By Romeo San Vicente
‘Dancing’ with the Sam
You have to hand it to Michael Sam, – he does not quit. The first openly gay NFL prospect will try, try again on March 22, when he participates in a veteran’s combine. This one will include football’s between-teams free agents, aka, other players in Sam’s boat, guys who will participate in a variety of activities like position-specific drills, all while scouts watch and size them up. And Sam’s next non-football job should probably help keep him flexible for that day: He’s going to be part of the 20th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” Obviously, if the combine goes well and he’s got to ditch the world of ballroom dancing for a spot on a team somewhere, he can always forget the choreography on the next week’s show. Dancing to “Super Bowl Shuffle” seems really complicated anyway, so it’ll be entirely understandable if that’s how it goes down.
‘O’Lucky Day’ for Dinklage
“Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage, for years, even in the beginning of his career when he really needed it, has refused to take roles traditionally handed to little people, stuff like Santa’s elves and leprechauns. He pushed his way into parts probably written for men double his height, and now he’s famous, which is called having the last laugh. Next step, then? Another last laugh, of sorts – a leprechaun comedy called “O’Lucky Day,” to be directed by Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”). Before you consider it to be some sort of capitulation, go watch “Bad Santa,” because that’s what this story line sounds like: a bad-news con man posing as a leprechaun who’s out to fleece the gullible. In other words, the perfect sort of snarling, tables-turned comedy brutalism you’d expect an independent-minded artist to warm up to. This is how you run your own show. Shooting is scheduled to take place during Dinklage’s next break from “Thrones.”
Thomas Roberts in the afternoon
Thomas Roberts, the gay anchor of MSNBC’s “Way Too Early” (its 5:30 a.m. show), has a shot at being their afternoon news star. Starting March 2, the network is replacing “Ronan Farrow Daily” and “The Reid Report” with a daily two-hour block of news programming, from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern, featuring Roberts. The move comes as a response to flagging daytime ratings and a desire for that slot’s programming to feature more breaking news. Roberts has already worked as a correspondent for CBS News and contributed to “Entertainment Tonight,” before landing at MSNBC in 2010. For the sake of LGBT TV personalities in need of jobs, we’re happy about this and hoping for robust ratings. But really we’re just happy that the handsome journalist will be available to be admired at a reasonable hour instead of at the crack of pre-dawn. No amount of coffee was going to help with that.
Update on those movies you were hoping to see
Remember when Tom Ford showed he could direct a movie with “A Single Man”? Sure you do. It was only about five years ago. And then remember when he just didn’t follow it up with anything? Well, that might change soon, if the fashion-designer-turned-filmmaker gets his way. He’s being quiet about details, but he says it’s going to be a two-part thriller based on some popular books. And that he wants to start shooting in the fall of this year. And that, friends, is “all” the information he deems fit to share right now. If it starts to fall together in a more newsworthy way, you’ll hear about it… And then there’s Pee-Wee Herman and Judd Apatow, who have struggled for years to get that next P-WH film made and distributed. Well, now “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday” has a home, one suitably modern for the ageless, small-suited, man-child: Netflix. His stardom peak was 30 years ago, after all, which means that a theatrical release could be marketed incorrectly and misfire. This way, streaming via Netflix becomes a way to get the movie to the right cool-audience eyes without too much budget spent on promotion and fear of butts in seats on opening weekend. We love this so much we’re going to marry it.