Catching Up with Laura Harring

by: Leaura Luciano

You may now know Laura Harring as the actress who played Chuck Bass’
mysterious birth mother recently on Gossip Girl. You may also know her
from her David Lynch’s cult classic Mulholland Drive. Perhaps you
have seen her Alma award winning performance in Love in the Time of
, where she starred opposite Javier Bardem, as his major love
interest. But did you know that the Mexican-American Beauty, Laura
Harring, made history as the first Latina to be crowned Miss USA?
I reached out to Laura to see what was new in her world and she told me
she just got off the phone with her sister in Thailand. The
conversation then turned to her love of travel, adventures in flying,
Gossip Girl spoilers, Mulholland Drive sequel rumors, and making it
last in Hollywood.

LeAura Luciano: I understand you love to travel.
Laura Harring: Yes it’s true.
LL: Are you an adventure traveler? And what are some of your favorite
places to visit?
LH: You name it, I’ve done it. I do scuba diving trips, treks in
Nepal, visits to the Mayan ruins and social work in India. I also
enjoy going to film festivals and taking mediation courses.
Recently I took a zero gravity flight. You do about 15 one minute
sessions of floating in the air; you’re weightless like you would be in
space. You get to see the water molecules when you spill water,
the break down into little molecules. Oh, and you get to feel what
it’s like to walk on mars.
LL: What’s that like?
LH: You can actually walk, but every step you take you float really
high up. That was pretty remarkable.
LL: That is really cool. Any other recent adventures?
LH: I did go skydiving from 18,000 feet. Usually jumps are at 10,000
feet or 12,000 feet, which is already really high up.
LL: Can you even see anything from the plane before the jump?
LH: At 18,000 ft you see land in little pieces, it looks like
little squares. Then they give you oxygen before you jump. That gets
you thinking about the jump and what’s to come. You get very paranoid.
LL: So how does a 18,000 ft jump compare with 12,000 ft jump?
LH: This was my first jump.
LL: Ever? Wow!
LH: Another thing I did which was really cool was combat flying.
LL: What’s that?
LH: It’s where you’re trained a half day to go on retired air force
planes. They’re combat planes, like in Top Gun. They train you so
that you’re actually flying the plane and right after takeoff you have
complete control over the plane. There is a pilot with you, just in
case. You do this formation where you dive down really sharp and you
try to hit the plane in front of you. In the cockpit, there is a gun
that has a laser and you aim and hit the target area of the
other plane. Its an actual competition.
LL: What inspired that?
LH: The adrenalin rush. I like the feeling of accomplishment there is
something really magnificent about being up in the clouds… and I did back flips and flips on both sides. Its really scary.
LL: It sounds really bad ass!
LH: That’s been a dream of mine, to do pirouettes in the sky. And I was able to do this and all of my friends couldn’t believe it because I was so
comfortable up there.
LL: That’s quite a bit of adventure.
LH: It’s nice to explore these things in life that are a little scary
and a little dangerous.
LL: Now, let’s get down to it…it’s rumored that there will be a
sequel to Mulholland Drive. Any insight on that?
LH: There’s a big mystery about that, isn’t there. ((Laughs playfully))
(Laura’s publicist chimes in) Keep it at that Laura.
LL: Got it, I will interpret that how I want to. Let’s talk about your
recent appearance on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. How did you like
Filming in NY?
LH: Well Jeff (Goldblum) sets the tone of camaraderie. It’s very
fun, so relaxed and very creative. I love shooting in NY. There’s a
vibe in the city that’s so fantastic.
LL: Speaking of shows shot in New York, it was a pleasant surprise to
see you as a guest star on Gossip Girl.
LH: Why is it surprising?
LL: Well, I guess I think of you more as a film actor.
LH: Look at my career, if you look at the career choices I’ve made
it’s so diverse, there’s really no pattern. I go from a independent
dark comedy like Drool, Marvel Comics The Punisher, Nancy Drew which
is a classic story that I grew up with, the more artistic Mulholland
Drive, The King
with William Hurt, to The Shield opposite Forest
Whitaker. There’s no pattern. It’s all these different choices.
LL: Did you know much about the show before you got it?
LH: I didn’t know the popularity of Gossip Girl. I was very relaxed
when I went in. Then I saw how popular it was and how juicy and scandalous it was, I was so thrilled to
be part of it. The show is so well written and it’s so glamorous!
LL: Will you be returning to the set of Gossip Girl next season?
LH: You’re full of mysterious questions, aren’t you?  There’s a 50%
chance that I am and a 50% chance that I’m not.
LL: Fair enough. Tell me about some on-set antics.
LH: My co-stars were so nice and cool they treated me like a Gossip
Girl and made me feel like part of their family.
LL: And how about that wardrobe! Did you love it?
LH: Oh I loved the wardrobe; I tried to get some things.
LL: How did that work out? Did you get to keep anything?
LH: It was very difficult.
LL: Well maybe when you return it won’t be such a problem.
LH: (laughs) It’s just a studio thing.
LL: Moving away from your work and onto your approach to navigating
Hollywood. How does one maintain longevity in one’s career as an actor?
LH: Hmmmm, that’s a great question. I can’t say for anyone else but
me, but I love what I do. I have a passion for it and I choose my roles for different reasons.
Sometimes it could be for personal growth, to expand my knowledge of
something, or to get over fear.
LL: How have you done that?
LH: I took a role (in The Punisher) about 10 years ago when I had a fear
of heights because I know I would have to learn wire work. It was
martial arts training on the high wire that got me over my fear of
LL: Fear of heights? Didn’t you just do “pirouettes in the sky” and a
jump at 18,000 feet?!
LH: If we are full of fear were not really living our lives. Are we? My
philosophy is whatever you’re scared of you have to face it and go
toward that direction so you can get rid of it.

Zoe Saldana Burns Up GQ UK!

Here are some exclusive excerpts from her interview with the British mag:

What she loves in a man: “I love men’s hands not just nice, manicured hands. I feel as though hands say a lot about you and your history. There’s something very abrasively fragile about a man’s hands.”

What she dislikes in people: “The only thing I can’t tolerate in a human being, especially in a man, is ignorance. Somebody who talks in labels, or talks just to hear themselves speak. To me, judgment day is when you open your mouth and say something that lets me know what kind of personality you have. I mean, I’m not saying I love a man who cries, but I think that can be very sexy.”

On playing Neytiri: “I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I just instinctively played her like an animal. I don’t mean like a savage – I just knew that she operates on natural, organic feelings. She’s not calculated or manipulative. There’s an innocence to her, a purity.”

On Naytiri’s fans: “It’s because of how tough she was, and how she was willing to stand by her man. In reality, no matter how fragile a woman can be on the exterior, I think it’s good to have some toughness. That way you get to share the load with the man, so they can be a little vulnerable now and then.”

LeBron to The Heat, David Lee To The Warriors, Now What For The Knicks?

Courtesy of The Bleacher Report.

Both of the Knicks targets in the free agency draft, LeBron James and David Lee are now off market. While LeBron had his one hour special on ESPN, David Lee accepted a sign and trade to the Warriors. The transaction would give the Knicks Anthony Randolph, Kelena Azbuike, and Ronny Turiaf.

The deal was dependent upon the decision of LeBron James, and the terms of Lee’s contract had already been agreed to. Had LeBron chosen New York, the Knicks would’ve renounced David Lee and Lee would’ve become an unrestricted free agents.

Knicks fans are heartbroken as they’ve been hearing for the 2010 plan for two years. The Knicks fans were led to believe two years ago when Donnie Walsh took over that after the summer of 2010, a championship roster would be in place.

Knicks front office was a bit more realistic, as head Coach Mike D’Antoni was on a flight to Las Vegas to get ready for the summer league, and Donnie Walsh stated he would not watch the decision, but would be informed by the phone.

The Knicks however netted themselves some nice pieces out of this David Lee trade.

Anthony Randolph is the center piece of the deal; the young forward was the 14th pick of the 2008 draft. Randolph possesses freakish athleticism, and has been coveted by Knicks president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh. Walsh feels Randolph and Stoudemire would provide great length in the front court.

Randolph and Stoudemire could form the most athletic front court in the league. Randolph was extremely productive in the limited minutes he got under Warriors head coach Don Nelson. Randolph averaged 11 points, 6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Randolph was injured last year and played only 33 games last season; however he turns 21 in about a week, and is thought to have one of the largest upsides in the league.

As for the other pieces, Turiaf is a veteran, who is big enough to play center for the Knicks. Azubuike is a young wing player who can defend, a wing defender is something the Knicks will need moving forward. Azubuike had a great year in 2008-2009 where he set career highs in most stats, as he averaged 14 points and five rebounds.

The Knicks now can move on, but they do need a point guard to run the offense. Luke Ridnour is on the market. Ridnour is a terrific ball handler who can operate the pick and roll which is essential when you acquire a player like Amar’e Stoudemire. A pricier option would be Raymond Felton, but Felton wants a team to commit long term money to him.

My guess is the Knicks will try to acquire Ridnour, as they still have hope that they can eventually trade for a star point guard like Chris Paul or Tony Parker down the road.

The Knicks have also looked at guard Mike Miller who seems like a good fit. Miller is a terrific fit in D’Antoni’s system as he is a knock down shooter, and a great passer especially for a two-guard. The knock on Miller has been his health as he’s struggled to stay healthy, plus he’s already 30-years-old.

The ultimate dream for Knicks fans now shifts from LeBron James, to another member of the 2003 draft class, Carmelo Anthony. Many people around the league believe Anthony wants to sign with New York. The feeling around the league however is that Anthony will sign the extension under this current CBA, and then force a trade to a contender as the Nuggets roster is not set up to be a contender in the western conference.

The Knicks have some young talent moving forward, Danilo Gallinari showed growth as a young player last season, he’s a lights out shooter, he’s going to get better, and his stats compare well to Dirk Nowitzki at the same stages of their careers.

Wilson Chandler played well last season, he’s a great slasher, he’s very versatile as he could play many different positions, and his stats have improved every year he’s been in the league. Chandler and Gallinari are going to be the key homegrown Knicks moving forward.

Moving forward the Knicks didn’t get the king, but they didn’t strike out in free agency. The Knicks had a fairly successful free agency period as they acquired a superstar in Amar’e Stoudemire, a potential superstar in Anthony Randolph who could be the next Chris Bosh, and two rotation players in Azubuike, and Turiaf, plus the Knicks appear to be in the market for a point guard.

Another advantage the Knicks have moving forward is some cap space. The Knicks have Eddy Curry’s contract coming off the books next season, and they’ll be in the market for another star to anchor a potential championship roster with Amar’e Stoudemire.

The bottom line is the days of the Knicks being the laughing stock of the NBA are over. The Knicks have almost fully recovered from the dreadful Isaiah Thomas era.

Donnie Walsh has done an excellent job in digging the Knicks out of deep hole, and while they are still far away from building a championship contender, the Knicks have taken steps that allow us to believe they are committed to winning and will eventually build a title team.

BREAKING NEWS: Lindsay Lohan Goes to Jail!

by: Bernadette Giacomazzo

Associate Editor, LatinTrends Magazine

The Judge – and the people of the State of California – has spoken: Lindsay Lohan will serve ninety (90) days in jail, which will be followed by ninety (90) days in inpatient rehab.

I, for one, could not be happier over this decision. And, judging from the reactions on such gossip blogs as DListed and TMZ, I am obviously not alone in my reverie. (The only site seeming to take the “poor Lindsay” route is Jezebel – a site I normally enjoy reading. Jezebel’s posters seem to believe that Lohan is a poor, innocent victim of a perfect storm that incorporates a Hollywood machine, shamefully poor parenting, and addiction. And while, on one hand, they have a point (especially about the shamefully poor parenting), the truth is just a little more complicated than that…but more on that in a minute…)

From the day we enter school in the United States, we are told the lie that “all are created equal.” Thanks in no small part to the public school system, we quickly learn what an egregious lie that “self-evident truth” really is: the cliques quickly form, and lily-white “mean girls” with lots of Daddy’s Money to spend quickly rise to the top of the social food chain like, well, the proverbial cream. By the time high school graduation rolls around, you realize that the cards are only stacked in your favor if you fit into a very narrow, cis-gendered, financially motivated definition of “equal,” and it isn’t long before you realize that the self-evident truth really should read, “All Rich, White, Christian Men are created equal.”

In recent times, however, a new form of justice has taken over the United States: Celebrity Justice. California, unsurprisingly, is at the forefront of this phenomenon (one would think New York would have a similar attitude towards the rich and (in)famous, but as Lil’Wayne’s prison sentence proved, New York Don’t Play That), much to the disdain of the so-called “common folk.” As Chris Rock correctly pointed out in his now-classic comedy routine, OJ Simpson got away with murder not because of his race, but because of his fame. Because if, instead of being “OJ Simpson, Legendary Football Player,” he was “OJ Simpson, Bus Driver,” he’d be sitting in a jail cell right now. Conversely, if Jerry Seinfeld had killed his wife, and the cop that discovered the evidence was a member of the Nation of Islam, Jerry too would be a free man.

While this proclamation is darkly humorous, it’s also disturbing and sad. Jezebel’s posters collectively let out a cry of pity and horror at the fate of Poor Lindsay Lohan, but I wonder: where are these women and their outrage when a poor black man is illegally searched on the street? Where is the great outcry from these predominantly white, upper-middle-class women when a poor Hispanic woman (like Alma Chacon of Arizona) is forced to give birth while chained to the bed, after being shackled like a member of the Manson Family, for making the egregious mistake of being olive-skinned in Arizona? Why aren’t the faux-minists of all stripes blaming, say, Charlie Sheen’s parents for raising a drug-addled, (alleged) woman-beating porn addict? Or is the Blame Game only convenient for Poor Little (White) Rich Girls, who won the collective hearts of Middle America 10 years ago as a guileless, freckle-faced ingénue in a tepid, autoingestive Disney movie remake?

As a survivor of an ultra-white, ultra-rich, all-girls Catholic school, I for one am sick and disgusted of seeing the spoiled little princess-bitches get all the breaks. People: wake up! Take it from someone who knows: women are just as evil – if not more so – than men, and are just as capable of committing crimes (whether it’s as major as murder or as minor as probation violation).

Equality doesn’t mean “equality” when it’s convenient, and the “blame game” when it’s time to face the consequences of one’s actions. If men and women are created equally – and I have no doubt that they are – they should be made to reap the same rewards, and the same consequences, for the same crimes. If no one wept for Charlie Sheen – if no one cried out that Martin Sheen failed as a parent, if no one blamed Charlie’s drug addiction for his criminal behavior – no one should weep for Lindsay Lohan, either. I don’t care how cute she was 10 years ago…Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez was a cute child too, I’m sure.


The drug addiction factor also brings up another interesting point: this treatment of addiction as a disease, much like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease (and, for obvious reasons, it’s the latter that gets my goat more than anything else). There’s just one problem with that theory: you can’t control what will trigger Alzheimer’s. (If you could, believe me, I’d have done it a long time ago to save my father from his inevitable fate.) But you can control what will trigger addiction. If you choose to drink and drug to excess, if you choose to put the needle in your arm, if you choose to drink a bottle of vodka with every meal, if you choose to dive nose-first into a Scarface-sized mountain of cocaine, and if you choose to smoke crack, you have no choice but to face the consequences of your choices.

Sir Issac Newton put it best: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Anyone – and I do mean anyone, whether they’re “prone to addiction” or not – who smokes crack every day will become a crackhead. I have the self-restraint of a Buddhist monk, and I can assure you that I’d become Cracky McCrackerton if I smoked crack every day. That doesn’t make me “prone to addiction,” nor does it make my addiction a disease. It makes me an idiot for smoking crack in the first place (has anyone seen Jungle Fever or anything in the Spike Lee oeuvre? How about Get Rich or Die Trying? If you’ve seen these movies, and you still think smoking crack is a great idea – disregarding everything you’ve learned in school about the very subject – I’m sorry, but you are the weakest link, goodbye!), and it makes me a fool for believing that I can make excuses for my bad choices. Do you really need a medical degree to figure this out?

As for Lindsay’s unfortunate parentage: even I have to concede that she hit the Sadim lottery with those two. No matter what sort of scallywaggery my sister and/or I got into (and I can assure you, of the two of us, she did infinitely more damage), my mother was always there for us, alternately cheering us on, bawling her eyes out, and/or threatening to kill us once we were in the privacy of our own home.

But in Lindsay’s darkest hours, she stood alone – her violently abusive father sent a “representative” in his place [which is just what Jesus would have done…], and her famewhore-pimp mother [who makes Joe Jackson look like Katherine Jackson] was making a quick buck selling her “exclusive interview” to some gossip rag. (We will also be reminded that this is the same woman who managed to get a free ice cream card revoked because of her entitlement issues.)

In the interest of full disclosure: having worked with the Lohan clan for various photo assignments – including the death of Dina Lohan’s brother, which Lindsay was too busy coking & whoring it up in Cannes to be bothered with – I can assure you, the entire family is little more than typical Lawn Guy Land TRASH. I refuse to make excuses for Lindsay Lohan, but if biology is to be believed and “nature” has just as much of an impact on one’s personality as “nurture,” that poor kid never stood a chance.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who come from homes that aren’t exactly ripped from the sitcoms of NBC’s Must See Thursday Night Lineup who go on to become fine, upstanding citizens and productive members of society, and they had much less resources available at their disposal than Lindsay Lohan. There are also plenty of people who enter into the underbelly of the entertainment world and come out stronger, more determined, and decidedly not about drinking, drugging, and whoring (including Your Humble Writer/Editor). I’m getting a little sick of all the apologists making excuses for Lohan, who had every opportunity and every available means in the world to get her proverbial act together…and chose not to do so, mistakenly believing that her “celebrity status” would buy her an eternal Get Out of Jail Free card.

Even granting that her parents should have been shot on the day they decided to procreate, how many years has her slide been going on? How many people OUTSIDE of her family (notably, Samantha Ronson) have tried to intervene, with little or no success?

No, I don’t feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan for one bit. Judge Martha Revel did Lohan a favor…those six months may be the difference between her life and her death. Those tears Lindsay cried weren’t tears of fear or sorrow – they were the tears of a Spoiled Little Rich Girl being told “no” for the first time in her sad, sorry, pathetic excuse of a life.

They should have been tears of gratitude – because for the first time in that sad, sorry, pathetic excuse of a life that Lindsay Lohan calls her own, someone had the guts to stand up for her and say, “Enough is enough.”

VIDEO: Sophia del Carmen feat. Pitbull — “No Te Quiero”

Check out this video — Sophia del Carmen feat. Pitbull: “No Te Quiero.” It’s FIRE!

Talk about Bum Cakes…

On June 30th, TASCHEN Store Beverly Hills hosted adult film star and Big Butt Book cover girl Alexis Texas along with TASCHEN “Sexy” book editor Dian Hanson to celebrate the launch of The Big Butt Book. Over 300 people packed the store and stood outside in line, patiently waiting to get in to the Playboy Magazine sponsored party.

Camera and film crews snapped away intensely all night at the number of former Playboy Playmates in attendance as well as Dian and Alexis who answered questions for journalists and signed books for fans. Special guests included Film Director and Producer Brett Ratner, Former Playboy Playmates of the Year Jayde Nicole and Kara Monico, Playboy Cover girl Jessica Hall, as well as models and actresses Katie Cleary, Bridgetta Tomarchio, and Marisa Lauren. Store patrons lined both the downstairs area and upstairs area of the store, and were treated to the signature “Booty Shaker” and “Thigh Slapper” cocktails generously provided by Svedka Vodka and served by The Beautiful Bartenders.

Perez Hilton: 15 Years in Jail?

There was an uproar when celebrity blogger Perez Hilton posted an alleged upskirt photo of Miley Cyrus…but will he do hard time for it? According to popeater.com, Perez could be facing 15 years in jail.

At 17, Cyrus is still considered a minor, and the posting of the photo could legally constitute child pornography. Though Hilton pulled the photo down from his server, it was there long enough for many sites to take screengrabs of it.

“We’re not talking about a misdemeanor. You don’t have to know what the definition of the law is, all you have to do is knowingly distribute the photograph,” Los Angeles-based attorney Jeffrey Douglas told Salon. He went on to call Hilton’s decision to post the photo “suicidal.”

While some are asserting that the photo was doctored to falsely portray Cyrus as not wearing underwear, experts insist it likely won’t matter. Whether she was or wasn’t, the photo that Hilton posted would still fall under child pornography laws.

“That is still a crime and it is punishable just the same,” Douglas told Salon.

Salon asserts that if an attorney is so inclined to go after Hilton, “he could be prosecuted on the state or federal level — or both — with a conviction potentially resulting in a 15 year sentence and lifetime registration as a sex offender.”

Perez is in clean up mode now, saying that Miley did indeed have on panties on the day in question. Check out Perez Hilton’s video response:

Shannon Kane

Originally appeared in Urban Latino Magazine.

You may recognize her as officer Natalia Fowler on the daytime soap All My Children, but Shannon Kane is infamously known for her role, opposite the law, in Antoine Fuqua’s cop-thriller Brooklyn’s Finest. In a film that starred Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle, the seductive Kane had all of Brooklyn, NY, standing at attention, as the sultry Latina love interest (call girl) of Richard Gere. Such a first roll would have intimated any emerging actress, but not this scene-stealer.

“I was very apprehensive at first,” reveals the 24-year-old of the nudity scenes. “I’m very free with my body but when the world sees it, it’s a whole different story. Once I saw the work and understood what direction it was going, in making it real, I was very enthusiastic of bringing this vulnerability to her as a woman.”

The Kalamazoo, Michigan native, first break came as a serial extra on CSI Miami in ’06 and then Entourage, the following year. By 2008, the newcomer landed a lengthy stay on the set of All My Children and hasn’t looked back. Now, with over 100 episodes wrapped, a major motion picture under her belt, and with two more films lined up — including the Benny Boom directed sequel to SWAT, S.W.A.T.: Fire-Fight and a romantic-comedy — the up-and-coming starlet is enjoying the ride.

“I love comedy,” she says. “Martin Lawrence is one of my favorite comedians…I love his stand up. My ultimate goal is to work with Quentin Tarantino, because that’s sort of that dark comedy as well.” So what’s her favorite punch line? “I’m [all] about laughing. There’s nothing really in particular that I do, except maintain laughter for my friends, family and myself. That’s what I enjoy about acting, is being able to express every part of me.” She so crazy. — Thomas A. Harden