"Project Runway" is going home, back to its original network with several new twists. The biggest change is new host and executive producer Karlie Kloss, who takes over from the departed duo of Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn when the show returns to Bravo on March 14. The model grew up in St. Louis watching the original version.
Christian Siriano, who won season four, mentors the aspiring designers. Designer Brandon Maxwell, Elaine Welteroth and original cast member Nina Garcia serve as judges. The winning designer will receive $250,000 — a boost from $100,000.
After 16 seasons with the franchise, Klum and Gunn jumped to Amazon to start a rival show. Before leaving, Klum suggested Siriano as Gunn's successor. Coincidentally, producers were already talking to the designer, who has sustained a successful 10-year career since his breakout on the show.
Siriano noted the biggest difference between him and Gunn is that Gunn wasn't a designer; he was on the faculty at Parsons The New School of Design. "When the designers have a red carpet challenge, I can actually give them real feedback because I just dressed people at the Golden Globes the week before," Siriano said. "I'm giving them almost, like, real fashion industry feedback. And I think that it can, hopefully, only help them."
Models on the show will be diverse in their ethnicity and size ranges.
LA REINA AND EL CHAPO
Kate del Castillo said she's relieved she wasn't called to testify in the New York trial of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.
But she doesn't regret arranging a 2015 meeting between Guzman and Sean Penn, although the fallout kept her from visiting and working in Mexico for more than three years, the actress said.
She filmed the upcoming Telemundo sequel to her 2011 telenovela "La Reina del Sur" outside of the country, with a double shooting her scenes in Mexico, she said Tuesday.
The actress said was finally able to return last Christmas but had an unsettling experience upon arrival, when use of her Mexican passport triggered an alert. Del Castillo, an American citizen, said she could have presented her U.S. passport for entry but insisted on using the document from her native country.
"It shocked me," she said, when she was detained for about 20 minutes as officials scurried around. She recalled thinking, " 'Oh my God, they're going to arrest me right now or I'm going to be sent back to the United States.' "
In 2017, del Castillo filed a human rights complaint alleging she was unable to travel to Mexico to work because her communications with Guzman were under investigation.
Guzman is on trial on drug and murder conspiracy charges that his lawyers say are fabricated.
Del Castillo said work has prevented her from following the proceedings closely and she is "happy" not to be involved
METOO BRINGS ON
Lorraine Toussaint welcomed the idea of intimacy coaches on television and film sets, even if the actress wasn't quite sure what the job entails.
Informed that such coaches help stage scenes of physical closeness that are respectful to the actors, the 58-year-old star of NBC's upcoming series "The Village" told the TV critics' meeting Tuesday that she was forced to be her own advocate when no one else was around.
"I've been a bit of a Nazi about making sure that it's a closed set, and that includes even sound," Toussaint said. "It is highly choreographed. It is highly rehearsed. And then everyone has to go away."
Toussaint joined Jennifer Carpenter of new series "The Enemy Within," Retta of "Good Girls" and Susan Kelechi Watson of "This Is Us" in agreeing that they're seeing changes in on-set culture since the emergence of the MeToo movement.
"The greatest part of it is many men didn't even know that this was inappropriate or offensive. It has been so commonplace," said Toussaint, whose show debuts March 12. "So part of what's happening is the re-education of men in the workplace."
Carpenter added, "Many men have been really supportive of the movement."
MAKING IT PERSONAL
For Nico Santos, the role he plays on NBC's sitcom "Superstore" is personal.
"I never thought in a million years I'd be involved in a project that celebrated the fullness of my identity of being queer and Asian," Santos said told Tuesday.
He also appreciates the comedy's focus on what his character, Mateo, has faced after learning that he's an immigrant in the country illegally.
"I certainly know a lot of members of my community who are undocumented, and that's so relevant right now. I've gotten so many messages from everybody. People stop me wherever I go who are ... just really appreciative of the fact that we've tackled the issue, because they themselves are undocumented or a family member or a loved one is undocumented."
Santos, who played Oliver in "Crazy Rich Asians," said he's grateful the comedy is portraying the character with "dignity and respect."