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Friday, January 30, 2009

'90s soap hunk and "Celebrity Circus" champ Antonio Sabato Jr. on his reality TV love search

Exclusive extras from my January 2009 Muscle & Body cover story interview with Antonio Sabato Jr., whose matchmaking VH1 reality show is set to premiere in late spring or early summer:

What can you tell us about your upcoming VH1 reality show?
It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and hopefully find the right person and really see what people are all about. You never know who you’re gonna meet in Hollywood. Sometimes you meet the wrong people who seem to change overnight and become someone completely different. I know it’s a TV show and a lot of people just want to be on camera, but I’m gonna use this (show) to be real on a real show, and make it something that might work for me rather than against me. It’s gonna test me and test these girls to see who they are. I’m gonna say,
“Look, I’m a real dude who wants an opportunity to find someone to be with and be in love with and be a better person with.”
I want to test the waters and find out if that can happen. Obviously, the possibilities are probably slim, but I’m gonna go along with it and have great fun. The scenery will be beautiful to look at—we’re going to Hawaii or Miami.

Does true love exist?
In my opinion, I think love does exist. I want to really psychologically get into the heads of these girls in the show. That will be a challenge.

When can we expect to see your reality show?
Filming was pushed to January. We’ll do 10 episodes and go from there. We’re looking to release it before the summer.

You said doing Celebrity Circus was a challenge both physically and mentally—and was like “holding up a mirror” to yourself.
It was a challenge. And the show was different. There was nothing like that on TV. It was a contest of endurance, physically and mentally. I thought it was cool the NBC was backing it up and putting a lot of money into it to make it classy and not trashy. It didn’t exploit any of the celebrities. They’d done something like that (Circus of the Stars) back in the Eighties, but it wasn’t a contest; it was more of a showcase. But this was a showcase on a weekly basis. I was attracted to it from the beginning.

TV's Nanny on surviving cancer, lobbying D.C. and her tabled plans for a sitcom wih Rosie

Previews of my exclusive extras from my Great Health magazine interview with Fran "The Nanny" Drescher:

What’s up with your plans to do a sitcom with Rosie?
We have to find the right project. We were thinking of doing a sitcom together. But it hasn’t found a home yet, so we may have to go back to the drawing board. I’m very fatalistic. I’ve had so many irons in the fire. Maybe it’s not the right time for me, either (to return in a series). Maybe life is gonna take me in a whole other direction, and I’ll be glad I didn’t make a long-term (series) commitment. I like climbing new mountains. I don’t like to feel like I’m standing still. It was almost a nuance of relief when it didn’t come together the way I anticipated. And I kind of stepped back a bit and said, “Let’s see what’s happening.”

You’ve kept busy lately as a stage performer, writer. and sociopolitcal activist.
I was in Camelot in the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, and that also aired as a Live at Lincoln Center PBS special. I’m also deep in the throes of rewriting a screenplay. And I’ve just turned in my latest draft to a publisher for a children’s book. And of course the work I do as a women’s health advocate is probably the most significant and time-consuming, but it’s very worthwhile.
So then I started to remember all of the things that, you know, we’re human, that I write about in the book—things that transpired through this whole, tremendous, life-changing, growing experience. I always say I’m not glad I had cancer and I don’t wish it on anyone, but I am better for it. Sometimes the best gifts come in the ugliest packages.

Many people let fear of the unknown even prevent them from seeking a diagnosis.
The day when you can be in denial no more, and at that point it may be too late. Don’t be afraid to say, “This doesn’t feel right, something’s wrong with me and I’ve gotta figure it out right now.” Because God forbid, if it’s something serious, I want to be able to be cured of it. This kind of thinking goes against the way insurance companies want us to think. We’re done being drones and passive with our own health. That was back in the twentieth century. Now it’s a new dawn.
Because of the big business of insurance, who do not want to include the transvaginal ultrasound as basic healthcare, women are going for far too long without the information they need. And that has to stop. This is a kind of trickle-down effect of a society that really didn’t want to talk about gynecology at all. And for many years, until very recently, even the National Institute of Health didn’t have a gynecologic department. They had an obstetrics department. Nobody wanted to talk about a woman’s gynecology unless she was pregnant. And that’s why we’re in the mess we’re in right now with gynecology. This isn’t our only concern with the Cancer Schmancer movement, but it’s certainly become our first frontier. Because it’s absolutely the most neglected and the most in-the-dark issue.

For all of her "extras," visit www.Retroality.TV