Matthew Perry is focusing on being a son rather than a Friend this week, appearing as a guest star on Scrubs on Tuesday night with his father, John Bennett Perry. The younger Perry, who plays his real-life dad’s son on the show, also makes his directorial debut. “I wanted to take my career in a slightly different direction and challenge myself and I found that a one-camera show is where my interests lie. I think it’s the best way to learn how to possibly direct a movie,” says Perry. As for directing Dad, he “took direction great in the episode. The other thing that’s great is my father is a great musician and we were able to incorporate that into the show as well, so he plays guitar. It adds a level of heart and sweetness to the show that I think is pretty great.” Well, that’s, um, great. But Perry says that although he’s interested in pursuing more directorial work, he’ll still be in front of the camera as well. “It’s important once you’ve completed a project as significant as Friends to kind of keep things open,” he says. “I’m not interested in doing another sitcom and that’s where most of the offers have come. There’s no talk of me stopping acting. I’m doing a movie with Sally Field in January called Two Weeks. It’s a drama and I can’t wait to act with Sally Field. I just want to keep things open. I’ve been offered to direct things in the past and I just simply didn’t know how. Now I feel like I sort of know how so I want to be able to do both.”
Playing with Dolls
It just wouldn’t be a notable event without Carmen Electra – so luckily the sexy actress turned out for the opening of Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce club at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last week. “Women dancing has always been trendy and just the style of it changes,” she tells us. “The style and look (of burlesque) is all about Vegas, I think. I’ve been dying to get into the (Forty Deuce) in L.A. I know some of the dancers who dance there. And this seemed like a fun night to go out.” So would she and rocker hubby Dave Navarro ever think about moving to Las Vegas? “No,” she laughs. “That could be trouble, you know what I mean? I can be here for two days, and then I have to go back. It’s all I can take.” Also at the Forty Deuce opening: Blue Crush’s Michelle Rodriguez and actor Eric Balfour (Hawaii, The O.C.).
Who’s Your Favorite?
Having been in more than 50 movies to date, Dan Aykroyd knows what he likes in a costar. He shared some of his favorites recently:
On Jamie Lee Curtis: “Oh, she’s like the sister that I never had. This is one of the biggest-hearted ladies in the business,” said Aykroyd, who stars with Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks (opening Nov. 24). “She’s massively talented as a dramatic actress and a comedienne. We make each other laugh and we feel very warmly toward each other. I’d love to do another project with her. Every time that I hear that I get to share a set with her, it’s a joy because we share the same things as parents and we’ve sort of grown up now from the days of Trading Places and have more adult responsibilities in our lives, which make us laugh and lament together.”
On who he’d like to work with again: “Well, I worked with Gene Hackman on a bad picture (1990’s Loose Canons), but it was wonderful to work with Gene, just wonderful. Every day was a lesson and an inspiration.”
On his best experiences with musicians: “The night that James Brown was at our (House of Blues) opening in Los Angeles. (Being) on the soundstage with Aretha (Franklin) when we did the movie The Blues Brothers and with Ray Charles. To me though, James Brown had to be one of the most dynamic experiences ever because he still has it today, and every time you see his show it’s just a joyous celebration of rhythm and musicianship and fun and antic humor.”
Caught in the Act
• Sarah Jessica Parker, Wyclef Jean and India.Arie, at the 20th annual UNICEF Crystal Snowflake Outdoor Entertainment and Lighting Ceremony in Manhattan. Parker, a National Ambassador for UNICEF, told us some of her holiday plans involve watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “We watch it at home in the comfort of our cozy, warm house,” she said of herself, husband Matthew Broderick and son James, 2. “It’s usually raining that day, so I think a really great place to watch it is on television while you’re making cookies.”
• By MONICA RIZZO, JARRET KEENE, AMY LONGSDORF and VANESSA DIAZ