- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

Meet the cast

While the cast of “The Real World” has been knocking around the District for about a month now, just who are these people? Your lady spies are here to fill in some blanks on the cast members for the 23rd season of the MTV show.

Josh Colon, 23, is from South Philadelphia. He is of Italian and Puerto Rican descent and used to sing in a band called Whisky Livin’, but is working on a solo project. His girlfriend’s name is Ashley Marconi. Josh is working as a bartender at Rhino Bar in Georgetown on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Ty Ruff, 22, is from Baltimore. He played high school football at Gilman High School in Baltimore and graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut just before shooting started on “The Real World.” He is considered by some to be a ladies’ man.

Ashley Lindley, 22, is from Northern California. She lived in San Francisco through her teen years before moving to Los Angeles and then to Houston. Her family lives in the Bay area. She is Portuguese and is a practicing Christian. She aspires to be a model and an actress and supports gay and lesbian causes.

Callie Marie Walker is from Galveston, Texas, and she attends Sam Houston State University, where she was on the dean’s list as a sophomore in spring 2008. Her major then was mass communications, and she is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She has an older brother, Cameron, who also attends Sam Houston State. She loves to dance.

Andrew Woods, 21, is considered to be the clown of the house. Originally named Stephan Woods, he is from Westminster, Colo. He loves comic books and is known for wearing the sunglasses he bought at the airport as he traveled to the District.

Michael Manning, 22, is from Colorado and reportedly is bisexual. He says he is here to make a change and after living in D.C. wants to move here when he finishes school.

Erika Lauren Wasilewski, 21, is from Chicago. She attended Illinois State University and has a boyfriend who is in a band. She’s a singer who has been in several bands, but currently is in a group called A Quiet Capture. She may have had an episode involving cancer.

That’s the scoop for now, but keep an ear to the rail and an eye out for sightings!

A night for Julia

“This is way better than giving something to the Hard Rock Cafe,” quipped writer and director Nora Ephron at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History on Wednesday night after she donated items from her latest film, “Julie & Julia,” to the museum’s “Bon Appetit” exhibit.

The exhibit is a tribute to the life and career of the late chef and television host Julia Child, whose larger-than-life personality is the film’s inspiration.

“The film is about America, and the American dream, and how Julia changed America. It’s really a story of reinvention,” Ms. Ephron explains.

Apparently, the joy of the occasion brought out the generosity in the honored guests. Mrs. Child’s niece Phila Cousins presented a check from the Julia Child Foundation to the museum, prompting Ms. Ephron to match it, but she was quick to add, “I looked at the check to see how much it was. It was not a blind donation,” as a flurry of laughter broke out in the room.

Ms. Ephron, a former journalist, told G2 she never met Mrs. Child, much to her regret.

“I had written an article about her in New York magazine, and she wrote to me and told me to visit her if I were ever in Boston,” Ms. Ephron recounts.

Although she never had the pleasure of a personal lesson, Ms. Ephron told us she learned plenty from Mrs. Child’s legendary cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” published in 1961.

“Everybody at the time living in New York had a copy. Her lamb stew is still my favorite thing to cook,” she said.

When G2 suggested that the creativity of filmmaking is similar to that of cooking, Ms. Ephron demurred.

“When you cook from one of Julia’s recipes, there is a sureness to it. You know if you follow it, you are going to have something great. You never know with a movie.”

Indeed, Ms. Ephron, a youthful 68, is a lady who likes to be “sure” she is going to look good. She declined to be interviewed on camera, claiming the lighting was not good enough, which may explain why she wrote her most recent tome, the self-deprecating “I Feel Bad About My Neck, and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.”

You’re lookin’ good from our view, Nora!

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercoverwashingtontimes.com.

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