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Eriq La Salle and that 'Under the Dome' 'very, very big event'

The chill has definitely left the air and in Wilmington (aka Wilmywood), it is hotter than ever. Not because of the 85-degree heat, but because of the stars flying in like a breeze in the night. With the Nicholas Sparks flick The Longest Ride, gearing up for the summer and two of our sophomore shows (Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow) in full force, the celebrity power in North Carolina is exploding.

Eriq and Sheila

Sheila Brothers and Eriq La Salle.

Not only has Under the Dome been bringing in guest stars, but also guest directors. I had the honor of hosting one of them on my radio show yesterday morning on Sunny 104.5: the gorgeous Eriq La Salle. It took everything I had not to call him Dr. Benton. Yes, he played that hot doctor on ER. He’s got a lot going on at the moment, as he is not just an accomplished actor, but also a very talented director and author. Yep, he writes books, too, and is currently working on his Martyr Maker series. James Patterson called his soon-to-be-released second novel, Laws of Wrath, an “all thriller, no filler, white-knuckled treat.” Although I didn’t get a sneak peek of his upcoming page-turner, I have read his first book, Laws of Depravity. I can safely say if you love Patterson’s Alex Cross series, you will LOVE this one too.

As if that is not enough, La Salle has found time to direct episode 10 of Under the Dome. For those of you who don’t know, he has been directing films and television shows since 1996. Neil Baer, who is now the showrunner for Under the Dome, was also a producer/show runner for ER. From there, Baer left the show to go do Law & Order: SVU. “He was the one who offered me my first television directing gig,” La Salle said. “So I did a couple of those, and then I just started doing various shows.”

La Salle has been quite intrigued with Under the Dome since season 1, and he’s a fan. He said, “It’s a very different kind of show. It’s not your usual ‘cop, medical, lawyer’ show. This type of storytelling is great, and Stephen King is the master. I like directing shows that I like to watch. I like being a fan of a show and then getting to direct it. It’s really cool.”

Even though it is his first time in Wilmington, his surroundings are still quite familiar. Not only has he had a long relationship with Baer, but he has already worked with many of this season’s cast. “Eddie Cahill I directed on CSI:NY,” La Salle said. “And, of course, Rachelle — I have such a weakness for her!”

Yes, Rachelle Lefevre is beautiful; however, that is not why she intrigues La Salle. He worked alongside Lefevre on Baer’s A Gifted Man as an actor as well as a director. “I just adore her!” he said. “She is crazy cool. She gets it. She has a great sense of humor. We have a great time.”

And let’s not forget one of his all-time favorites, Sherry Stringfield, who also worked with him on ER as Dr. Susan Lewis. “I don’t know how much work we are going to get done,” La Salle admitted. “We are going to spend so much time laughing and being silly!”

Eriq 1Even while he’ll be bringing some fun to the set, he’ll be bringing his experience as well. “My job is to come in and tell the best possible story. The advantage I have is that I am an actor. Myself and other actors, we speak the same language, and I find that actors tend to be more trusting of me,” he said. “I spend a lot of time with them. There are some directors that are so focused on the shots and aren’t as performance- and story-driven. That’s sort of what I’m known for as a director and why people hire me. They know they will get some good shots as well as performances. That’s what I bring.”

As a director, La Salle definitely has his own style, but he always respects the show first: “It’s not about your style sticking out. It’s about integrating your style into the existing show. I respect the parameters of the show but give it a boost.”

So what can we expect out of episode 10 of Under the Dome? “We will learn more about some interesting relationships that develop that are big surprises,” he coyly said. C’mon, Eriq, give us more! “Oh, there is a very big event that happens. A very, very big event. That’s it. That’s all I’m going to tease you with.”

Haha! OK, fair enough. La Salle begins shooting episode 10 this week. During his prep time, he has gotten to know our film crew here and has ventured out a bit. Just like the many film-industry folks before him, he loves it in North Carolina. If you happen to be in the area, you can meet him yourself, as he will be doing a book signing for Laws of Wrath here in Wilmington at the Mayfaire Barnes & Noble on Saturday, June 14, at 3 p.m. — just in time for Father’s Day.

I’ll keep you posted on all things Dome on my blog, The Wilmywood Daily. Until then, that’s a wrap!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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