Many times I don't eat dinner because "DECIDING" what to eat is too much work. (last night i had a can of chicken soup). ALL while watching honey boo boo and toddlers & tiaras. I don't know if i would be happier of a better person if I read the Ulysses or watched PBS or Fox news. I seriously don't know if i can afford any more thoughts at 10pm. What think you?

I've been there, and I do understand. I still don't think I could make it all the way through Honey Boo Boo, though. I get angry when I watch some reality shows, and I think that one might make me mad, and then I'd be all riled up and not relaxed at all.

Musicians more than other celebrities have an additional stressor. Solo artists put their work out to be judged by thousands every night. Every ticket sold (or not sold) is a referendum on that person's decisions. Actors, on the other hand, can blame the script or the director or their fellow castmates if a flick bombs.

Very good point.

Speaking at the Republican convention tonight. But all I can think of is Bill Hader with his trousers belt pulled up to his ribs yelling at kids to keep off his lawn.

Oh man. What if Hader as Eastwood is the surprise guest? That would be amazing.

I still want to see the Obi Wan hologram of Ronald Reagan. And I want to see him perform the works of hologram Tupac Shakur. Probably not going to happen.

I think the only two people who can "plead the fifth" on a Lindsay Lohan question is Lindsay Lohan herself and her dealer.


And on this note, it is time to shut 'er down for the day. Thanks for the lively conversation, as always. Have a wonderful, safe, reality TV-free (if possible) Labor Day weekend, everyone.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

When she isn't blogging, at the movies or watching a television show, she's ... um ... probably at home watching a movie or a TV show.

Celebritology Live Archive
Recent Chats
  • Next: