Thursday night, on a flight from Los Angeles to New York, I settled into my emergency-exit-row seat next to a woman with ginger-colored hair who looked familiar but I couldn't quite place. We talked casually during the flight — I taught her about Google video chat and she told me about her daughter, Caprice Crane, a writer and producer who is working on the new "90210." (I then launched into a rant of how obsessed I am with the original "Beverly Hills, 90210," which I immediately regretted — I can be a little fanatical about that show ...)
Anyway, I finally asked her what she did for a living. She told me that she now works with kids but that she used to be an actor. When I asked what I might have seen her in, she laughed and said that people knew her best from "Gilligan's Island." Ummm ... it took me until we were 36,000 feet over Iowa to realize that I was talking to TINA LOUISE, a.k.a. GINGER from "GILLIGANS ISLAND"!! I basically flipped out (silently), and then offered to share my car service with her back to New York after we landed (after the jump, Tina's reaction to rumors of Beyoncé snagging the movie role!).
In the car, I couldn't help but ask what she thought of Beyoncé Knowles, who has been rumored to play Ginger in a forthcoming big-screen adaptation of "Gilligan's Island" (along with possibly Michael Cera in the title role). Given Beyoncé's recent bad luck with Etta James after covering "At Last" during the Inauguration, I figured I'd find out what Ms. Louise thought ...
Much to my delight, Ms. Louise couldn't have been more charming and humble — and extremely complimentary toward Beyoncé. "I think she's wonderful," she said. "I think she's extremely talented. I had so much fun [with the Ginger character]. It's a great campy thing to do!"
She went even further about Beyoncé: "I admire her very much. You can see her heart in her face. She's a lovely person."
When I asked Tina if she had any advice for Beyoncé, she smiled and said, "If she wants help, I'll be happy to help her. I know [Ginger's] sound! I slip into it very easily."
So there you go, Beyoncé! If you do sign on for "Gilligan's Island," you've got the real Ginger ready to help you out — who, I might add, is one of the nicest people I think I've ever met.
Oh! And Tina's choice for Best Actress winner at the Oscars? Kate Winslet in "The Reader."
Can you See Beyoncé marooned on the island with Michael Cera? Let us know what you think of these casting ideas in the comments below.