Zooey Deschanel of "New Girl" on Fox
Q: What initially told you that "New Girl" was something you'd like to do, potentially for a long time?
A: (Series creator) Liz Meriwether and I have a special sort of weird connection. The stuff she writes, I really like, and I feel like I know how to do it. It's one of those things where I feel lucky to be working with a show creator who really writes in my voice. I really had to jump on this opportunity, because it's so rare to see material this good in general.
Q: Since your sister, Emily, also has been a Fox series star, thanks to "Bones," has she been a good resource for you in adjusting to series work?
A: A lot of it is about the workload, and her set is even crazier than ours. I like to know what I'm getting myself into, so it really helps to have a sister who's been doing this for a long time.
Q: You've had a busy schedule lately, thanks not only to "New Girl" but also your involvements in the movies "Our Idiot Brother" and "Winnie the Pooh." Does the commitment to "New Girl" make you worry about not being able to move between projects as much?
A: I like a regular schedule. I like that I go to the same place every day and have a normal sort of life. Traveling is always difficult when you have to go to a whole new place and live there, at least for a while, so I'm happy to be doing this show here (in Los Angeles).
Darlene Love of "Women Who Rock" on PBS
Q: Since you can sing everything from gospel to Broadway, how do you classify yourself?
A: I actually think of myself a rock 'n' roll singer.
Q: What is the story behind you singing with Elvis?
A: I never thought I would sing with Elvis. The girl group I was singing with, the Blossoms, we sang with everyone on the planet. Elvis wanted a black sound with the choir. He found out I was a gospel singer, then he would get his guitar, and we sang gospel. That was in 1968.
Q: Who are some of the other greats you have sung with?
A: Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., the Mamas & the Papas, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross. I worked as a backup singer for Dionne Warwick for 10 years. Our children were about the same age.
Q: How old are your children?
A: My sons are 50, 47 and 37.
Q: What do you sing when you are at home?
Q: After all of the years in a group and singing backup, when did you start singing solo?
A: I started my solo career at 40. (She is now 73.) I was singing with the Blossoms since I was 18. I traveled with Tom Jones for years. At 40, I dated Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, and he said, "Are you going to sing backup your whole life or are you going to go solo?" He put together a band for me, and I did a show at The Roxy. In the audience were Springsteen and Little Stevie.
Dr. Travis Taylor of "Rocket City Rednecks" on National Geographic Channel
Q: How does your employer, the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, feel about you doing crazy science experiments on the weekend for a TV show?
A: Everybody I've talked to thinks it's cool, thinks it's funny. Nobody's ever come to me and said, 'Don't do it.' The PR department has come and talked to me. I had to get it approved through security and all, so everybody's on board with it.
Q: Since the space shuttles have been retired, we're dependent on the Russians to travel to the International Space Station. How do you feel about that?
A: We had a perfectly viable program called the Constellation program. The Aries One rocket was going to be ready to go in about a year to two years from now, and the current administration canceled that program out of sheer politics.
That's a problem with the American space program -- every different administration, I don't care which side of politics you're on, they always kill what the previous administration started, and we have to start over.
But you think about a long-term space program, it takes years to build these machines. You can't really do that and be successful.
Q: How can you help with that?
A: We're here to get the next generation and the people that are currently here to remember how great it feels to pick a problem, put your mind to it, solve that problem and see the outcome of what you've done. That's what the "Rocket City Rednecks" are all about.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun