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Debi Mazar Talks Womanhood, Millennials and Breaking Rules

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In the 1990s Debi Mazar’s cat-eyed glamour was spotted everywhere, alongside close friend Madonna. Arm-in-arm they strolled red carpets across two continents and partied with a glittery group of social provocateurs.

As an actress, Mazar came on the scene and shone brightly in the 1990 iconic mob film, Goodfellas, as Ray Liotta’s coke-addled mistress. She then appeared alongside actress Annabella Sciorra in Spike Lee’s 1991 interracial romance drama, Jungle Fever and followed that up with two more Spike Lee films, Malcolm X and Girl 6. In 1995 she spiced up the screen as one half of Sugar & Spice alongside Drew Barrymore in Batman Forever. More recent projects included the role of sharp-tongued publicist Shauna on HBO’s runaway hit series, Entourage, which aired from 2004-2011.

Her characters have always been quick to offer a sarcastic comeback or some bold advice, no effs given. If film and television casts can be compared to ingredients, then Mazar is surely the hot sauce. 

These days, the mom of two teenage daughters splits her time between New York City and Italy. Landing on another hit series with TV Land’s Younger, now going into its seventh season, Mazar takes the reigns once again as irreverent artsy urbanite, Maggie. The show centers around a Gen-X divorcee who poses as a millennial to jumpstart her career in book publishing, only to have worlds collide in parenthood, work and love. 

When speaking with Mazar, she gives it to me straight, no chaser. A dye in the wool New Yorker with an Avant-Garde spirit, she shares her views on friendship, parenthood, social media and the art of risk taking.

That’s My Entertainment: In your series, Younger, your character Maggie is the catalyst that gives the other characters permission to make bold decisions that they wouldn’t ordinarily make. In your own life, who has given you permission to draw outside the lines?

Debi Mazar: I surround myself with many friends that do that for me; it’s not just one person. Certainly, it starts with my husband. I obviously run things by him. In my life, I’ve had people I looked up to who were older, or who had sage advice in their soul to offer. Sometimes it could even be my teenage daughters. Their thoughts are generally so pure. My older gay male friends always have sage advice, and my girlfriends, [the late fashion designer] Isabel Toledo being one of them, and Madonna being one of them… ultimately, you know deep in your soul what you should do, and I’ve always been a risk-taker.

TME: Are you as bold and irreverent as the characters you’ve played?

DM: I think I’m bolder than my current character on Younger, for real! Maggie is a little more Bohemian, and she’s [artsy]. I sometimes wish she could be even bolder. I know she’s a catalyst for the story. Often, in my life, I’m just like, “Oh please, just fucking do it already!” I think I’m a little bit more the type of person in my own life who will say, “Do what you need to do,” as opposed to merely suggesting. There have been times with the character of Liza (played by Sutton Foster), where I wish my character, Maggie, could have offered her that type of direct advice. But we have to tell a story and stretch it out for television. 

“Younger” Ep. 404 (Aired 7/19)

TME: Younger just finished its sixth season, and you’re going into your seventh season. It’s amazing when you consider how much competition there is for people’s attention these days. Why do you think the show has resonated with your audience?

DM: Our show is about female relationships, for the most part. They’re strong women who are bonding together and lifting each other up. In a world that is so crazy, I think that is a big part of the show’s appeal. Our show is also filled with humor, it’s extremely positive and light. It really is entertainment.

The marketing machine that TV Land and Viacom put together, in terms of promoting the show and how they continue to promote the show, has been aggressive and fun. I give them a lot of credit for throwing it out into the stratosphere, especially on a network that was all about reruns. When I first got offered the show and they said it was on TV Land, I said, “Wait, isn’t that the rerun channel?” 

TME: That reminds me of what Dave Chappelle said about the first season of Chappelle’s Show airing on Comedy Central. He said, “That wasn’t exactly the place to be at the time.” Sometimes it takes one groundbreaking show.

DM: Yeah, I was like, “Oh, that’s weird. I don’t know.” (laughs) Of course, I would love being next to I Love Lucy, but they were doing this whole new launch of original programming when Younger started. Having the platform of Hulu, and wherever else you can watch Younger, that’s helped enormously to blast it out, and the show has sold well, globally. I hop through airports constantly, and no matter where I go people tell me they watch Younger. Ultimately, our show is about love. 

 

“Younger” Ep. 604 (Airs 7/10/19)

Allison Kugel: I would consider you a Gen-Xer, like me. There is a Gen-X versus Millennial component to the show that speaks to a lot of people. Do you long for what was, or are you more of an embrace the times we’re in kind of person? 

 

Debi Mazar: I’m a mother of teenagers, so I’ve had to deal with Millennials and Gen-Z, and I find them so refreshing. I am a Gen X type of person in terms of where I live, and liking how things used to be, and yes, I do complain that I liked New York City better when it was less crowded. I liked the city when it was edgier and not so antiseptic and cleaned up. On the flip side, I’m also a modernist and someone that looks to the future. I can’t sit around talking about how things used to be, because you have to exist in how things are and make your next decisions based on that. I can easily decide that I’m moving to Italy tomorrow, because I married an Italian and we have a country home in Florence. And I can choose to really go a whole other route, pretend like I’m in the Renaissance, and live in the country and tune out a lot of stuff. But I’m kind of addicted to certain things at this point. I have Instagram and I sit and check my phone for things all the time. 

TME: Darren Star is the brilliant creator of Younger. What would you say are the hallmarks of a Darren Star (Beverly Hills, 90210; Sex and the City; Younger) television series?

DM: Darren likes to push buttons in terms of sexuality. He likes to push buttons with love triangles, the dynamics of friendships and with fashion. He loves all of that. If you watch any of his shows, there is always an element of people that are living on the edge, having to make decisions; they are dressing up and going out; they are having fun; and they’re voracious and hungry for things. His shows are funny, witty, fast-moving and nice to look at. The greatest thing Darren does is write wonderful female characters. I mean, remember when Sex and the City was happening? A lot of people were like, “I’m the Samantha of my group,” or “I’m the Carrie.” With my character, Maggie, on Younger, I’m happy to play a lesbian. I think it appeals to a huge demographic within the LGBTQ (at this point Mazar laments that she may be leaving out some letters) community. It’s relevant.

TME: Darren Star recently claimed there is a statistic showing that women are often put in positions of power during extreme corporate shake ups, placing them on what he referred to as “the edge of a cliff,” and making them more vulnerable to failure in their respective positions. In Younger, Hilary Duff’s character, Kelsey, experiences this when she is put in charge of Millennial Publishing during a shake up in the company. Do you think the audience is ultimately looking to be entertained by her failure, or inspired by her success?

DM: I think the audience is watching to see what happens. We all live on the edge of not knowing whether we’re going to be a failure or a success, and failure and success is something that is measured by ego. It could be measured in many different ways. I don’t know if that is a proven statistic, but I happen to think that women are stronger than men in many ways. Women turn shit around all the time. There are a lot of success stories in Corporate America of how women have turned things around. So, I don’t really know where that statistic comes from and I don’t think it’s a male or female thing, necessarily. Half of it is luck and timing, anyway.

 

“Younger” Ep. 608 (Airs 8/07/19)

TME: Do you think someone can become extremely successful playing by the rules, or do you think that rules must be broken while chasing a dream?

DM: A rebel has to break rules. You have to take chances, and you have to fall on your face before you get back up and know that you made a mistake, and you can try to do it differently. I think you have to break the rules to a degree… in a smart way.

TME: Who in your life has made you most proud to have been born a woman?

DM: It’s interesting, because I wanted to have a son, but I got daughters. I’m proud that they ended up being girls, because they’re magnificent. I look at Malala [Yousafzai] paving the way. She was tortured; being a woman representing a society and getting shot in the head, and then going out there and being an activist. There’s the Gloria Steinems of the world, and a billion other women of the world. Had they been born men… I just think that gender isn’t necessarily the answer. The gender discussion now is so big that sometimes people aren’t born women and they choose to become them. And, hey, that’s a beautiful thing too. 

TME: Why do you think ageism is so prevalent in American culture, specifically?

DM: Oh God! Well I think it’s not just America, unfortunately. 

TME: Since you live in Italy for part of the year, would you say it is similar or different in that respect?

DM: I feel young for my age, to a degree, but my body doesn’t always feel so young because I’m not, and it’s just how it is. Throughout history, men were always the presidents in America. We still haven’t had an American president that’s a female. When I’m in Europe, people appreciate people, whether they have leathery skin or not. It’s about character and their souls and their mind.

I do feel appreciated in America, because I think it’s about the frame of mind of the person who might feel the ageism. I might not be able to go out and get a job that a twenty-year old is getting, but I don’t try to do that. In fact, when I was in my late twenties and early thirties, I was chasing after the roles of grandmothers on sitcoms. I don’t care about the number. As an actor, we all have to be different shapes, sizes, colors and have imperfections. That’s what makes us look interesting. 

 

“Younger” Ep. 408 (Aired 8/16)

TME: What are your thoughts on Younger’s lead character Liza (played by Sutton Foster) relaunching her career in publishing by lying about her age? The series starts off with her pretending to be 26, although she is a forty-year-old divorcee with a teenage daughter.

DM: When the series starts off, her character was damaged. She was a divorcee suffering from a broken heart, a broken family, living in the suburbs, truly devoting herself to her child, which we all do. Suddenly she is single and going, “Oh my God, my daughter is moving out and going to college. What the hell am I going to do?” When she comes to my apartment, I am there to save her and wrap her up in my arms and be a friend first. I tell her, “I love you, you’re great, you’re beautiful.” When all of these [job] interviews are not working out, I suggest she have some fun and change it up. When I first started my career, I didn’t have a lot of acting credits and I fudged a little bit on my resume to make it look better than it was, because I wanted to get some action. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hustling, embellishing and trying to convince people that you can do the job. 

TME: Speaking of this generation leading the way, what’s one piece of technology that you can’t live without, personally and professionally?

 

DM: Instagram, hands down! I’m able to post a still-life image that I find beautiful, or I’m able to show something that I shoot a picture of, that’s funny and makes people laugh. I’m able to share a photograph of a throwback from a moment in my life. It’s a reflection of my sense of style, my sense of photography, my sense of depth of field, color and comedy. To me, Instagram is really that and I keep my feed positive. On the flip side of it, when people come after me for my anti-Trump stuff or political stuff, I just block certain people. I don’t want to read into it and fall down that rabbit hole. I love WhatsApp because you can talk to anybody all over the world, and I also love how in Europe everyone walks down the street voice messaging into their phone’s mic, instead of texting. That’s my new favorite thing to do. 

TME: Towards the end of season six of Younger, your character Maggie is having a steamy fling with actress Nicole Ari Parker, who guest stars on the show. What was that like?

DM: You know, Nicole Ari Parker did the two episodes of our show and we never closed out the fact that we’re having this little affair. Then I date a guy after her. It shows that Maggie’s hot to trot, and she’s on the market

 

“Younger” Ep. 607 (Airs 7/31/19)

TME: Your character is very fluid, sexually?

DM: Actually, she’s not fluid, but she is just seduced by a single moment with a man in that one episode. So, she’s not fluid. But if Darren [Star] decides I’m fluid in season seven, then I guess I will be (laughs)

TME: (Laughs)

DM: But he decided, at least in season six, that I wasn’t, and I’m fine with that. If I have to, I’d much rather make out with girls than make out with guys, because I’m married, and I only want to kiss my husband. 

TME: I get that.

DM: I mean, if I have to it’s okay, it’s part of my job, but it’s much easier for me to go on set and be like, “Look, we got this. Let’s make this fun.” Sometimes you get these actresses who get a little bit nervous. I just make them feel calm and loved and feel easy about doing the scene with me.

Nicole [Ari Parker] and I had moments where we’d be on the street ready to make out for a scene, and I taught her how to kiss me for the cameras. We didn’t have to put tongues down, we just put our lips together and smash our faces together like they did in the 1920’s movies. It doesn’t have to be this groping, weird thing. Actors can make it look good if they know what they’re doing. It’s really about the suggestion of sensuality.

 

“Younger” Ep. 510 (Airs 8/14/18)

TME: You’ve had a group of eclectic and fabulous friends over the years. What kinds of people do you typically gravitate towards in your own life?

DM: I’m that person that supports all people. I love fucked up people; I love straight shooters; I love people that are very by the book. I just see beauty in all kinds of people. When you let go of the norms and you allow people to be who they are, you find beauty and strength in them. 

Younger Season 6 Key Art

Younger airs on TV Land on Wednesdays at 10/9c. Catch up on Seasons 1-6 on TV Land On Demand or on Hulu and PlayStation Vue. Follow Debi Mazar on Instagram @debimazar.

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Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

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Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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