Coming Clean

Okay, okay. It’s time for the truth. Who here has ever said something bad about someone behind their backs—that they know isn’t true? I think we’ve all been there. Everybody makes mistakes, the important thing is that we admit it and come clean. With all this rumour talk, I’ve been wondering about the best way to do damage control after telling a lie that spirals out of control. We’ve seen the different reasons why rumours start. When someone’s in competition with you, they might start a rumour to look better in comparison, like V’s co-worker. Kelly proved that jealousy can make you crazy enough to create lies about even your best friend. Chris didn’t seem to care that to prove his own reputation, he had to ruin someone else’s, and Olive found out the hard way that getting noticed for the wrong reasons isn’t as fun as she thought it would be. But when something as powerful as the rumour mill takes over, is it even possible to reverse the damage that’s been done? What happens when someone sees the error of their ways? I can’t say what the best way is, but I can tell you what Jason did.

Jason knew from a young age that he was not like other guys. He wasn’t interested in girls, and when he hit high school, he realized that he was gay. Unfortunately, he went to great lengths to deceive his classmates for fear of being ridiculed. But when his crush Roy realized the truth and admitted that he liked him, Jason freaked out, insisted he was straight and started telling malicious rumours about Roy. The whole school was tormenting Roy, and Jason realized that he couldn’t do this to someone—especially not the guy he liked. So, during a school assembly, Jason took to the stage, came out of the closet, called Roy up on stage and kissed him in front of everybody. After that, the only thing the school couldn’t stop talking about was the hot new couple that was brave enough to be themselves. So you see, the rumour mill works both ways, it can spread lies, or if you’re courageous enough to tell the truth, it can make you known for all the right reasons.

Have you ever took a stand against something you knew was a lie? Have you ever started a rumour and then tried to reverse its negative effects? What’s the best way to let the truth be known?

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The Backstabbing Best Friend

I got thinking today about exactly how and why rumours get started, and I realized that it usually always starts with jealousy. The best example of this is Valentina and her so-called best friend, Kelly.

To anyone looking from the outside, Valentina’s life was perfect. She didn’t dread going into work on Monday mornings—in fact, she looked forward to it. Her job as a producer at a TV station was both fulfilling and well paying. She was tall, blonde, blue-eyed and beautiful, with a gorgeous boyfriend and a perfect apartment. That is, until her life fell spectacularly apart.

Her best friend, Kelly, seemed to have her life together, but she was so consumed with jealousy of Valentina’s seemingly perfect life, that she decided to start a rumour that would ruin it all. She used her trusted position as best friend to get info about all Valentina’s plans for upcoming shows—and then shared them with a competing network to make it look like Valentina was passing on information. She then told all the right people that Valentina was sneaking information in order to get a higher-paying position at the competing company. Then, Kelly convinced Valentina’s boyfriend that she was cheating on him—and hooked up with him herself!

Clearly, Kelly was crazy. But her plan worked. Valentina was fired, her boyfriend broke up with her and she lost her apartment, because without a job, she couldn’t afford it. And what did she do? She turned to Kelly—not realizing that it was her who started it all.

Have you ever had a best friend who backstabbed you? What would you do if your friend betrayed you? If you were Kelly, would you come clean?

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She’s Become The Wildest Girl In School

Did you hear about Olive? You know, Olive Penderghast? OK, I admit it. I didn’t know who she was last week, but this week is a different story. I heard that she lost her virginity to a college guy, and ever since, she’s become the wildest girl in school. Everybody is talking about it, because before this all happened, she was just a normal high school student, who wasn’t hitting anything but the books. So who let this story slip? Did it all start with a little white lie? Or did she come by the moniker of ‘school skank’ honestly? Of course, we can only speculate, but some of the stuff I’ve been hearing can’t be made up—I mean, she put on a practically public display at one of the biggest parties of the year and is actually going around wearing her own Scarlett Letter-inspired “A.” Plus, she’s been getting increasingly scantily clad with each passing day. Now, she wants to put on a really public display—she’s telling everyone to watch her live video blog on September 17th. I just hope Olive knows what she’s getting into. Once she shares all her shameful secrets, there’s no going back.

Have you ever been the topic of a rumor mill? Do you embrace the rumors about yourself—or try to set the record straight?

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Aly Michalka

Actress and musician Aly Michalka was born in Torrance, California. Growing up in Southern California and Seattle, she was home-schooled and took an interest in performing arts at an early age, playing piano and acting in church stage productions starting at age five. At 13 she learned guitar, and plays music in a duo with her younger sister Amanda Joy (AJ) called “Aly & AJ.”

Aly got her big break in 2004 when she was cast in a regular role on the Disney Channel series Phil of the Future, playing Keely Teslow, the bubbly best friend of a boy from the future.

She and AJ were then signed to Disney’s Hollywood Records label, releasing their debut album “Into the Rush” was released in 2005. The song “No One” was featured in the Disney movie Ice Princess (2005), and the album went platinum in 2007. Their cover of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic” was heard in the Disney channel movie Now You See It, in which Aly also played a starring role. The pair have since released two more albums, “Acoustic Hearts of Winter” in 2006 and “Insomniatic” in 2007. Their song “Potential Breakup Song” off “Insomniatic” peaked at number 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 10 best songs of 2007.

After Now You See It, Aly starred another Disney Channel movie alongside her sister, called Cow Belles (2006). They also filmed a Disney Channel pilot called Haversham Hall (2006), but it was never picked up as a series. Aly made her big screen debut in Bandslam (2009) along fellow Disney alumnus Vanessa Hudgens.
When she isn’t acting, Aly enjoys drawing, fashion and sewing, and has plans to design a clothing line. She loves sushi, tacos, candy, pasta, and Jamba Juice. She lives with her parents and sister in Los Angeles, and has two dogs named Saint and Bandit.

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Stanley Tucci

Born in Peekskill, New York, Tucci graduated from the acting program at State University of New York at Purchase when he was 22 and got his first film role three years later. But he would have to wait another 11 years before his “big night” which would literally come with the film Big Night (1996), a film he not only acted in but also wrote and directed.

About getting to make Big Night (1996), an excellent little movie about two Italian brothers and a failing restaurant that’s guaranteed to make you hungry, Tucci says, “There are exceedingly few people in the world that make the movies they want to make. Woody Allen is one of them. Maybe Bernardo Bertolucci’s another. And I guess Bertrand Tavernier. All the others are dead. Even Marty Scorsese struggles. So the chance to do what you set out to do…that’s precious.”

In Big Night (1996), Tucci the brother who wants to compromise on quality and flair in order to keep the failing restaurant afloat while his perfectionist chef sibling (Tony Shalhoub) wants only to create culinary masterpieces. Both actors turn in fine performances that helped them further their careers.

“As an actor,” Tucci said about the time immediately following the release of Big Night (1996), “my life has definitely changed. I don’t have to go around begging for jobs now.”

Since his big break, Tucci has landed roles in other hit films such as A Life Less Ordinary (1997), co-starred in Montana (1997), played the mischevious Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999), and Preston Boyd in the 1999 thriller, In Too Deep (1999). Tucci was married in 1995 and his wife, Kate, gave birth to twins in 2000. However, after Tucci reportedly began dating actress Edie Falco while they were co-starring on Broadway in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, his wife Katie demanded a separation. Tucci and Falco’s relationship ended in 2004. Katie took him back, but he lost her to breast cancer in April 2009.

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Malcolm McDowell

Born in Leeds, England, Malcolm McDowell had a private school education at Cannock, but didn’t attend college even though he was accepted to a Sussex university. McDowell began his acting career in repertory, appearing with the Royal Shakespeare Company for two years. His theater work includes the Royal Court’s 1975 production of Entertaining Mr. Sloane, which later moved to London’s West End. In the United States, he was seen on the New York stage in Look Back in Anger and In Celebration, and in Los Angeles in Hunting Cockroaches at the Mark Taper Forum.

Before acting, he first worked as a waiter in his father’s pub in Liverpool and then moved on to become a coffee salesman before working as a messenger.

On television, McDowell co-starred with Laurence Olivier and Alan Bates in Harold Pinter’s The Collection, and had the title role in CBS’ Arthur the King.

In 1967, McDowell landed his first film, Poor Cow. Before McDowell’s scene was cut, it had attracted the attention of director Lindsay Anderson, who cast the 25-year-old actor as a prep-school rebel in If… (1968). Director Stanley Kubrick was likewise impressed by McDowell’s ability to project working-class insolence; Kubrick starred the actor as futuristic street gang leader Alex in the controversial A Clockwork Orange (1971). While Alex dished out plenty of violence and brutality, he got back as good as he gave in the scenes wherein he was “cured” of his aggressiveness; at one point, poor McDowell spent several shooting days bound in a straitjacket, his eyes pried open by surgical clamps. Since then McDowell has had a phobia about using eyedrops.

McDowell has been able to shed his earlier punkish image in favor of sensitive, introspective roles, such as that of H. G. Wells in Time After Time (1979) and Maxfield Perkins in Cross Creek (1983).

McDowell kept himself busy in the ’80s and ’90s in both film and television. He made a cameo appearance as himself in The Player (1992) and was seen in Star Trek: Generations (1994), Tank Girl (1995), Richard Benjamin’s Milk Money (1994) and Morgan Freeman’s Bopha. In 1998, he accepted the role as Mr. Roarke in the TV series Fantasy Island. He continues to work steadily, in projects such as I Spy (2002) and Hidalgo (2004).

McDowell has had a fistful of marriages. In 1975, he married actress Margot Bennett. Five years later, he got divorced and married another actress, Mary Steenburgen. From this second marriage, he fathered two children: Lily Amanda and Charles Malcolm. This marriage would last 10 years, and in 1991 he married again, this time to Kelley Kuhr, with whom he has a child.

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Lisa Kudrow

“Life is a lot easier when you’re dumb,” says this graduate of Vassar College. After finishing her degree in biology, Kudrow planned on doing research with her father, a world-renowned headache specialist. But an audition for the famed Los Angeles improvisational group, The Groundlings, led to her becoming a regular member of the troupe.

Nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and American Comedy Awards for her work in Friends and Mad About You, Kudrow says, “People are watching really carefully. But I think I’m funny.”

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Cam Gigandet

Cam Joslin Gigandet (pronounced ji-gon-day) was born in Tacoma, Washington. A natural athlete, he played football while attending Auburn High School, but after realizing it wasn’t for him, he quit and began to focus on acting. After graduating in 2001, he headed for Los Angeles where he attended Santa Monica Community College, found an agent and began to audition.

His first role was a guest appearance on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He then landed a regular role on the long-running soap opera The Young and the Restless, but his contract wasn’t renewed, which was a big blow to his confidence. Soon after, however, Gigandet landed a recurring role on the WB Television Network’s drama series Jack & Bobby, quickly followed by a recurring role on seasons three and four of the popular Fox TV series The O.C. as the creepy Volchok. The highly-rated show brought him much attention, making him a young actor to watch.

He immediately made his feature film debut with a supporting role in MGM Pictures’ Who’s Your Caddy? (2007). Less than a year later he was starring on the big screen in Never Back Down (2008) and Twilight (2008), playing bad guy vampire James.

Having achieved star status, Gigandet has a number of other film roles in the works, including The Unborn (2009), in which he finally gets to play a good guy, alongside Gary Oldman.

Although Gigandet lives in Hollywood, he regularly visits his parents in Washington State, where he enjoys water-skiing with his family. He also enjoys riding his bicycle, surfing and has a black belt in martial arts.

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Patricia Clarkson

Born and raised in New Orleans, Clarkson made her acting debut in high school plays. Afterwards, Clarkson attended Louisiana State University where she studied speech for two years, but she couldn’t ignore her love of performing and switched to Fordham University in New York, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in theater arts. She then went on to earn her M.F.A. at the Yale School of Drama.

Clarkson made her professional acting debut in New York, where she appeared in a number of stage productions both on and off Broadway. She received Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations for her role in the play Maiden’s Prayer. Her television debut came in 1995 in the TV series Spenser: For Hire, followed by a guest appearance on The Equalizer in 1996. Shortly after, she made her feature debut playing the role of Catherine Ness in The Untouchables (1987), opposite Kevin Costner. Roles in features such as The Dead Pool (1988) and Rocket Gilbraltor (1988) quickly followed, and the husky-voiced actress found herself in demand. In 1991, she landed a regular role in the TV series Davis Rules, then played roles in a number of TV movies over the next few years, including An American Story (1992), Legacy of Lies (1992), Blind Man’s Bluff (1992), Caught in the Act (1993) and She Led Two Lives (1994). In 1995 Clarkson returned to features with Jumanji(1995), but later that year was back on television with a regular role in Murder One. After a year on the series, she found herself once again doing features, winning a Saturn Award for her role in The Green Mile (1999), starring Tom Hanks.

The awards began pouring in during 2002, when Clarkson won an Emmy for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” for the TV series Six Feet Under, a “Best Female Performance” award from the Deauville Film Festival for her role in The Safety of Objects (2001) and a New York Film Critics Circle “Best Supporting Actress” award for her supporting role in the feature film Far From Heaven (2002). The awards kept piling up the following year when she won a National Society of Film Critics Award for her role in Far From Heaven (2002) and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for her role in The Station Agent (2003). In 2004, she received her highest actor honor to date—an Academy Award nomination for her role as a dying mother in Pieces of April (2003). In 2006, she received her second Emmy as “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” for the TV series Six Feet Under. In 2009 she received the Independent Award for Excellence in Acting at the ShoWest Convention.

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Thomas Haden Church

Thomas Haden Church grew up outside of Dallas, Texas. He worked at various jobs, including for the Texas Highway Department, as a radio deejay and as a hired hand on a cattle ranch. While a student at North Texas State University, he began doing commercial voiceovers and after graduation, won a small part in an indie movie.

Based on that success, he moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to see if he could make acting his career. He immediately landed guest appearances on shows such as 21 Jump Street, Cheers, China Beach and Booker. The following year he became a series regular on a new sitcom, Wings. Church stayed with the hit show for the length of his five year contract. Though it ran for two more years, he wanted to try something different. During a hiatus from the show, he’d gotten a taste of big-budget movie making with Tombstone (1993), starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. Following a role in the horror flick Demon Knight (1995), starring Billy Zane and Jada Pinkett Smith, Church returned to series television work as a regular in the sitcom Ned And Stacey, which lasted two years before being cancelled.

He wasn’t out of work long. Church played villain Lyle Van de Groot in George of the Jungle (1997) opposite Brendan Fraser, and Don in One Night Stand (1997) with Wesley Snipes. Although he’s had several offers to return to network TV, Church has opted to stick to film. He made his directorial debut with Rolling Kansas (2003), also co-writing the screenplay and taking on a role. Made on a small budget, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival but has not been released to commercial theaters.

Church then went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for his lead role in the critically-acclaimed Sideways (2004), co-starring Paul Giamatti and Virginia Madsen.

In his spare time, Church, who grew up surfing on the Texas coast, enjoys hitting the beach near his home in Southern California.

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