A monthly column sharing the happenings of Asians and Asian Americans in the entertainment biz
By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
The new season is here, and there’s a new Asian baby in Hollywood! This month, Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley adopt a baby from Korea, Tila Tequila continues her quest for attention, and Lisa Ling returns to her roots on “The View.”
Plus, two Asian stars make People Magazine’s Best Dressed list, and a number of Asian actors debut on new television shows.
Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley welcome Korean-born Naleigh
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl and musician Josh Kelley have welcomed a new addition to their family: a 10-month old baby girl from Korea. The couple has named the child Nancy Leigh, Naleigh for short. The adoption process was short — only six months — because she is a special needs child.
“They wanted to get her to us as quickly as possible,” Heigl said, in the San Francisco Gate.
Welcome Naleigh and best of luck to the family!
Tila Tequila’s failed lawsuit
Recently, I reported that Tila Tequila claimed to be pregnant and then changed her mind … or something. Well, the “Shot at Love” star is back! This time, Tequila (whose real name is Tila Nguyen) claims her NFL boyfriend Shawne Merriman choked her and unlawfully restrained her in his home.
Tequila went to the hospital that night and filed a citizen’s complaint, and Merriman was jailed for several hours. Merriman later shot back that he was trying to restrain Tequila from driving intoxicated. And the best part? Tequila said this was not possible because she is allergic to alcohol. Her name is, in fact, a play on this irony.
On Sept. 11, the San Diego courthouse dropped the charges. “After a thorough review … our office has determined there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any crime was committed,” San Diego District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said in a statement. “This case is now closed. No further comment will be made.”
None here, either.
Lisa Ling goes ‘home’
Before CNN and “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” journalist Lisa Ling was known for her seat on ABC’s “The View.” Ling came back — for two days. Ling substituted for the pregnant Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 broadcasts. She joined regulars Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Sherri Shepherd.
After the turmoil the Ling family has been through, I am happy to be reporting good news for Lisa!
Two well-dressed Asian stars
People Magazine loves Freida Pinto’s and Vanessa Hudgens’ styles. The magazine named the actresses on their annual best dressed list which is out this month. Pinto, from “Slumdog Millionaire,” was recognized for “best use of color.”
Hudgens, from “High School Musical” (and a number of scandals), was named “best boho style.” Keep up the good-looking work, ladies!
Fall television season debuts
September means new television shows, and this fall, three new shows feature Asian actresses. Let’s start with the good.
Fox’s “Glee” was quickly considered one of the first hits of the television season. The quirky comedy about a high school shows Korean-born Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina, a shy member of the glee club. “Glee” was the first show of the season to be renewed and frankly, it’s hilarious. Good luck with the great gig, Jenna
John Cho left his movie roles to join the silver screen this fall in ABC’s “FlashForward.” The show opened to fairly favorable reviews. It’s about a blackout that lasts for 137 seconds; everyone loses consciousness, and people around the world see their futures. ABC has not spoken of the future of this “Lost”-esque show yet, but things look promising for Cho!
Stephanie Jacobsen’s show, “Melrose Place,” is treading on a finer line. The Chinese-Norwegian-English actress from Hong Kong and Australia stars as Lauren Yung, an ambitious medical student and call girl. Wow CW, way to cram two Asian female stereotypes into one character! While the ratings have been disappointing, The CW did announce its order of a full season of “Melrose.”
“Lipstick Jungle” star Lindsay Price also returned to the small screen with ABC’s “Eastwick.” The show, based on the John Updike novel and the film, “The Witches of Eastwick,” opened to mediocre ratings and mixed reviews. We’ll have to keep watching to see if it is picked up for a full season!
Check back next month for new updates on Asians in pop culture! ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.