We know we’re a little late on this one, but we’re still in shock (and awe) after watching Jason Beghe’s star turn in this week’s Californication season premiere, in which he revealed series television’s first “mangina.”
You remember Beghe, a veteran TV (Melrose Place) and film (Monkey Shines, G.I. Jane) actor who became the first of Scientology’s pampered celebrities to leave the “religion” and then denounce it publicly.
Since April 2008, when Beghe made his vocal split from the celebrity-obsessed church (which still coddles Tom Cruise, John Travolta and others), Beghe has been making appearances and giving interviews, harshly criticizing Scientology. But from the moment of his defection, we’ve asked him, how do you think this would affect your career?
He admitted that he didn’t know, and at the time he had little lined up after losing what was supposed to be a regular gig on the CBS series Cane, which had bombed.
To the rescue came his old friend, David Duchovny, who brought Beghe in for Sunday’s Californication episode. (Beghe and Duchovny met at the Collegiate School, the private prep school on the Upper West Side, and are still very close.)
Beghe was asked to play a novelist named Richard Bates who falls off the wagon, hard, after Duchovny’s character, Hank Moody, convinces him to drink to “the blank page” at a dinner party.
After excusing himself to go to the “boom boom room,” a drunk Bates returns to the dinner party completely naked, and asks if anyone wants to see him do “the pee pee dance.”
Beghe says the script was vague about what that entailed, however, so he decided to improvise.
“I figured I’ll do a ‘tuck’ and do the pee pee dance.”
Beghe tucked his manhood between his thighs, and revealed a “mangina.”
“That was the first take. That’s real laughter you hear. It was shocking,” he says.
And Duchovny’s reaction? “He said if there’s any justice I’d get the Emmy for best guest star on a comedy series,” Beghe said, laughing. “I’m strangely proud of it.”
Was Beghe concerned about what Scientology might think? “I called [Scientology spokesman and son of actress Anne Archer] Tommy Davis. I left him a message, saying, I know we have our differences, but I’d love you to watch this show because I thought he’d get a giggle out of it.” But Beghe says Davis hasn’t called back.
Meanwhile, there’s more evidence that Beghe’s career is back on track. He’s currently in Pittsburgh for the shooting of Paul Haggis’ new film, The Next Three Days, which will star Russell Crowe, Olivia Wilde, Brian Dennehy, and Elizabeth Banks.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2009