Ice Castles and reports about the Mary Louise Wright Memorial Gala in Boston." />


The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew

News from the set of Ice Castles and reports from a Boston gala

Stephen Carriere, in U.S. Figure Skating jacket, and Michaelee Scarincio, in dress by Betsey Johnson, walk down the runway.
Stephen Carriere, in U.S. Figure Skating jacket, and Michaelee Scarincio, in dress by Betsey Johnson, walk down the runway. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(03/24/2009) -'s Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins fill us in with some pre-world championships news from L.A., the gossip from the skater/actors of Ice Castles and reports from the Mary Louise Wright Memorial Gala in Boston.

Coffee Talk

We're packing for L.A., and we can't wait to get there! As always, we'll be doing our best to share as many behind-the-scenes stories as we can. Various U.S. Team members have been letting us know what's going on in Tinseltown as they get ready to compete.

On Sunday morning, while enjoying a cup of the figure skaters' addiction of choice (freshly French-pressed), we caught up on AIM with Jeremy Abbott, who wasn't as fortunate as us.

"Oh darn! I just realized it's Sunday, and I am in downtown LA... all the Starbucks will be closed! I haven't had coffee yet!" he said. "When I was here for nationals in 2002, EVERYTHING was closed on Sunday... downtown, anyway."

Jeremy eventually moved on and began to tell us about his, uh, pants.

"I am sitting in my room using the compression pants," he said, after noting that his legs hurt a bit from his travels. The "pants," which are on loan to the skaters from the Olympics Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., fill up with air and squeeze your legs hard, promoting better blood flow circulation and aiding in muscle recovery.

"It's like a massage, but all over. They're nice! I am enjoying them!" he added.

Although they may not be the most fashion-forward gear we've seen at a figure skating event, we bet they are pretty cool anyway.

Hollywood in Halifax

The skating world continued to dominate Hollywood this week, as the first week of filming of the Ice Castles movie, filmed in Nova Scotia, is complete. They've been working on several scenes that take place on a pond, from the beginning and end of the movie and the crucial scene when the main character, Lexi, played by Taylor Firth, trips on a lighting cable and falls. (By the way, in the original movie, the character of Alexis Winston was nicknamed "Lexie;" in this version, they spell it "Lexi." As we've noted, the movie has been updated to be contemporary for 2010).

Senior lady -- and model -- Molly Oberstar has scored a role in the movie too. She plays Carrie Turner, a former student of Lexi's coach. Carrie apparently dumps him for a new coach just as she gets good.

"I'm supposed to play sort of a mean girl," Molly told us. "Actually, quite a bit of a mean girl! Carrie's a fierce competitor, and I think it's going to be fun to take on her personality. I'm excited. I have no idea what to expect. I've never done anything quite like this before. I was contacted right after nationals. I sent in a tape to play Lexi and then later a tape for Carrie. When I made the tapes, I had no idea what I was doing -- totally amateur. I'm really glad I am getting this opportunity. This is the sort of experience I couldn't pass up!"

"Molly and I have done a few scenes together," said Taylor. "She is perfect for the character. She is gorgeous, and she can act the part of a brat really well."

Molly spent the week doing choreography with David Wilson and also filming a few scenes.

"It was my first experience with any kind of filming," she said. "I was totally lost at first, but, as the day went on, I got into the rhythm of it, and I really enjoyed myself. I have a couple weeks at home to work on my piece now. I'm flying through Toronto for a dress fitting on the way back to Halifax, and also to work with Sandra Bezic. I have not seen my costume yet! Then I fly to Halifax, and right away we film the big competition scene. We have a couple of competition scenes, but nationals is filmed first."

Molly said she had so much fun she didn't want to come home to reality, but she is excited to be heading back to filming soon. Taylor has also been having a wonderful time, enough so that she was sorry she had the weekend off.

"Filming this week was amazing!" said Taylor. "I had such a blast! Even though I had to be picked up by 6 a.m. every day, I had the time of my life."

Skating on the outdoor pond was a challenge, however.

"The ice on the pond was a nightmare! In the early morning it was fine, but as the sun started to shine, it just started to crumble. There was a very thin layer of ice, and under it was like a snow cone. It was like the hardest thing I've ever had to skate through."

And Back in Boston...

The fifth annual Mary Louise Wright Memorial Gala at the Skating Club of Boston last Saturday was rendered extra-fabulous by a fashion show organized by Stephen Carriere. One by one, skaters strutted the rose-strewn runway clad in fashionable workout clothes and glam party wear.

"I came up with the idea a couple of weeks after nationals when the Junior Activities Committee asked if I could help with the event," said Stephen.

On the ice, all the Boston skaters put on an entertaining show. Stephen skated an intense new program to "Love's Divine" by Seal, wearing black from head to fingertips. Katrina Hacker skated to "What I Did For Love" and admitted afterward that she had forgotten part of her program, ironically to the words "and I won't forget." Ross Miner went the risky route, including a triple Axel in both his program and as his highlight during the closing number. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir performed their "Billie Jean" number for the last time; they'll be bringing out a new program at their next show.

Luminaries in the audience included two former presidents of U.S. Figure Skating, Chuck Foster and Ben Wright (whose USFS membership number is, simply, "1"). Skaters circulated in the audience before and during the show, passing trays of hot hors d'oeuvres, a nice touch that we recommend for ISU events.

"Why, thank you for the canapé, Monsieur Joubert!"

Donations benefited the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund and the Mary Louise Wright Scholarship, which goes toward the training expenses of one or more skaters each year. The entire evening was organized by a hard-working skaters' committee headed by Brittney Rizo.

We'll be back soon with all the hot gossip from the Left Coast!

Sarah and Drew