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Apr 03,2009
Brittany Murphy says she won't be hurt by internet slams; Marilu henner the last person to make it through 'ER' doors
by Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smi

"If I allowed any unkind Internet things to bother me, I would never get out of bed," says Brittany Murphy. The actress was slammed on a celebrity site as having a career that's gone "kaput" and as having "stooped pretty low" to take on her April 11-debuting Lifetime film, "Tribute." The dig then got picked up by other sites.

"I don't care to distinguish anything absurd with a response," she adds, referring to the story, which failed to identify its author — and contained no evidence that he or she had seen any of the movie before making disparaging remarks about it. "It doesn't even make sense."

Making the telefilm made sense to her, however. "Everyone has their special list of directors they want to work with. Martha Coolidge was always on my dream directors list — 'Rambling Rose,' 'Introducing Dorothy Dandridge' — I loved her work."

And as far as the medium, she says, "I've been fortunate enough to have been in films that were seen by a lot of people, but I've also been in films that have incredible messages, or characters, or stories that, for whatever reason, did not get access to a large audience. I'm thrilled that 'Tribute' is on Lifetime and will be widely seen."

The veteran of films from "Clueless" and "8 Mile" to "Happy Feet" and "The Groomsmen" plays a former child star haunted by dreams of her late grandmother in the movie from the Nora Roberts' best-seller, one of Lifetime's current series of movies based on books by the popular romance novelist. Jason Lewis also stars.

Brittany is set to rejoin director Robert Rodriguez for "Sin City 2," which, she notes, "has an incredible cast, people returning from 'Sin City 1' and new people." However, she says there's another feature she'll be doing first, "But I can't say anything about it yet."

She did take some time away after her 2007 wedding to photographer Simon Monjack. "I hadn't taken a break since I was 13. Finally, I did and got married, and traveled with my husband, and saw the world."

LAST IN: Marilu Henner shows up on tomorrow night's (4/2) series finale of "ER," and though "It's not like my part is huge, it's an honor to get to be a part of this 'ER,'" she says. "I was actually the last person to go through the 'ER' door; they were going to take it down after that shot. Maybe I'll be a "Jeopardy!' question one day." Henner says that besides being a big "ER" fan, "I've always felt like I've been sort of a step-sibling of the show." She and her ex-husband co-produced the "Under Suspicion" series Eriq LaSalle almost starred in before taking "ER," for instance. And she recalls meeting George Clooney in the Warner Bros. commissary before he became the hottest name on TV, "and as he walked away from the table, John Levy, the casting director, said, 'Oh, my God. His life is about to change. He has no idea … He's the perfect actor in the perfect part.'"

Henner also guests on Starz' new "Party Down" comedy Friday night (4/3). She's on ABC Family's "Roommates" June 1. And she just launched her one-woman show of music and humor, with which she plans to tour. She looks back on her career life including "Taxi," Broadway and even "when I was a body parts model in New York. I did 72 commercials — Playtex bra commercials, Fruit of the Loom, where I was an apple with legs out. In my show I do a tribute to the body, head to toe."

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: "Meet the Spartans" star, Sean Maguire, has certainly done a lot of heavy lifting during his acting career, but he tells us his newest show on Comedy Central, "Krod Mandoon," takes the cake. "Like most things you are passionate about, it was a lot of hard work, and I was pretty exhausted by the end of it. There were days when I was quietly thinking to myself, 'Oh, God, please just get me home,'" recalls the British actor. "But I think anything that's worthwhile doesn't come easy. Anything you're going to be proud of and hopefully stand the test of time takes some blood, sweat and tears, and this was no exception."

In the series premiering April 9, Maguire plays a freedom fighter who sets out with his inept sidekicks to battle an evil chancellor. "There was combat training, sword fighting training and horse riding training that was involved. It was like going on a boyhood adventure," notes Maguire. "I felt a lot like Indiana Jones at times, which helped me get through the hard parts. I was nervous, though, because I've broken quite a few bones making shows, but luckily, there were no serious injuries on this one."

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Sounds like another tasteful offering from MTV — not! They're about to make a pilot called "Hard Times," and no, it has nothing to do with the Charles Dickens novel or the Charles Bronson movie. Per casting notices, it's about a "sophomore shlemiel" whose wardrobe malfunction at a basketball game puts his generous endowment on display for all the world to see. Thereafter, he's treated like a different man. And in case you're wondering, this is not an April fool.

With reports by Emily Feimster.

Copyright 2009 Marilyn Beck And Stacy Jenel Smith - Distributed By Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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