Too Cool For Us


By Eddie Shapiro

Too Cool for Christmas, here! TV's new holiday movie about a girl who would rather spend the holidays with her boyfriend than her gay dads, is the first family movie with a gay slant. We sat down with one of its stars, the former Abby Cunningham Fairgate Ewing Sumner, who steamed up Knots Landing for 10 years, Donna Mills:

So how do you fit into the movie?

I'm playing Mrs. Claus.

That's quite a departure for you!

Well, my agent called and told me about it and I was like 'I don't know.' But he told me to read the script, and I really liked it. And because Chloe [Mills' 10-year-old daughter] likes those kind of movies now, the teenage movies, I see a lot of them. Most of them aren't very good. I thought this script was way above average. And I thought it would be fun.

What do you think of the fact that this is a gay-themed family film?

I think it's a reflection of what's happening in society. In Chloe's school, there are a number of kids who have two moms. It's just normal, it just is. Nobody singles it out as being that different. I think that's the way we're headed and I think this movie will help.

Too Cool for Christmas is the first movie I've ever heard of that's being shot in two versions, one gay and one straight.

I know. I had never heard of it either. In one version, the girl has a mother and father, and in the other she has two male parents.

So does that mean after shooting every scene, you re-shoot it changing the pronouns?

Changing the people!

You're famous for your makeup. Do we get to see you in prosthetics in this?

Yeah, we did that for one scene. Big white wig. But we didn't do fat clothes for me! And then, in my next scene, I've had a makeover and I'm'me!

Mrs. Claus gets a makeover?

Santa does too. And he turns out to be George Hamilton!

Abby's eye makeup was legendary!

Oh, yeah!

And the classic morning-after-marrying-Sumner [William Devane] scene.

What did I do?

He wants to catch you without makeup so he sneaks up on you in the shower and says, 'Gotcha!' You turn to him, hair in a turban, fully made-up, batting your eyes, as if to say, 'Can I help you?'

(Laughing) They did so many fun things like that on the show! I used to love to get the script just to see what I would be doing. It was really fun.