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Mariel's crossing over to Jill Hennessy. (the Buzz).

MARIEL HEMINGWAY IS at it again, folks--playing a lesbian on TV. The Personal Best icon, who famously locked prime-time lips with Roseanne several seasons ago, will appear on an upcoming episode of NBC's Crossing Jordan. This time she's Dr. Lisa Fromer--a conservative talk-radio shrink accused of murdering her female lover. "It's not like I went out looking for it," she says of her queer history. "Playing gay is sometimes difficult for people ... I just don't have a problem with it."

Neither does Crossing Jordan star Jill Hennessy, who played the lesbian character Lisa in the 1999 indie film Chutney Popcorn and now blurs gender boundaries weekly as velvet-voiced, sexy-yet-single coroner Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh. "My acting teacher used to say, `Gosh, you walk like a track driver,'" says Hennessy, who, like her TV heroine, was raised by her single father. "I guess I just learned that by being with my dad. I feel like the perception of what feminine is in this culture is so narrow," says the star. "That's why I was really happy to play a character who's not overly feminized. You know, somebody who could be misinterpreted. People might think, Well, what the heck's up with her? Is she gay, straight--does she have issuers? I like to keep them thinking."

When Hennessy first meets Hemingway on-screen--in an episode written by Jordan's openly gay executive story editor, Elizabeth Sarnoff--a spark ignites and a deep bond starts to form. "There's some energy there definitely," admits Hemingway. "But no kiss, no kiss."
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Oct 29, 2002
Words:251
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