Hollywood Notebook: Shirtless Christopher Gorham, other bare facts

The Fresno BeeJuly 13, 2013 

CHRISTOPHER GORHAM

"Covert Affairs," season 3: Christopher Gorham as Auggie Anderson

USA NETWORK

A lot of times, when someone finds out that I'm a huge comic book fan, they think it's sad to like something so silly. Those opponents are even more dazed when I explain that I learned to read through the publications. My parents were happy that I was interested in reading, and it didn't matter whether it was tales of Superman or classic literature.

I found someone with the same vision in Adrian Pasdar. The actor, best known for his work on "Heroes" who's now the voice of Iron Man in the new Disney XD series "Marvel's Avengers Assemble," gives his sons comics to read.

"I grew up a comic book fan and would read comics to them when they were younger," Pasdar says. "The younger one still loves reading comics and just finished 'The Absolute Dark Knight.' "

He adds that reading comics is a great way to learn especially because of all of the drawn panels. It's the combination of the words and images that really worked with his children as far as increasing their reading skills.

Pasdar admits that his own interest in comics was rekindled by the reading time he shared with his sons.

"Some people still don't like comics. I don't know if some of us are just hardwired to understand comic books," Pasdar says.

He agrees that the mythology of some of the super hero characters is as deep and detailed as anything from Greek or Roman mythology.

Going into the interviews for the "Man of Steel," I had some concerns about chatting with Russell Crowe, who plays Superman's dad, Jor-El. The actor's career is full of roles where he has played tough guys. And he did throw a telephone at an employee of the Mercer Hotel who refused to help him place a call.

Those concerns quickly pass as Crowe ends up being the most entertaining and funny member of the cast and crew to meet with the media. Crowe is all smiles when he reveals the biggest problem with filming the action movie came from the smallest members of the cast under the guidance of director Zack Snyder.

"I had a very interesting experience being a father on this movie. I think Zack employed four babies as the recently born Kal-El. Unlike my own experiences as a father of two, where I've managed to dodge all the piss and the poo, even though I'm pretty slick with a nappy, on this movie, I got farted on first and that was OK. Pissed on and that was a little bit inconvenient," Crowe says.

"Then the topper happened under those hot lights. It was after lunch, to be expected, and I got a handful of the 'essential Kryptonian material.' So I learned a lot. I had new experiences as a parent on this movie that I hadn't previously had, so thank you, Zack."

Crowe has two children. He shows his parental side again when he asks "Man of Steel" executive producer Chuck Roven how soon there will be a LEGO action figure of Jor-El. He seems a little disappointed when Roven says he knows there will be one but not sure how soon it will happen.

-- I had a chance to catch up with Fresno's Christopher Gorham to talk about the new season of "Covert Affairs" that begins July 16. It was time to chat again as the third season ended with a big event for Gorham's character.

If you haven't been watching the show, you have been missing an Emmy-worthy performance by Gorham. He plays CIA agent Auggie Anderson, who has always been there when fellow agent, Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) needs him. Anderson just happens to be blind.

An actor of lesser skill would have played the character more as a stereotype, but Gorham never falls into any of those bad acting mistakes.

It's become obvious the writers and producers of the show have been impressed by Gorham in another way. I ask him if it seems like they are just creating situations where he has to take his shirt off.

Gorham laughs and says that he's starving because he's got to be ready when one of the shirtless scenes comes along. And they come along at odd times.

"I swear to you, I just finished shooting a scene where I had to take my shirt off. It was a situation where you would NEVER take your shirt off, but I did," Gorham says.

-- It seems Clovis East grad Chris Colfer is a big "Star Wars" fan. He was one of the celebrities who took part in the kick-off of "Course of the Force" at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Marin.

Celebs ran quarter-mile segments of a lightsaber relay that will make its way down the coast to San Diego in time for Comic-Con.The 500-mile "Star Wars" run benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, rbentley@fresnobee.com or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.

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