Tonight's cuppa: Iced coffee at Coogie's in Malibu

Meteor Below find my syndicated feature story for this week. It was a busy week for me, so I've got a couple more stories coming … watch this space:

Marla Sokoloff’s excellent ‘Meteor’ adventure

By Kate O’Hare

In the new, four-hour NBC miniseries “Meteor,” airing on consecutive

Sundays, July 12 and 19, Marla Sokoloff (“The Practice”) tries to save the

world from a giant meteor strike that means a sure and fiery doom for every

living thing.

As scientist Imogene O’Neil, she must continue the work of her boss, Dr.

Lehman (Christopher Lloyd), and get vital information to a government

scientist, Dr. Chetwyn (Jason Alexander), that may prevent the planet from

being blasted to smithereens.

And Sokoloff (below, with Billy Campbell) wasn’t about to do all this in a pair of flats or running

shoes, Meteor_Marla_Sokoloff_Billy_Campbell despite the fact that she was covering a lot of rough ground in the

desert just outside of Los Angeles last summer.

“I had high-heeled boots on,” Sokoloff says. “It was a huge fight with

the producer, because I did have to do a lot of running. I’m five-two, and I

have never, ever been on film in my entire career without having height. That’s

just not fair. No, I need my high heels.’

“So I’m like, ‘You’re going to have to run. You’re going to have to have

a gun, do all these things.’ I’m like, ‘I can do it. I can pull it off.’

“Then, one day, I fell — major, like, totally scraped up. He was

standing off to the side, and I didn’t even want to look at him, because he had

the biggest, ‘I told you so’ look on his face, just like, ‘Really? You had to

wear the high heels? Because I don’t know if you would have fallen had you not

picked those shoes.'”

While Sokoloff may not be the equal of “Alias” star Jennifer Garner for

saving the world in stilettos, she does get to do quite a lot of action-hero

stuff in “Meteor,” along with being a computer literate scientist.

“I actually thought it was quite hilarious when I got offered this job,”

she says, “and I was playing a scientist — not only a scientist, but one who

saves the world. I’m like, ‘Really? Me? OK.’

Meteor_Mara_Sokoloff_and_Laptop “I don’t see me doing that anytime soon, but it felt really cool to be

the one with all the answers in my laptop.

“But a couple of the crew guys told me, ‘You were the last person I

thought they were going to cast.’ I was like, ‘Thanks, I think.’ I’m not sure

it’s a compliment.”

“Meteor” also stars Stacy Keach (“Prison Break”) as small-town

California Sheriff Crowe, and Billy Campbell as his son, Jack, an LAPD officer

who’s hot on the trail of his corrupt, dangerous partner, Calvin Stark (Michael


At one point, Imogene crosses paths with Stark, meaning Sokoloff got to

work with Rooker (below), whom she found pretty intense.

“He throws himself in there,” Sokoloff says. “I envy his energy. I don’t

have it. I don’t know where it comes from. He is a ball of energy, nonstop, at

four in the Meteor_Michael_Rooker morning, four in the afternoon, doesn’t matter. He’s on fire.”

Apparently just having Campbell around was a treat in itself.

“He’s very sexy,” Sokoloff says, “and really soft-spoken and nice. We

had, by the makeup trailer, one of those blow-up pools, because it was so hot.

He used to sit in there with no shirt on, and the women literally were taking

pictures to e-mail their friends or something.

“I’m like, ‘He’s not this monkey in a cage. You can’t just take his

picture.’ But he didn’t mind.”

In the meteor-themed feature film “Deep Impact,” Tea Leoni played an

MSNBC reporter who covered the impending end of the world while keeping her

pearls intact.

“Of course!” says Sokoloff. “I had a joke with the makeup artist on

‘Meteor.’ He had done my makeup before, and he does his so-called ‘beauty

makeup,’ where he makes you look like a different person, and you look amazing.

But he also had to put sweat and dirt and glycerin disgustingness on me.

“He was like,’ I swear, I’m going to make you look like Brigitte Bardot

in the desert.’ That was his mission. ‘I am not going to have you walking

around with dirt on your face, and blood, and not look good.'”

As a native of northern California, Sokoloff is quite used to earthquakes, but that doesn’t mean she likes them.

“I would say, I do worry about the earthquakes, but not meteors. I

didn’t even really think — not to sound naïve, but really, a meteor? I don’t

know if that even crossed my mind in the 28 years I’ve been on this planet.”

Now that she’s had a taste of being an action heroine, Sokoloff is

considering trying it again.

“I think so,” she says, “definitely think so. I had a lot of fun. It was

a totally new world for me, and I would love to explore more.”

Posted by:Kate O'Hare