itsasickness

Itsasickness was a website I started with my friend Barnaby Harris. It was about obsession.  We live in a time of obsession and we thought, instead of being ashamed of that, why not embrace it, and make a space where people can come together and share their sicknesses?

Maladies

The artist and film-maker Carter asked me to play a role in his feature debut , opposite James Franco, Catherine Keener and Fallon Goodson. 

Maladies is about a talented and successful actor (James) who retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister  (Fallon) and his best friend (Catherine), we watch as their Maladies intertwine.

The Good Wife: Season 2

Eli Gold returned to The Good Wife's second season as a series regular.  I was really happy to go back and explore this character some more.  This season saw Eli on the campaign trail to re-elect Peter Florrick as State's Attorney.  This also meant his relationship with Alicia was stretched and ultimately strengthened as the tow became to respect and care for each other.

On a personal level we  discover that Eli is a divorcee with an 18 year old daughter, and he has a brief romance with a young student he encounters on the campaign trail played by America Ferrera.

The writers on this show are so amazing and I felt that they gave me some great stuff to do again, and the way that Eli showed a softer side was really fascinating to play.  Ultimately he is still a political animal but that ruthlessness was pretty comical on many occasions too.

Here is a little Eli tribute someone made and then the behind the scenes videos CBS.com asked me to make.

The Runaway

The Runaway is a six part mini-series for Sky TV in the Uk, based on Martina Cole's novel of the same name.  I play Desrae, a transvestite singer and owner of a club in London's Soho in the swinging sixties.

I really liked this character initially because he was strong and proud in the face of so much adversity.  I then really liked the fact that he and his gangster boyfriend (the amazing Ken Stott, with whom I worked years ago inPlunkett and Macleane) were actually the most loving and stable couple in the whole story! Then I really liked the relationship he had with Cathy, the runaway of the title, played by Joanna Vanderham.  He is basically the matriarch of the whole thing. Oh, and he doesn't get shot or beaten to death like most of the rest of the characters!!

So it was a new and interesting thing for me, and then came the most challenging part: going to South Africa and transforming into a laydee.  That was a nightmare. I hate to Veet (or Nair) all the hair off my body and then there were the shoes (ouch), the bras (ouch), the  nails (ouch) and the many hours in make-up (ouch ouch). I have a new-found respect for women after doing this.  It seems interesting to me that so much of a woman's appearance, or in the way a woman is desired, is designed to keep her in bondage or to make her vulnerable. Very interesting, Mr Bond.

Anyway, some days I felt like a lovely lady, like the scenes when I performed numbers in my club. Then, on other days I felt like an bloke in a bad wig. But I guess that's the whole kaleidoscope of Desrae.

Almost in Love

Almost in Love was written and directed by my friend Sam Neave.  It\'s a film made up of two 45 minute shots. Yes, only two very long shots in the whole film!  He had shown me the first part -  set on a rooftop patio looking back at the NYC skyline - earlier in the year and I was really impressed, and so when he asked me to play a character in the second half of the movie, set a few years later, I jumped at the chance.

We shot in a beautiful house in the Hamptons, and the story picks up at the wedding party of one of the characters. It's late, everyone has been drinking and old buttons are freshly pressed.

What was amazing about doing this was that the end of the 45 minute take had to coincide with the sun coming up.  So we had a really weird working schedule: getting up at 1am or so and getting ready, having a few drinks to get us in the proper party mood (!) and then shooting till daylight. Then we'd stay up and have another few drinks before going to bed again.  Most days I had to go back to NYC to shootThe Good Wife or have meetings, so I was pretty exhausted by the end of the week.  But it's an experience I wouldn't have missed for the world.

Incidentally, Sam and his wife Marjan (who plays my date in the movie) showed me the first half of Almost In Love the night that I had been offered the role of Eli Gold in The Good Wife. 

Here's a little film I made after shooting ended one morning, and then the trailer.

The Good Wife: Season 1

I joined the first season of The Good Wife on CBS as a guest star to play Eli Gold for a few episodes. The show stars Julianna Margulies as Alicia, whose politician husband, played by Chris Noth, has been involved in a sex scandal.

Playing Eli is fascinating for me because he is a grown-up. He is a man in a suit. They even put grey in my hair, which is quite funny considering my hair was colored, so they were actually putting grey on top of color on top of grey! He is an image consultant, a reputation rehabilitator, and he is Jewish. He is a million miles away from me. Also I was filming in gaps between shooting Burlesque with Cher and Christina Aguilera, in which I play a club door whore with black nail varnish and Comme des Garçons outfits, so the whole experience was a little schizophrenic.

But I learned something.  Initially I thought I didn't understand Eli, he seemed so far away from me and I was unused to the process of TV series acting. But then I just altered my opinion of him and instead of thinking I don't relate to him because he has a life that I don't comprehend, I thought he is exotic like every human being and I can understand that.

Burlesque

Burlesque is set in a Burlesque bar in Los Angeles, run by Cher. As my character, the door whore Alexis, constantly says 'We may not have windows but we do have the best view on the Sunset Strip'.

Christina Aguilera arrives in town and soon becomes the star of the Burlesque show, but danger is near at hand as Cher may have to sell the club to a nasty developer. The film also stars Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Kristen Bell, Julianne Hough and Cam Gigandet.

Here's a video I made on my last day of shooting, and my big number that was eventually cut from the film...