Star Sights: Such a Cho-off

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Drop Dead Diva actress Margaret Cho seems to be one of Peachtree City’s Most Wanted.

The hit Lifetime comedy is currently shooting its second season in the golf-cart-clogged community just south of Atlanta. And apparently, Cho has fans in the Peachtree City police department.

“They’ve pulled me over like five times!” says Cho. “It must be the odd sight of an Asian woman driving a car with California plates here. But they’ve never given me a ticket, which is kind of weird.”

Cop encounters aside, the comic is thrilled to be back at work on Diva. The comedy cleverly explores what happens when an after-life accident transports the soul of a size zero, blonde, Price is Right refrigerator model wannabe into the body of a brainy but zaftig Los Angeles attorney (played by former Broadway Taboo actress Brooke Elliott).

In her live concert performances over the years, Cho has routinely tackled Hollywood’s obsession with all things skinny and the resulting body image issues women battle in America. “It’s a giant privilege to be on this show,” Cho says. “There is so much talk about women’s bodies but very little on television about women who are not a size zero. Drop Dead Diva is a fantastic way to talk about real women with a lot of dignity and humor.”

In season two, the show will be exploring her “gal Friday” assistant character Teri Lee’s life outside the office as well. Previews Cho: “In the stuff we’re shooting now, viewers will get to know Teri’s extended family. I’ve got some heavy-duty acting to do, too. I’m going from less comedic to more dramatic material. That’s exciting for me. I’m getting to explore acting a little more intensely.”

After largely abandoning series television following battles with the network brass on the set of her first ABC sitcom All-American Girl fifteen years ago, Cho is also excited by changes in the industry. “There’s much more diversity on television now,” Cho says. “More stories about more people are being told. With more networks come more options as well. It’s great to see shows like Army Wives on our network, Mad Men on AMC, and Damages on FX. Fifteen years ago, the big three networks still had a stranglehold on things. We’re moving in the right direction now.”

Still, moving around Peachtree City remains a challenge for Cho. “I have a golf cart, but I haven’t driven it. I’m very intimidated by it. You can get pulled over here in a golf cart too!”

On weekends when she’s not filming, fans can anticipate Cho popping up on stage for a late-night set at Midtown’s Laughing Skull Lounge, where she’s developing new material for her next stage show. She also loves hanging at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur and eating at Two Urban Licks. “I love watching Blondie dance at the Clermont Lounge,” Cho dishes. “Blondie not only has a beautiful body but she recites original poetry”—some of which Cho has bought for an economical $12. “Plus, she recycles all those beer cans!” The second season of Drop Dead Diva premieres June 6 at 9 p.m. on Lifetime.

Photograph courtesy of Pixievision Productions

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