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Rising Star: Brooke Elliott

There’s the spirited comedic drama about a shallow, but not unkind model – Deb — who dies in a tragic car accident and fleeces one of Heaven’s office assistants to rejoin life, just not in the body she expected. And then there’s Brooke Elliott, the beautiful series star, who plays the model, whose new life is enhanced by the brimming brain of her host’s body — legal whiz Jane Bingum — and the lawyer’s size 16 figure.

The formula for the show could have been a disaster, full of campy performances and over the top emotions had it not been for’s newest Rising Star, Brooke, who makes Jane fallible, relatable and down right human.

“The show is about identity, it’s about self acceptance and it’s about women being able to feel beautiful at any size,” Brooke told Access on the Atlanta “Drop Dead Diva” set. “We’re sometimes conditioned to believe that beauty comes in a very specific package and the truth is that beauty is in every woman in every size.”

Having grown up in Minnesota and Michigan, Brooke fell for musical theater at a young age, eventually studying the discipline at Western Michigan University.

Brooke spent her early 20s in Chicago, working with theater company Babes with Blades, which allows women to showcase their weapon training on stage.

Eventually, she found her way to Broadway with the help of one very famous fellow brunette – Rosie O’Donnell.

“When I did ‘Taboo’… Brooke came in and she was fresh from the Midwest and she looked like she had just come off of a Disney cruise,” Rosie recounted to Access. “I said, ‘Now listen; you are gorgeous, you are a singer and a dancer, you have to look like a punk-rock kid…. So she went and she got herself — that day — an outfit of fishnets and a T-shirt that was ripped.”

“Yeah! I came back with the doll color and the black lipstick and the hair pieces and things like that to audition for this show that needed [a] funky look,” Brooke chimed in. “Rosie was fantastic. She [said] to me, ‘How much did you pay for that outfit?’… I was like, ‘$117.’ And she was like, ‘Well, if you get the show, I’ll reimburse you.’ And the first day of rehearsal, I got a check for $117.”

After “Taboo’s” short-lived Broadway run, a few more parts followed, including roles in “The Pirate Queen” and touring productions of “Wicked” and Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast.”

Although the theater has been a welcome home to Brooke, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to play Jane on “Drop Dead Diva” when it came around.

Just two episodes in, Brooke has already won a host of critical acclaim.

The Los Angeles Times called her “a stage actress with fabulous comic timing and enormous dramatic flexibility,” while the New York Times said “Drop Dead Diva” has “humor and charm beneath its facile message, in large part (no disrespect intended) to a subtle, winning performance by Ms. Elliot.”

And she’s won over the viewers too. The show’s July 12 season premiere brought in 2.8 million viewers, Lifetime’s highest rated original drama series debut.

But although her star is most certainly on the rise, Brooke isn’t yet feeling the glow of fame.

“People have written texts to me and e-mails saying, ‘How does it feel [now] that your life has changed?’” Brooke said. “I was like, ‘Well, it didn’t.’ I’ve learned my lines and went to work for 15 hours.”

“The day after it aired, I wanted to take her to Target,” Rosie laughed. “I’m like, ‘Come here, I want to show you that your life has changed and you don’t even know it.’ She’s in this little bubble.”

And should she get a chance to step off the trail of long set hours followed by a few hours of sleep, Rosie is around enough to help show Brooke the ropes, having been brought on board “Drop Dead Diva” to play Judge Summers, someone who serves as a friend to Jane.

“She is a mentor to the character I play,” Brooke explained. “And it’s very appropriate because Rosie is a bit of a mentor for me as well.”

“She e-mailed me and said, ‘Hey Ro, I got this part…’” Rosie said of how Brooke brought her into the “Drop Dead Diva” fold. “I watched the pilot. It was so amazing. I loved it. She’s brilliant in it and I felt like a proud mother. I was like, ‘I’ll totally do it.’”

Rosie isn’t the only star to lend her acting chops to Brooke’s new show. Funny lady Margaret Cho is a co-star and guest spots are coming down the pipeline with Delta Burke, Liza Minnelli, Paula Abdul, Andy Dick, Nia Vardalos and “CSI’s” Jorja Fox.

But it’s Brooke who carries the show.

“I think any woman watching is going to relate to this. To see a show with a lead woman and there are so few… I said to Brooke, ‘You have to really take a moment to let that set in,’” Rosie said. “The one hour dramas with lead women are Glenn Close [in “Damages”], Holly Hunter [in “Saving Grace”], Kyra Sedgwick [in “The Closer”] and Brooke. And that’s fantastic and she deserves it. She carries it, she holds the screen, she’s absolutely gorgeous, the whole show I think, is going to be a huge hit.”

“Drop Dead Diva” airs Sunday’s at 9 PM on Lifetime.

'Delhi-6' Wants to Try for Oscar Gold

"Delhi-6" didn't really do it for its targeted audience. Even our readers seemed to have mixed opinions about the film. But despite this setback, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra believes so much in his movie, that he and UTV want to go global with 'Delhi-6'. They've officially written to the Oscar committee to send it to the Oscars next year.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra told sources that "Yes I am confident about my product thus we have written to Oscar committee India about 'Delhi-6.' We are awaiting their reply." It's unclear if the committee will agree with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's vision, but it will be interesting to see if "Delhi-6" stands a chance.

This isn't the first time that Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has submitted to the Oscar committee. He sent Aamir Khan's "Rang De Basanti" before, which never made it into the top five. That's why we wonder if our readers think "Delhi-6" will have more or less of a chance. Let us know with a comment.

Heidi Klum: ‘With Three Children & A Hot Husband, Who Has Time To Watch Television?’

In just a little over three weeks, Heidi will take over her new network home – Lifetime --with the debut of Season 6 of the fashion reality competition, a two-hour special preceding the season premiere, “Project Runway: All-Star Challenge,” and a new show about “Runway’s” beauties, “Models of the Runway.”

“No one better plan anything for August 20, because it’s a marathon after marathon!” Heidi told Billy Bush on Monday for Access Hollywood and “The Billy Bush Show.”

However, Heidi admitted that life as a working mom – she’s currently expecting her fourth child – might keep her from watching her big night on Lifetime.

“With three children and a hot husband, who has time to watch television?” she told Billy. “I don’t even watch my own show to be honest with you. When I film it, I’m done with it.”

She might not have the time to tune in, but Heidi said working with “Runway” alums was a delight – and something she knows the fans will love.

“Bringing back all the fan favorites and doing a challenge with them was super fun,” she continued. “And they get a lot of money. The winner gets $100,000! They were battling it out!”

The supermodel-turned-reality star said she loves her new network.

“We’re very excited to be there. Lifetime has been a great partner,” she continued. “We just shot Season 7 in New York already, which was also a lot of fun. So, we’ve done two seasons very successfully with Lifetime and they’ve been great and we’re very happy to be there.”

Heidi also said she’s been loving spending the summer at her own home with her three kids while waiting for the new one to arrive – along with husband Seal who has been away for over a month.

“I’m in full bloom! I’m wearing a tent! I still have a few months to go,” she said of her pregnancy. “I haven’t seen my husband in five weeks, he’s going to say, ‘Hi nice to meet you. Who are you? Where’s my wife?’ When you get closer to the end you get bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Salman Khan Admits to Poor Dancing Skills

Salman Khan shows off his dance moves in 10 Ka Dum.Salman Khan was in for a surprise when dance choreographer Farah Khan shared an embarrassing story about the actor with all of India. Farah happened to be a guest on Salman Khans hit show "10 Ka Dum." On the show Farah began to reminisce about how she accompanied Salman to his very first audition . Well it turns out that Salman Khan asked Farah to show him some dance moves to impress the director, Sooraj Bharjatya at the audition.

When they arrived to the audition Salman showed off his moves to Sooraj. It was so awful that Farah Khan says she " hailed a cab, and took off home" out of embarrassment. Poor Salman. Well I guess the performance didn't hurt the actor's career at all as he landed the role to play Prem in the hit film " Maine Pyar Kiya," and turned into one of the nation's biggest heartthrobs.

We all have our bad experiences, it's rough when people bring them out of the closet. The good news is that Salman was not upset at all that Farah brought this up on his show. He admitted that he has poor dancing skills and even demonstrated his horrible dance moves to the audience. That's the spirit Salman!

Press Conference for 'Accident on Hill Road'

Celina Jaitley's new gothic look for her upcoming film 'Accident on Hill Road' is just the beginning. Everyone from the movie gathered recently for a press conference and started to give more insight into the plot and roles of the actors including Celina Jaitley, Farooq Sheikh, and Abhimanyu Shekhar Singh.

Farooq Sheikh called it a thriller and said, "Action is usually in most films. This is more of a thriller." Meanwhile, Celina Jaitley said, "It's based on a true story scene to scene and it's a commercial film, it's not an art film. It's a commercial film based on a true story, it's thrilling. It's a thriller from real life, inspired from real life."

As for her own role in the film she said, "This is a glamorous role as well. But this is natural glamour, not plastic glamour. It is naturally beautiful, naturally glamorous; there is nothing extra put on to make anyone. There's no plastic effect in this."

Check out the pictures from the press conference. Is the movie one that you're looking forward to? Or do you think that this movie is going to get washed out by the bigger blockbuster films that are coming out? Let us know your thoughts below.

Bollywood starlet poses for photographers before the premiere of 'Accident on Hill Road'

Celina Enters for the Premiere of 'Accident on Hill Road'

Co-stars Celina Jaitley and Farooq Sheikh pose for the cameras at the premiere of Accident on Hill Road

Celina at The Premier with Farooq Sheikh

Celina Jaitley and the cast of Accident on Hill Road pose for cameras at the premiere

Celina and the Cast at the Premiere of 'Accident on Hill Road'

Lawyers For Jackson’s Mom Seek Info From Executors; Judge Rebuffs Requests

Lawyers for Katherine Jackson on Tuesday requested the authority to interview attorney John Branca and former music executive John McClain this Friday, as well as demand they produce business contracts and other documents related to the late pop star.

Her lawyers argued in a court filing that the information was “potentially crucial” to a hearing set for Monday that could determine the permanent representatives of Jackson’s estate, which is estimated to be worth more than $500 million.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff put off dealing with their request until Monday, effectively quashing it.

Beckloff may determine at Monday’s hearing whether special administrators Branca and McClain will transition from temporary to permanent representatives of the estate, and whether an allowance will be granted to Katherine and Jackson’s three children.

Jackson’s 2002 will puts his assets in a trust that benefits Katherine, his three children and unnamed children’s charities.

Tuesday’s filing was meant to expedite the process of obtaining “important personal, business and legal information and documents relating to Michael Jackson” including his deal with concert promoter AEG Live, according to a written statement from L. Londell McMillan, who is part of Katherine Jackson’s legal team.

They’re also seeking “life insurance policies, settlements and disputes as well as agreements between the temporary special administrators and Michael Jackson (and others).”

McMillan said they’d requested some of the documents before and had hoped to see them before the Aug. 3 hearing.

Katherine Jackson’s lawyers alleged in filings that Branca and McClain were “intent on keeping her in the dark as much and for as long as possible.”

Branca and McClain’s legal team responded that the singer’s mother had made “voluminous, burdensome and invasive discovery demands” that were impossible to meet in a short time frame.

It added that it could not produce the contract detailing Jackson’s comeback tour with promoter AEG Live because of confidentiality provisions, but was willing to share the contract if Katherine Jackson agreed to the provisions. The parties were unable to agree on the terms.

The administrators’ legal team also argued that it was unclear why Katherine Jackson was demanding so much information. Her subpoena and deposition notices had “all the earmarks of a protracted and expensive legal battle which does not appear to be justified,” the administrators’ lawyers said in a filing.

Pics From the New Movie 'Life Partner'

The new film 'Life Partner' which was directed by Rumi Jaffery is getting closer to its August release date. The movie which is a romantic comedy about marriage was produced by Abbas Mastan and stars Govinda, Genelia D'Souza, Fardeen Khan, Tusshar Kapoor, and Prachi Desai.

Rumi Jaffery, who directed the flop 'God Tussi Great Ho' gets another chance at directing. He said that he had problems with having a title for the film. "It is really funny... Abbas bhai, Mastan bhai and I were struggling for a title. It was almost the case of having it under our nose and not being able to seeing it." He said that "When we were in conversation with Akshay Kumar for the film, he suggested 'Life Partner' as a title and it just stuck. I couldn't believe it. It was as simple as that. And we all just loved it and couldn't have thought of a better title."

We have some pictures from the movie. Check them out and let us know what you think about the movie. Will this film become a hit? Leave your comments below.

Tusshar Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, and Govinda in 'Life Partner'

Tusshar Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, and Govinda

Fardeen Khan and Genelia in 'Life Partner'

Fardeen Khan and Genelia D'Souza

Tusshar Kapoor and Prachi Desai in 'Life Partner'

Tusshar Kapoor and Prachi Desai

Fardeen Khan, Genelia, Tusshar Kapoor, and Govinda in 'Life Partner'

Genelia D'Souza, Fardeen Khan, and Govinda

Fardeen Khan and Genelia in 'Life Partner' Pic 2

Fardeen Khan and Genelia having a blast as cooks

Tusshar Kapoor and Prachi Desai in 'Life Partner' Pic 2

Tusshar Kapoor and Prachi Desai taking a stroll

Who wins… Katrina or Shilpa

Shilpa Shetty may be dabbling in many things, but movies are her first love, and that’s the reason she decided to produce films.

Shilpa’s super excited about her new role, and says, “I’ll be the first actress to turn producer. This way I get to make movies that I believe in.
I had to put my plans on hold because of recession, but I am sure things will be back on track soon.” Well, we hear, Katrina Kaif has bought the rights for a French film recently.

She, too, plans to turn producer. So, will the hotties compete to be the first actress-producers on the Bollywood block? Let’s wait and watch.

Akshay takes good care of Deepika!

Akshay Kumar's gallant nature was revealed in London when his "Housefull" co-star Deepika Paudkone was laid up with a bout of malaria.

He not only made sure Deepika was looked after, but also persuaded her to stay away from shooting.

While Deepika was resting, alternative scenes that didn't require her were shot.

"I'm recovering. I was bedridden for three days. And yes, I did return to the set on Saturday. I had to shoot. But I'm not sure whether it was the wisest of decisions, considering it was malaria," Deepika told IANS from London.

Akshay and Deepika earlier teamed up for "Chandni Chowk To China", which turned out to be a box office dud. But the film's failure hasn't affected their friendship.

"I'm lucky to be surrounded by gallant men. Whether it's my dad, Ranbir (Kapoor), Akshay, Shah Rukh Khan or any of my co-stars, I haven't so far encountered any ill-behaved men," said Deepika whose next release is "Love Aaj Kal".
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Directed by Imtiaz Ali, "Love Aaj Kal" hits the screens Friday. And Saif Ali Khan, who plays Deepika's cynical love interest in the romantic saga, also gets high marks from Deepika, though she admits they aren't close friends.

In the movie, Saif plays a guy who doesn't believe in romantic love whereas Deepika is a die-hard romantic both in the film and in real life.

"He (Saif) also believes in love and realises it when he can't do without the girl. So I guess there's a romantic in all of us. It just needs to be tapped. But you need to experience that journey from disbelief to love, like I have in real life.

"So many times I advice people on their love life. I can always tell the difference between those who understand and don't understand the value of true love," she said.

Celina Jaitley’s Dark Side in ‘Accident on Hill Road’

Celina Jaitly dons a vampy new look for her new film by sporting a dark ponchoBollywood Starlet Celina Jaitley’s turning bad – but in a good way because in her next movie ‘Accident on Hill Road’ she’ll be playing a negative character. Now she’s taking this role very seriously and it’s being reported that she took 15 days to decide on the right style for the character and chose a very vampy appearance. She wanted a very different look and had 20 different choices.

It’s quite well known that in the past Celina has gotten a lot of flak for her acting skills and so for ‘Accident on Hill Road’ she joined a 10 day acting workshop to brush up on her profession. It’s being reported that she wanted to really get into the character and what better way then to really hone your craft!

That’s not all; apparently Celina has also chosen to do all the stunts herself as the film is an action thriller. She even shot a fire scene without a body double. Woo! Now that takes guts! While Celina has played a dark character in ‘Red’ which turned out to be a flop, she’s now changed her tune signing only a few films and really concentrating on making them the best she can.

So what do you guys think about Celina playing a negative role? Drop us a comment with your thoughts!

‘Twilight’ Casting News: Bryce Dallas Howard Replacing Rachelle Lefevre In ‘Eclipse’

The “Terminator Salvation” star will replace Rachelle Lefevre in the role of Victoria, according to Summit Entertainment, which produces the vampire film series based on the books by Stephenie Meyer.

“We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise,” Erik Feig, Summit’s President of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions, said in a statement to Access Hollywood. “Rachelle brought ‘Victoria’ to great screen life and Bryce will bring a new dimension to the character. The franchise is lucky to have such a talented actress as Bryce coming in to fill the role.”

Summit said Rachelle would not be continuing on as Victoria, an evil vampire out for revenge over the death of her lover, due to scheduling conflicts.

Bryce, the daughter of director Ron Howard, will take over the role beginning in “Eclipse,” the third installment in the “Twilight” series.

“Eclipse” begins filming in Vancouver this coming August, Summit confirmed. The film will be released in theaters on June 30, 2010.

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