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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Knots Landing stars Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills on Nip/Tuck cougardom, Tiger Woods ('Poor Val' sympathizes!), 'hurtful' TMZ-style media coverage and acting roles after 60.
JOAN VAN ARK
Retroality.TV: If you were playing a goody-two-shoes today, the tabloid media would be dying to catch you on a bad day. What’s your take on the current, aggressive TMZ-style coverage of celebrities?
Joan Van Ark: Look at what they’ve done to Tiger Woods. Look at what they’ve done to that man. My feeling is his father—or the absence of his father in his life—is (the root of) what’s going on with Tiger and that marriage. But the media won’t leave him alone. No matter who you are, (the celebrity coverage) is obsessive and constant. It’s hurtful. For me, if they show my face in a bad photo, they latch into me hook, line and sinker. Even Entertainment Tonight now has blood on their hands. It's brutal.
I wonder what they’ll do with Alec Baldwin now. He was my brother on Knots. They really threw him under a bus (when endlessly publicizing his infamous voice-mail rant against daughter Ireland, then 11, in 2007). He loves that child so much. [Ireland reportedly called 911 this month after a tense phone conversation with Baldwin, who was then briefly hospitalized for evaluation on Feb. 11. Police said Ireland feared her father might harm himself. Baldwin's rep said the actor was "fine" and called the situation "a misunderstanding."]
Retroality.TV: You played Clint Eastwood’s girlfriend in Play Misty for Me, and he’s a good decade-plus your senior. Older male suitors are often seen as studly or distinguished, but older women are called “cougars.” What does that mean to you?
Donna Mills: I don’t know. It’s kind of insulting. It shouldn’t be that way, but people tend to find it amusing. Nip/Tuck was different. The character I played on there—although she was the cougar type—she had much more interesting characteristics in that she wanted to look like a cat. She was based on a real woman (socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein). So that was really interesting to play.
But I find that most of the parts I’m offered are older women hitting on a young guy. And that’s, like, boring. That’s not really happening, so let’s move into what really is happening with women of my age. I don’t like (the “cougar” role) very much.
Nip/Tuck really did it brilliantly, though. It was so tongue-in-cheek and outrageous. That was really fun.
(The Nip/Tuck episode featuring Van Ark and Mills re-airs Sunday night, Feb. 21 on FX.)