ERA: How did a can’t-miss amendment miss?

Back in 1972, the American society seemed to be transforming.
“You just had the Civil Rights Act and the Pay Equity Act,” said Cate Blanchett (shown here), who produced and stars in “Mrs. America,” an ambitious mini-series. “So there was already change afoot.”
The next step was the Equal Rights Amendment. It seemed easy, said director Ryan Fleck. “It had Republican support, it had Democratic support – which is sort of unheard of nowadays.
The ERA sailed through the House, 354-24 and through the Senate, 84-8. Hawaii ratified it that same day, Delaware and New Hampshire the next day, Iowa and Idaho the day after that. Then Phyllis Schlafly stepped in. That’s what “Mrs. America” is about. Read more…

“Reprisal” star: tough and frilly

The modern world says people can fit any image.
They can be dark leather or pink fluff … or both, switching from day to day. A prime example came when Abigail Spencer (shown here) arrived to talk about “Reprisal.”
Here is a rough, sometimes brutal series. “I grew up on (Quentin) Tarantino films,” said creator Josh Corbin, “and I am a fan of the violent genre.”
Early in the opener (Friday, Dec. 6, on Hulu), his heroine (Spencer) is slapped, slugged and dragged; later in the hour, she’s lethal. It’s “a role that is typically written for a man,” Spencer said.
It’s suitable for leather and chains. And while Spencer was describing it (to the Television Critics Association, in July), she was wearing a prom-worthy dress, pink and fluffy. Read more…

Great advice: Find friends, ignore naked guys

A talented actress, we’re told, can ignore all distractions.
Still, that’s not easy when there’s a naked-guy table … and a naked-guy lamp … and more.
“We truly did mess a bunch of lines,” said Shay Mitchell, a “Dollface” co-star. “I’d be saying my line (and) a lamp-shade naked man was just walking by. I was like, ‘All right. Where was I?
”That’s part of the quirky approach of “Dollface,” which debuts Friday on Hulu.
Jules (Kat Dennings, shown here) has been casually dumped by her boyfriend of five years, propelling her fantasy scenes. “When Jules is going through a heightened emotion, the magical realism kind of comes in to guide her,” Dennings said. Read more…

Dr. Ruth: A genial pixie emerged from cascades of tragedy

There’s a special quality to Ruth Westheimer.
You could call it puckish or pixie-like or impish. She prefers “joie de vivre” and “zest for life.”
By any name, it’s impressive. Here is a tiny (4-foot-7) woman with a genial face and a quick wit. As milestones approach – a documentary Saturday on Hulu, three days before she tuns 91 – she seems downright joyous, whether giving sex advice or just having fun.
“I tell everybody not to retire, but to rewire,” Westheimer said. “And I’ve been very fortunate that I’m very healthy. I skied until a few years ago.” Read more…